The importance of talent as a key differentiator cannot be overemphasized in today’s competitive environment. Organizations that do not have the right individuals in the most critical roles tend to lag in growth, innovation, and might struggle to keep up with market dynamics. Human Resources executives invest large sums of resources in their recruitment efforts to tap good talent, with varying results. In such a scenario, organizations must step back and take a look at their internal talent and consider developing them and cultivating them instead. Talent pools are critical to meet the growing talent needs of organizations.
An organization’s talent pool comprises of high potential and high performing employees who are ‘succession ready’ and can be tapped to take up responsibilities in senior roles as and when they open up.
Talent pools are a database of people who could effectively fill the boots of any of your current employees should they decide that it’s time to move on. It’s your contingency plan and an essential method of reducing the cost and time to hire and ensuring your businesses productivity is not affected too much by resource and skill shortages.
Internal talent pool is identified through individual manager evaluations, professional visibility and assessment techniques such as multi-rater evaluation. An organization could have multiple talent pools for different sections of their workforce. Talent pools in the senior leadership are often used as a part of the organization’s succession plan for their senior leadership. Having adaptive talent resources available at times of change allows organizations to react with greater each and flexibility.
Large global organizations allocate funds to train and prepare their talent pipeline. If organizations are taking efforts and are spending large amounts on assessment tools and procedures to identify high potentials then it is imperative that they do justice to their strategy and take measures to ensure its effectiveness.
High-potential candidates placed in talent pools should be developed further through training, which may include education and improvement of their skill sets through additional exposure and special projects. These individuals should be prepared to qualify for greater responsibilities and not just a promotion. It is ultimately up to individuals to perform well in their current roles while also preparing themselves to meet the new challenges that might come up. If such talent pools are successfully designed and deployed, then your organization will have a pool of internal candidates ready to meet resource requirements if a vacancy were to come up.
An HBR article presents a case in point with regards to implementing a talent pool:
P&G offers formal training and development programs and sometimes sends managers to external executive education programs. The lion’s share of development, however, takes place on the job, with the immediate manager’s support and help from mentors and teammates. A typical marketing manager, for example, will have worked with a number of different brands over a period of time. A finance manager will have gone through various assignments, ranging from financial analysis to treasury to auditing to accounting. Most managers are also placed on important multifunctional task forces or project teams from time to time. New postings and task force participation are expected to challenge employees, and they signal to managers that P&G will always offer new opportunities.
Here are a few questions to consider while building a talent pipeline or a talent pool of your internal
- Does your organization have a culture of internal talent mobility?
- Are there training programs in place to prepare the workforce for cross functional roles and responsibilities?
- What platforms do you have in place to identify and build relationships with employees whose skills align with the organizations future requirements?
- Is there a database or any form of records to access high potentials when needed in event of a critical change within the organization?
Organizations can definitely invest in external sources to fill in their vacancies. However, building a talent pool and cultivating internal talent builds employee loyalty and also increases engagement. An organization’s workforce is its biggest asset and optimizing them is critical in to the success of your organizations recruiting efforts and ensures irreplaceable competitive advantage.