Steps for Determining a Talent Management Strategy

Date: March 02, 2021
By: Rebecca Murray

Woman in meeting smiling

In my previous blog entry, "What is Talent Management and Why is it Essential," I discussed what SAP Talent Management is and why it's important for an organization. In this follow-up, I will review the steps for determining a Talent Management strategy.


A Talent Management Strategy

A Talent Management Strategy is a plan for implementing and utilizing Talent Management processes. This strategy should help us recruit good talent, grow and develop existing employees, and retain them in our organization. It will also ensure that our key positions are planned for and that we don’t face a shortage of skilled employees.

Every organization should have or work towards a Talent Management Strategy. Employees are most organization’s greatest, largest, and most expensive asset. It then follows that it is logical to have a plan in place for interacting with employees, growing and developing them, and retaining them in your organization.

A formalized strategy means you have thought out all business needs and have a plan or plans in place to manage your employee and their engagement. It means that you are not leaving things to chance or haphazardly implementing siloed processes without a chance to capture long-term benefits. In order for this strategy to be successful it must be communicated out to employees. This will help foster engagement, convey a sense of employee value, and let them know that there is the possibility for growth and development at your organization (this helps with retention!).

SAP SuccessFactors Talent Management


There are six steps to consider when determining a Talent Management strategy. Let’s review each one.

1. Be proactive.

Begin by acknowledging that there is an opportunity for improvement. Take stock of current talent processes, if any. Catalog them for later evaluation. We may keep, revamp or augment, or replace some existing processes.

2. Get leadership buy-in.

For a Talent Strategy to be successful, senior leadership must be on-board and championing your efforts. Employees and Managers must see their involvement and support to know that these initiatives should be supported.

3. Determine business needs and goals.

Try and align business needs and goals with your corporate strategy. This will help with leadership buy-in, above, and will make sure that you’re working towards something beneficial to your organization.

  • Example: 27% of our current workforce is estimated to retire in 3-6 years.
  • Example: We want to be the top distributor of widgets in North America.

4. Identify any roadblocks that may present themselves.

Roadblocks are certainly a reality with any initiative. The three most common culprits following by some other common roadblocks are:

  • Time, resources, and budget.
  • Lack of leadership support.
  • A required shift in corporate culture – change management exercises.
    • Adjusting how things are currently done.
    • Shifting focus to be more employee/team based.
  • Competing initiatives.
    • For your team, the leadership team, your employee base.
  • A lack of supporting technology or infrastructure.

5. Plan and prioritize your efforts. Everything cannot be done at once.

Initiatives take time to develop and often have a cost to implement. Too many new processes in a short period of time reduces the likelihood of successful adoption across the board. It can sometimes be a weighing game. You must evaluate immediate needs vs immediate wins. They are not always the same.

Create a short-term and a long-term roadmap.

  • Given our current resources and budget, what can we get done in the immediate future (6 months)?
  • Given our planned resources and budget, what can we accomplish in 1-3 years?
  • Given our strategically focused resources and budget, where can we be in 3-5 years? 

6. Get to work – implement change!

The implementation of a Talent Management Strategy process should be an iterative one. Begin by setting an initiative and then begin the implementation. Make sure to see it through to completion. There should also be periodic evaluations and adjustments when business needs and goals change. Adjustments may need to be made to accommodate business changes, newly identified needs, etc. Adjustments may also be needed to account for changes in time, resources, budget, and identified needs. Repeat the process as often as needed.

Thank you for reading.


About the Author

Rebecca MurrayManaging Partner and SAP SuccessFactors Expert, Illumiti HCM 

Rebecca MurrayRebecca is an experienced Human Experience Management (HXM) consultant who helps clients across the globe implement sustainable global workforce development strategies. As a partner at Illumiti HCM, she specializes in the design and integration of HRIS and talent management solutions to help companies develop, optimize, and maintain high-performing workforces. Combining her specialized knowledge with her love for teaching and learning, Rebecca speaks widely on her experience with global HRIS implementations at conferences and trade shows around the world and teaches Employee Central Classes at the SAP Academy. 

About the Author

Rebecca Murray

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