8 Key Components To Talent Management

Megan Effertz
December 29, 2020

You’ve hired people, you’ve got teams, business is growing. Now it’s time to create a formal Talent Management program for your business to retain employees and get the most engagement and productivity from them.

Talent Management Programs

Good talent management is continuous and focuses on getting the most ROI from employees from day one. To get the most out of employees, you need to have a plan to recruit them, onboard them as smoothly as possible so they hit the ground running, show them a career path so they work hard and want to stay with the company, and reward them so they continue to work hard and want to stay.

You can certainly have employees and run a business without a talent management program but with one you will improve productivity and reduce turnover and training expenses, saving your business a lot of money. In fact, according to Gallup, “The cost of replacing an individual employee can range from one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary — and that’s a conservative estimate.” Replacing a $50,000 employee could cost your business $25,000. Imagine the productivity gains if you invested that much into a Talent Management program.

What’s in a Talent Management Program?

There are 8 key components to Talent Management programs. They include:

  • Workforce Planning
  • Attraction and Awareness
  • Recruitment
  • Onboarding
  • Training & Development
  • Performance Management
  • Reward & Retention
  • Succession Planning

Workforce Planning

Workforce Planning is key to understand what your business talent needs are now and what they are projected to be in the future. It is good to check in at least annually and review your organizational structure, if not more frequently if you are growing rapidly.

You should look at your organizational chart and review if you have:

  • The right structure
  • The right leaders
  • Enough resources or too many
  • Where you have gaps or bottle necks in workflow
  • If anyone is retiring in the near future
  • If anyone is at risk of leaving (by choice or for performance)

Determine where you have a need to hire, promote, or train and create an action plan of how you will fill these needs.

Attraction and Awareness

Once you understand what your talent needs are you need to create a plan on how to make them aware of your company and attract them to apply.

If you have a constant need for a particular type of worker you will want to spend more time on this part of your plan to create a pipeline of candidates that want to work for your company. For example, if you need production workers or seasonal workers that tend to have a high turnover rate or that you need to scale up for projects.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where do these people tend to look for jobs? Referrals, job boards, newspapers, staffing companies, etc?
  • Are they on social media? If so, what platforms?
  • What means the most to them? Pay, culture, location, type of work?


Once you understand where your potential new employees are looking for a job you can start your recruitment planning. There are a lot of steps in the recruitment process.

  • Budget – You will want to create a budget for recruitment based on number of employees you need to hire and type of role you are hiring. You also need to determine the salary range for the role.
  • Job Ads – Create a job ad that is short, attention grabbing, and reflects your culture.
  • Job Descriptions – You should also create a job description to share with prospective employees so they know what they would be signing up to do.
  • Interviewing – You need to determine how many rounds of interviews you will do with candidates and who will be interviewing. Make sure everyone is on the same page for what skill set and values you are hiring. This will make the decision process easier.
  • Job Offer – There are many requirements determined by individual states on what needs to be a in a job offer. Make sure you know what these are and create a template you can use for all hires.
  • Background Check – Determine if you will conduct a background check for the role. Let the candidate know up front this is a condition of the job and what it will include. There are a number of companies that have a variety of options from drug screening, to criminal history, to credit reporting. What does the role require?
  • Communication – Throughout the process you want to make sure to connect with all candidates and let them know where they stand in the process. Even if you decide not to move forward with the candidate, let them know. They have put a lot of work into the process to and deserve the courtesy. Plus, if you don’t hire them now, you may want to in the future so you don’t want to leave a bad impression with them if you don’t select them this time.


Onboarding is just as critical as the recruitment process. Be mindful about it. Your candidate said yes, but chances are they were interviewing with other companies as well. Don’t screw it up by not communicating with them before they start or not being ready when they do. I’ve worked at plenty of companies where a new hire shows up and they don’t have a computer ready for them. That leaves a bad impression with the employee and it’s a waste of your company’s resources.

Just like every other phase of your talent management program – have a plan.

  • Who are they reporting to and where are they sitting?
  • Does the team know they are coming?
  • What equipment, training, certifications do they need to work?
  • What does their first week look like? Create a flexible schedule so they can meet the people they need to, get the training they need, and have some quiet time to absorb all of the new info they are getting that week.
  • Consider sending them a welcome note with a draft agenda for their week and what to expect. Include some culture norms like where to park, what to wear, and if they should bring a lunch or not. The more you can prepare them the better it’ll be for everyone.

Training & Development

Ok, your new employee has started and they didn’t quit after their first 90 days. Now what? You’ve got a feel for them, you know what is working and what isn’t. Is there training they need? If so, map out when and how they will get it. If not, start having the conversation about what they do want to learn so they know they have opportunity to grow and learn with your company.

Performance Management

Your employee has been with you for awhile now. Do they know how they are doing? Most companies do a performance review annually, but companies that are really good give performance feedback on a continuous basis. Feedback is especially important in the moment. Good or bad, if you can stop and give feedback in the moment or very soon after, that is the most impactful time for a manager and an employee to build trust and make adjustments as needed. Holding that feedback until your next 1:1 or even a review losings it impact and delays the chance for productivity improvement.

Reward & Retention

  • Conduct salary reviews annually
  • Create rewards and bonuses that are specific and meaningful to the employee – everyone appreciates something different

Succession Planning

  • Who are your key or critical employees? You need a plan to replace them quickly if they ever leave – expected or not.
  • Who’s going to take your key employees place if they leave? – You should have these people identified and be actively working with them to train or shadow to develop the skill set over time to take on additional responsibilities.
  • If you don’t have an employee that can take over, you need a plan b on how you will cover that key employee’s responsibilities until you can recruit someone to take over.
  • Networking is key to have a potential employees you can tap in the future.






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