Talent review: 8 reasons to make it the "highlight" of the year.

The Talent Review is one of the levers of Talent Management. Let's take a look at all the benefits to be gained from this unique exercise of the year.
The importance of the Talent Review in the HR cycle.
Adopt best practices for each process
Request a demo

There are various milestones in the life cycle of the HR function. One of them consists of analyzing the company's situation in terms of its available resources and the gaps with what it needs.

A natural extension of annual reviews, the talent review consists of bringing together managers and HR stakeholders in order to implement the company's strategy.

Why make the Talent Review a key element of your HR year?

This exchange around the company's talents initiates a large part of the HR actions of the year: from the design of training courses, personalized support to the setting of the recruitment budget, including salary increases. Let's dig into all these aspects together.

Reason #1: Anticipate critical departures

The proximity of managers to their employees is essential, but it is not always enough to anticipate employee attrition. Contrary to what is commonly envisaged, the talent review concerns all employees. Thus, three decisions are taken following this meeting: discussions with underperformers, training of employees and tailor-made support for high potentials.

How to identify the signs of potential departure?

The first discussion of the Talets Review focuses on the disengagement of a part of the population, certain data and behaviors are warning signs:

  • Net Promoter Score results and comments
  • The rarity of exchanges with colleagues and their managers
  • Lack of future-oriented thinking, especially during annual reviews

If you do not necessarily have this data available, we recommend that you design the collection tools for the current year.

Reason #2: Matching business strategy with available skills

At the beginning of the 90s, the lifespan of a skill was estimated at 30 years. Since then, the obsolescence of skills has affected most trades. This obsolescence is essentially "economic", as explained in a CEDEFOP information note. It consists of the uselessness or loss of importance of the skills previously used in a given job.

Devices to fight against obsolescence

There are two things you can do when reviewing talent to avoid having skills Useless or outdated:

  • Encourage employees to learn, and implement a learning company culture. This is not only achieved through traditional training but above all through a collaborative learning approach.
  • Empowering employees so that they can fully exploit all of their skills. 

Prior to these measures, it is essential to assess the mapping of your skills. This assessment consists of gathering your professions and associating them with the skills recommended by the main professional observatories. You will then be able to set the expected levels on the one hand, and measure the differences between the levels achieved throughout the year on the other. In this way, you will be able to identify whether or not the skills critical to the success of your strategy are insufficient in number. 

Reason #3: Identify skills at risk

Anticipating your potential departures, your vital forces, has for finality to become aware of skills which can disappear in your structure. This loss of skills can also come from your age pyramid, in which case it constitutes a structural trend in your field of activity.

The solutions to avoid the loss of skills

Two solutions are envisaged in the face of this observation:

  • Passing on knowledge internally
  • Attract the skills without which your business strategy may be undermined.

Facilitated by the law on the professional future, companies such as Safran or Arc International have opened their own internal apprentice training center.

Other companies such as Orange or Accor have created their own internal university. This last initiative represents a significant cost, but it is an effective way to prepare for the future by capitalizing on internal knowledge.

Do you want to get involved in this HR "highlight"?

We support you with the 6 keys to effective People Reviews, download here

Reason #4: Build project teams

The uncertainty in which organizations evolve contributes to a new form of organization in project mode. Whether they are considered strategic or not, these projects are an opportunity to focus on the skills required to complete them successfully. Once these projects have been proposed by managers and business unit heads, the role of HR is to facilitate the creation of these teams by knowing the employees, their desires and their assets. 

Internal talent marketplaces are the best platforms to meet the challenges of building these teams. They facilitate internal mobility from one role to another, and are also designed to staff short-term projects. For employees, they are the best response to the need to move beyond traditional career paths that no longer meet their needs.

These tools also require a strong cultural change: the manager must accept to let a resource evolve on a project that he/she no longer manages directly. This new organizational path also requires adapting performance evaluation, as employees are now evaluated on two dimensions: their core activity and their involvement in satellite projects. The HR function will have to ensure the cultural fit of the individuals identified with the contributors and leaders of these projects.

