Developing a Talent Strategy

Taking a strategic approach to talent will enable you to align your talent efforts to your organisational objectives. It will make a significant difference in influencing decision makers not only of the importance of talent management to the business but will also help to make talent management a strategic priority.


Aligning your talent strategy to business objectives





In the context of the NHS, this alignment is important for the delivery of excellence in NHS services, having a positive impact on patient care as well as the relevant development of our people and effective succession planning for the future (See Image 1).


Developing a talent strategy that is aligned to the organisational strategy requires a deep understanding of the context of the organisation, what it wants to achieve and the possible challenges the organisation may face. All of which have implications for talent management and your talent strategy must consider these and be flexible enough to respond to external forces.






Image 1

Source: Talent and Talent Management Insights: Insight 1. Defining Talent and Talent Management


Use the Talent Strategy Tool to follow 5 steps that will help you to align your talent strategy to the organisational strategy.

Download the Talent Strategy Tool


Understanding your critical talent

Talent management should consider the whole of the workforce, particularly in light of inclusive talent management, investing in developing the potential of all staff. While all individuals should be developed, you may choose to focus on differentiating and understanding the critical talent that makes your organisation effective.

It may be that you choose to focus on senior roles or critical roles in an organisation or even those critical to the wider system.  It could also be that you choose to focus on a subset of individuals in a function such as nurses, finance director or individuals with the ambition, skills and capability to hold or grow into critical roles. Whichever focus you take, identifying your organisation’s critical talent is one of the most crucial aspects of developing your talent strategy.

Talent segmentation is an approach that helps you make the choice about who to focus on and create definitions for these different segments of talent, which enable identification. It is then possible to take a personalised approach to creating your Employee Value Proposition (EVP). This enables organisations to tailor their employment offer to different populations of talent, improving success through attraction and retention of this critical talent. To find out more about EVPs, go to the Attracting Talent section.

Talent segmentation helps you to look beyond high-potential future leaders as talent into functions and categories of people who are core or critical to the organisation. Understanding these talent sources enables you to focus your talent management processes on identifying, attracting and retaining this talent.

Use the Talent Segmentation Tool to develop your personalised talent segmentation wheel.

Download the Talent Segmentation Tool


Demonstrating the value of talent management

While it’s important to create a talent approach that is aligned to your business objectives, this will only deliver value if it ‘sticks’. One of the most effective ways of embedding talent management and ensuring its success is to engage and gain commitment across the entire organisation.  

To achieve this:

  1. Align your talent strategy, to your organisation strategy and ensure it reflects your organisations culture
  2. Have a clear definition of talent that the organisation can buy into
  3. Be transparent about talent management 
  4. Create simple but robust processes
  5. Build the capability of your people managers and HR teams
  6. Take action to develop, deploy and retain your talent


Your talent management approach will only deliver value if the component parts are individually strong. Each component needs to be aligned and connected in the talent management cycle, as well as with other HR activities. The talent strategy is therefore about the direction of travel, the stops along the way and a map of how to get there (See Image 2).


                                                         Image 2


The best way to demonstrate the value delivered by your talent management approach is to prove it. Comprehensive talent metrics can be used to provide talent insights and predict possible futures by capturing a multitude of workforce data that show the direct outcomes of talent management and help improve talent capability. As part of your talent strategy it is therefore essential to consider tracking talent and the development of measures of effectiveness of your talent management initiative. 


The numerous sources of data that can be captured at different stages of the talent management cycle will help demonstrate the value of your talent management and get buy-in (See Image 3).




Image 3


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