Keys for talent planning

Tip Sheet

A study from Vistage Research and the National Center for the Middle Market reveals that talent planning plays a critical role in the growth and performance of companies in the middle market.

The Vistage-NCMM study, conducted in October 2016, surveyed more than 400 C-level executives from middle-market companies who are actively engaged in attracting and retaining talent for their organizations.

Key takeaways from the survey:

1. Talent planning is a powerful business driver.

The fastest-growing, best-performing middle-market companies place more importance on talent planning than their slower growing peers.

2. The size and structure of an organization has a significant impact on how talent planning is conducted.

As firms grow, they tend to put greater emphasis on talent planning and to adopt more formal talent planning processes.

3. There is room for improvement in the talent planning process.

Many middle-market leaders gave their companies less-than-optimal ratings on their current talent planning programs. The most common weaknesses reported were succession planning, identifying skills gaps and having processes in place for identifying/developing high-potential employees.

4. The single most important thing companies lack is a systematic framework for talent planning.

The study found a clear correlation between process formalization and how well companies perform at talent planning. The survey also found that the fastest-growing, best-performing middle-market firms are more likely to have a defined process and to coordinate multiple talent planning activities.

5. Successful talent planning involves four core elements.

  • Aligning talent strategy with corporate strategy
  • Building sufficient processes to ensure systematic talent planning efforts
  • Involving leadership in the process, as opposed to handing off to human resources
  • Engaging employees in talent planning and ensuring they recognize the value of the process

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