In fine, forming project teams during the People Review allows to mix individuals who will learn together, reinforce the adhesion to the company's projects, increase the loyalty of the employees and improve the performance.

Reason #5: Detecting high potentials

In a context of market mutation and accelerated transformation, companies must detect the leaders of tomorrow. The People Review is the opportunity, if not to identify them, to set the criteria for granting the status of "high potential".

What are the criteria for detecting high potentials?

The criteria most often used by our clients are :

  • Natural adaptation to new responsibilities
  • Proactivity the ability to create new things
  • Resilience to stress in an uncertain environment
  • Emotional and collective intelligence
  • Taking a step back
  • The Faculty of Learning

These criteria are to be adapted according to your strategy and your business. We insist on the fact that this detection is not only reserved for current managers. Moreover, it requires a large amount of data in order to analyze past and current behaviors (ideally, a minimum of 3 years). 

If you already have a mature approach to these "High Po's", then the People Review should be about taking the necessary steps to get these talents to reach their highest potential quickly. We advise you to share your assessment of their potential, listen to their aspirations, and set a coaching plan with short iterations. 

Read our complete page on High Potential Detection to learn more.

Reason #6: Measure the real benefits of training

Your mandatory skills development plan is an important direct investment whose impact must be measured. The law of March 5, 2014 requires the employer to evaluate its training on the official annual documents. Since this exercise does not occur at the same time, we advise you to collect this information on a different tool, most often on the employee's HR tool. 

The indicators used are not always sufficient. They consist in measuring the number of hours of training and the satisfaction of the "learners".

Measuring the effectiveness of a training course is a complex exercise since it depends on human factors such as the motivation of the employee to invest in it. This is why we talk more about "return on expectations" than "return on investment".

What are the criteria for measuring the efficiency of training?

  • The evolution of post-training behavior
  • Obtaining certificates, the level of requirement required from training organizations is evolving in this direction
  • Achieving the objectives set for this training
  • Business indicators (customer satisfaction, compliance with project deadlines, etc.)

The purpose of the People Review is to discuss the gaps between the required levels and the levels achieved at skills . Consolidating these gaps at the collective level will highlight the most urgent training areas. We recommend our use case on the optimization of HR investments.

Taking into account the training desires of employees is a delicate exercise since they may not be in line with the skills sought by the company. This is why managers must take precautions when discussing with their employees.

Reason n°7 : Boost internal mobility

Companies are rediscovering the treasure of internal mobility in a context of war for talent and low retention. Not only does mobility save on recruitment costs, but it also fosters a culture of getting to know employees whose skills are not always visible. Internal mobility offers a new type of leadership through individuals who have taken a step back from the company and have built relationships with different individuals. 

Whereas it used to be synonymous with career planning, internal mobility is now becoming agile, driven by a strong sociological change. A survey by Opinion Way in October 2021 showed that only 27% of 35-49 year olds wanted to become a manager. Companies that are accustomed to developing their employees in several activities at the same time have a head start on this agility. When reviewing your talent, your ability to avoid repeating past evolutionary patterns will be key to bringing organizational innovation.

Reason #8: Retain your employees and managers

Your employees demand transparency in decision-making, recognition of their achievements and concrete ways to develop. The People Review is thus the pillar of your employees' future loyalty. All the measures taken at the end of the review must be immediately implemented through the HR tools you have at your disposal.

Here is a summary of the different components of the HRIS that will be fed by the People Review:

  • The integration of new trades within this mapping.
  • The mapping of your skills, the levels reached and the possible modifications of levels expected.
  • Updating your Talent Marketplace with the distribution of strategic projects and the solicitation of employees who meet your challenges.
  • Your high potential module, to which you will associate their specific coaching.
  • Succession planning for high-stakes positions.
  • The integration of new training courses in your catalog and the suggestion of training courses to the populations concerned.

Ultimately this crucial step requires a significant investment of time. It will provide you with a clarification of the actions to take and will free your mind!

Now you can improve your talent review process, go further in managing your talent with our guide:"Best practices in talent management".