How to Assess the Talent in Your Organization

Any Human Resources professional worth their salt knows that the business world is full of CEOs who publicly tout the importance of a talented, innovative workforce but are primarily focused on boosting the bottom line.

The state of the modern workplace is anything but stable, meaning identifying and developing the right talent is becoming increasingly critical to long-term business success.

We’ve listed some of the key things HR should consider when assessing the talent within their organization:

Bring in the Right Talent

Group of young professionals in a casual meeting, with one person standing and presenting, while others listen and take notes.One way to keep tabs on talent is to improve the hiring process—making clear how company goals align with personal ones from the get go.

Many organizations make the mistake of developing more senior talent, rather than investing more heavily in new hires from the start when talent is raw and more malleable.

How to Establish Your Definition of a High-Potential Employee

The old-guard HR methods were built around finding talent based on factors like where a potential hire went to school and what grades they earned. But more and more, these older notions are getting phased out. These days, there are other metrics, such as skills testing and cognitive assessments, that may better predict an employee’s chances of success within the organization. These are some traits to scan for:

  • Spot Influencers—Take the influence phenomenon, for instance. Finding your “inter-office influencers” can improve company goals. These people make friends easily at work and can help bolster the organization against pushback regarding organizational changes.
  • Well-Connected Employees—Employees who know their way around a networking function are incredible assets. These people have the social know-how to get around bureaucratic issues, recruit other talent and the potential to contribute to organizational growth on the large scale.
  • Visible Leadership—Obvious, sure. Good leaders possess an ability to look at the big picture, connect with others and take charge. Keep in mind the best leaders aren’t necessarily going to be your top sales person or the best web developer—more so someone who knows how to tap into others’ talents  and get results.
  • Personality—It’s hard to argue with years of scientific data. Assessing personality can help you uncover latent leadership potential before it becomes apparent.
  • Commitment—We’re not advocating a push toward the “first one in last one out” culture in the workplace; however, you should be aware of the people who always show up, are ready to learn, collaborate, and take on new challenges.
  • Transparency—When assessing talent, being open about organization goals has some serious benefits. Employees know what they’re responsible for, making it easier to meet and exceed the benchmarks put into place by leadership.

A few things to think about:

  • Who gets access to opportunities?
  • Which people are the most successful and why?
  • What can you do to uplift those who stand out from the pack and improve the performance of those who struggle?
  • Do you intend to notify employees of their progress or lack thereof?
  • Expected Leadership and Talent Gaps—What areas need a boost right now, and what do you expect to need over the next few years?

This could mean more tech-related competencies, a larger, more focused sales force, and so on.

Communication makes things a whole lot easier. While we all want to be gifted a dream staff that just knows what to do, even the smartest, most eager employees aren’t mind readers. Talent needs guidance.

It’s on HR teams to set goals, schedule reviews, and keep employees updated on strengths and ultimately, empower the next generation of leaders. Want to learn more about attracting and keeping the very best talent on hand? Check out KnowledgeCity’s courses on HR Management or Organizational Behavior and learn how you can attract, retain and grow your talent pool.

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