Talent Review


What Is Talent Review?

A talent review is used to identify employees of the best quality and highest potential. The talent review process has become exceedingly popular for organizations of all sizes. However, the process only works if it’s executed well. This process can sometimes become quite complex when proper leadership is not present and definitions are vague.

We have compiled a list of best practices that can help your business conduct a successful talent review process.


Defining a Talent Review

A talent review takes place when the management team discusses the performance and potential of each employee. This helps the management team map the company’s talent profile and can help to plot potential promotional paths for employees. Having this information helps the company to make strategic talent decisions and identify talent gaps.

Are Talent Reviews the same as Performance Reviews?

The talent review process should not be confused with the performance review process. Performance reviews only assess employee performance. Talent reviews assess more than this and aim to get the bigger picture of the entire business.

In a talent review, business leaders assess employees throughout the entire company on both their performance and potential. This helps management to identify high-potential employees and talent gaps. The talent review process also facilitates important business growth discussions related to the performance and potential of the existing workforce, and where there might be a need to extend the talent pool to ensure future success.


Who should conduct a talent review?

The individual in charge of a talent review would depend on the structure of the managerial level and the size of the business. In some cases, senior managers can conduct a full talent review if the staff ratio is within reason.

When the group becomes too big for senior executives to handle on their own, it is not uncommon to involve directors and other managers in the process as well. To get an accurate view of an employee’s rating, a certain degree of visibility is needed, which executives will not have in a large company.


Best Practices for Effective Talent Reviews

There are some steps that can be taken to ensure that the talent review process at your business is efficient and effective.


Collaboration with other departments in the organization is key. There are not many departments in a business these days that work in isolation, and businesses generally function more efficiently with higher levels of collaboration. When departments work closely together, it is best to conduct talent reviews with this in mind. Different managers need to work together with other leaders to get a more accurate picture and better data assessing the performance of each employee in light of the bigger picture – including their future potential.

When it comes to talent management, it is beneficial to involve the right people who can conduct thoughtful and effective discussions about their employees. There needs to be a healthy degree of challenge between members of this review board, as bias in a talent review can be harmful to the process. Such a talent review enables management to see when an employee in one team can be a better fit for another team, which helps executives to build optimal teams that contribute the most to the company’s future performance.

Use the right software

A talent review process does not need to be an unnecessarily long and arduous process. There are tools that make data collection and reporting much easier. These tools can form part of your best practices for talent reviews.

Software can help to capture talent data efficiently while compiling a direct report and providing detailed and accurate employee ratings. Most of the software available works on a recognized rating scale and can provide an idea of whether an employee meets expectations, exceeds expectations, or is perhaps better suited to another position where they can perform better.

The use of such a tool makes it easier for business leaders to get involved with talent management because the process is less labor-intensive. More time can be devoted to analysis as opposed to data collection.


Conduct talent reviews throughout the businesses

It is important that talent reviews are not only conducted on top-tier management. Although it appears that this system helps in saving time, it will not provide an accurate picture of the talent that is available to the company. That being said, it is not essential to discuss each and every employee in the company, but positions at all levels must be considered.

When conducting a talent review that includes all levels in the company, it becomes easier to identify an employee’s potential for the future. Root talent decisions often involve promotion or restructuring, and in order to achieve the most favorable results, management needs to know who their most valuable employees are, and where these people will do best in the company.

Organizational growth can benefit from efficient management of employees’ performance, but more than that, when an employee feels that they are able to develop their strengths and build new talents they are more likely to stay with the company. Development opportunities can be highly engaging and positive for employees at all levels.

Benefit from employee potential

There are several different set ways that a talent review can be performed, but your company can also follow its own unique measures to establish employee potential. It is important to ensure that your method for evaluating an employee’s performance is not limiting, as this can result in inaccurate results.

Some of the elements included when managers evaluate talent are as follows:

  • Goal achievement
  • Growth since joining the business
  • Interpersonal strengths
  • KPI’s
  • Overall performance

Including these points in the evaluation and discussing them thoroughly during the talent review meeting can give the management team a good idea of the current position of the company. If additional information can be beneficial, it is best to establish criteria that need to be added to this roster in advance so that direct reports are clear, concise, and accurate.

Other important elements that might need to be considered are related to employee experiences. The employee’s work needs to be engaging, and they need to feel supported and be able to have meaningful interactions with coworkers and leaders. Look for reasons that employees might want to leave the organization. This can play a major role in the improvement of best practices as it will improve employee retention.

Keep Talent Reviews Flexible

Talent review meetings in most organizations provide insight into where the company is, and where it is going, which is highly advantageous. You can see where there might be talent gaps and which employees have shown proven leadership potential, who can best fill key positions in other areas, and who will become the best future leaders.

Flexibility is key, and the next talent review meeting should not be held unless it is necessary. They should not be an annual part of the performance management process unless it is necessary.


In Summary

When talent reviews are well-executed, they can be an important asset to a business. They can encourage collaboration, and identify top talent with the right skills for different positions in the business. If necessary they can form part of a performance improvement plan, but such a plan should not be based solely on talent reviews.

They help to gain a thorough and inclusive understanding of the current state of the business and the potential of employees at various levels. You can accurately identify and reward high performers and can ensure that those with potential in other areas of the business can reach high-performance levels in the future.

Improvements made from a talent review can improve employee retention, encourage talent development opportunities, and help to track employee performance.