Resources How-to's Developing and implementing an effective talent management strategy plan


Developing and implementing an effective talent management strategy plan

Many HR groups struggle to formulate a talent management strategy that maps out their goals and priorities for the year and ties these to their organization's strategic plan and goals. The reasons why are varied, but without a talent management strategy and plan, the results are usually the same - the HR team is not seen as playing a strategic role in their organization, and talent management activities aren't given the organizational importance they should have.

Often the hardest part is getting started with the right framework for the strategy and plan. To help you, this article walks through the typical steps in a strategic planning process, so you can use them draft your own HR talent management strategy.

HR strategic talent management process

Step 1: identify organizational goals/priorities

What are your organization's strategic high-level goals or priorities? Are there any upcoming changes or new directions/initiatives for the organization? Start by listing each one of them.

Goal Description Timing

Step 2: identify organizational drivers and challenges

Identify and consider the key drivers and challenges that could impact your organization's ability to achieve its goals. Consider both internal and external challenges. These could include things like a highly competitive job market, new or changed legislation/regulations, results from an employee satisfaction survey, new technology, etc.

Drivers and challenges

Step 3: conduct a gap analysis

Compare where your organization is today with where it wants to be, and identify any gaps that it needs to address in order to achieve its goals. In identifying each gap, consider also the risk of not addressing the gap.

For example, if your organization has a goal to rank #1 in the industry for customer satisfaction, you need to identify your current customer satisfaction rating and the rating required to rank #1 in your industry, then identify the gap between these two. The risk of not improving customer satisfaction ratings by this degree could include a drop in market share or in sales.


Goal Gap Risk
Rank #1 in the industry for customer satisfaction Need to increase customer satisfaction rating by 7% points Drop in market share of 13%.
Drop in market position from #2 to #3
Decreased sales of .5 million

Step 4: define your HR priorities and goals

Based on the goals, challenges and gaps you identified in steps 1-3, identify HR goals for the coming year to support the organization in achieving its goals. You should typically identify 3-5 goals. Don't forget to make them SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic/relevant, time-bound) and link them to the applicable corporate goals.

When defining your measures of success, make sure you include ways to measure both the implementation and effectiveness. That is, was the initiative executed as planned, as well as did the initiative have the desired effect.


Title Coordinate training in customer service competencies for Support organization.
Description: Source training courses in customer focus, communication and analytical thinking for the support organization to help improve individual and overall ratings for these competencies.
Due date: Courses/activities must be identified by end of Q2. All courses/activities must be offered/conducted before end of Q4.
Measures of success:
  • Relevant training courses are sourced by end of Q2.
  • Courses are scheduled and held before end of Q4.
  • 90% of support staff complete the training by end of Q4.
Priority: High
Dependencies: Budget for training courses needs to be approved before end of Q1.
Resources: None other than regular HR staff.
Costs: Goal is to not exceed 00/ employee for training.
Corporate goal supported: Rank #1 in the industry for customer satisfaction

Step 5: inventory your talent management processes/functions

Next, do an inventory of your current HR talent management processes to determine if you need to make any changes to existing process or add new process to support your goals. Where gaps or needed changes are identified, put plans in place to address them.

We provide a great inventory list for you to start from in our Talent management strategy template.

Step 6: measure the results and communicate successes/contributions

With your HR goals and priorities in place, it's important to assess and measure their effectiveness and communicate the results to the organization. As you work on achieving each goal, make sure you track relevant metrics so you can report on progress and success, or take corrective action as needed. This is important to help you determine if the goal or associated initiative was effective and is worth retaining.

Again, make sure you measure both the implementation and effectiveness. That is, was the initiative executed as planned, as well as did the initiative have the desired effect. For each HR goal, define the methods you will use to communicate results:


HR goal Results Audience Method Frequency
Coordinate training in customer service competencies for Support organization
  • Relevant course identification
  • Schedule and conduct courses before the end of Q4
  • Customer support staff completion of required courses on customer service competencies
All managers in customer support, VP of operations Email
  • Monthly update
  • Monthly communication re course schedule/ availability
  • Quarterly update of course completion rates by staff

Next steps

Establishing a talent management strategy, and executing it, is not an easy task, but definitely one that will deliver benefits to both HR and your organization overall. We're pleased to provide you with a Talent management strategy template to work from.

With talent management best practices in place, you can build a world-class workforce that is aligned, inspired and delivering exceptional results - and most importantly, helping your organization achieve its strategic goals.

Of course it helps to have the right tools in place...

Learn more about how the award-winning Halogen TalentSpace™ suite can help you be brilliant at talent management.

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