Ever since Talent Reviews entered the scene in the late 1990s, HR has been the driver of this strategic process. Even though in theory all stakeholders agree that taking a helicopter view on talents is crucial to secure the continuity of the business, the numbers say it all: less than 1/3 of managers are satisfied with the ROI of the Talent Management process. ¼ stars leave within one year, and 40% of high potential designations fail. The main reason is the lack of potential criteria and tools. If HR wants to be a true talent advisor for the business, we have to turn that around. At Corilus, I got to see first-hand how easy this can be done.
In 2021 Corilus, a mid-size company providing IT applications for the medical sector was setting up a Talent Review process. I had the pleasure to assist them with this. I was thrilled that they had decided to adopt analytics in their process, in the form of the Talent Review Profiler by TalentLogiQs. Firstly, I am a great believer in evidence-based approaches and had successfully integrated other TalentLogiQs solutions in my projects concerning sustainable careers, and secondly, I was very interested to see how analytics would benefit the Talent Review process. I realized that this new tool would make a world of difference for the role of strategic HR business partner as I had known it in previous Talent Reviews. The intelligence provided by the Talent Review Profiler would allow me to forecast: where is potential in the organization? What talent risks do we need to be aware of? What are the aspirations of our talents? What are development opportunities for every specific talent in the exercise? In short, I would be able to be the talent advisor I knew the business was craving for.
At Corilus, throughout the entire process, from preparation to follow up, the Talent Review Profiler proved to be of great help for management in decision making:
- It starts with data collection in the preparation phase: both talents and reviewers are asked for in-depth preparation in the form of several questionnaires on current performance, career values and attitudes, energy-stress balance, learning agility and cognitive skills. Next, all these data are combined into metrics on performance, potential, aspiration and talent risks. These metrics are presented to all participants of the talent review meeting allowing managers but certainly also HR to prepare the meeting in-depth. As a result, I knew exactly what to focus on for every talent in the talent review meeting.
- Concerning the detection of potential, analytics help us to rule out bias during the talent review meeting. I remember that before I used the Talent Review Profiler, I used to get caught up in long discussions about where to position a given talent in the 9-box and what to finally decide. It is clear to me there were all kinds of biases affecting the quality of our decisions. Conscious bias could take the form of managers pushing people forward because they perform well and would be motivated by a leadership program without really having potential. On the other hand, some managers did not like to acknowledge potential of their star players because they were afraid that they would lose them. And most did not like to admit underperformance in their team, because they were reluctant to take corrective actions, or they wanted to nurture the image of a top team. Not to speak of all the unconscious biases like the halo effect making us believe that someone who performers well automatically has the potential for more complex roles. As HR business partners we put a lot of effort in challenging these biases but not always with great success. We lacked objective data to support our ideas. With the Talent Review Profiler, I’ve repositioned myself from a business partner who attempted to challenge managers on their biases by asking questions into a true talent advisor: armed with evidence-based data I can show managers which talents have leadership-, innovative- or operational potential, and how to develop it.
- Gone are the days of making assumptions about aspirations of any given talent. Even if managers have had a career discussion with the talents on their team, their view is blurry: talents don’t always have the vocabulary to describe what it is they want from their career, also they might want certain things for the wrong reasons, and some talents are quite simply lost when it comes to outlining a career vision. Again, I can play my part as a talent advisor, as the Talent Review Profiler lays it all out for me. I know who to challenge on what exactly and I can advise for career counselling for those who really need it.
- Another great way to show my added value as a talent advisor is in talent risk assessment. The Talent Review Profiler forecasts risk of leaving and tells you why a talent might be contemplating to leave you. It shows you who is getting bored and is ready for more, who is struggling with energy issues, who is a risk factor for the team by being high maintenance or showing counterproductive work behaviour. Isn’t this exactly what the business wants: pointing out a risk before it becomes a mayor problem?
- Last step is implementing the actions and follow-up. As the Talent Review Profiler involves the talents in the review form the beginning, and provides custom reports for every talent, it becomes much easier to put the responsibility where it should be: in the hands of the talents. The clear talent reports give them levers and tools to take the necessary steps to get what they need to stay happy at work. Also in this phase I’ve changed my position: from being the person asking questions about their career aspirations, I’ve become a talent advisor, showing individual talents exactly why they experience tensions in the career and what they can do about it. We manage to build personal development plans that are much more to the point then we were able before.
All in all, I see the talent review as a key process in talent management offering the opportunity to HR to step up as a strategic HR business partner and talent advisor. Using Talent Review Profiler enables me to strengthen my role by offering objective data to challenge subjective opinions and moreover by entering into a meaningful coaching dialogue with people to support them in their career journey.
Take a look at the Talent Review Profiler and find out how talent forecasting can support your business.