Swimming in the Talent Pool

Swimming in the Talent Pool

Your company, like many companies, utilize the Talent Pool Evaluation Process to ensure that it has employees with the skills and capabilities required to execute its business strategies. This process may also be utilized to determine to which positions individuals will be assigned to execute reorganizations and to determine which employees will be outplaced to accomplish a downsizing.

Your company uses the 9-box grid to create a talent pool to facilitate the talent evaluation process. Members of the organization’s management team place individual employees in boxes based on their job performance and potential.

Performance is more objective than potential. Performance evaluations are based on how well you accomplished your performance objectives, your contributions to the performance of your organization or team, and/or how well you perform your day-to-day job responsibilities.

Potential is subjective. It is based on the management team’s perceptions and assumptions of and about you.

The management team for your organization recently went away from the office for their annual teambuilding meeting. Your peers and you know that the team usually conducts an evaluation of the organization’s talent pool during these teambuilding meetings. Your manager invites you to have lunch with her. You have a hunch that she will discuss your position in the organization’s talent pool. Your hunch is confirmed. Your manager informs you of your position in the organizational talent pool.

You are not satisfied with your position in the talent pool. You feel like a pawn in a chess game. You feel were positioned without your input.

The evaluation based on your performance track record is not an issue. You receive annual appraisals of your performance. Your dissatisfaction centers on differences between the management team’s perceptions and assumptions of your potential and your opinion of your potential. Why the difference?

Again, potential is based on perceptions and assumptions. Though subjective, you can influence perceptions and assumptions. Think about times when someone misunderstood what you wanted or communicated. A common response to the misunderstanding is:

You never told me what you wanted do?

When you clearly communicate your desires you set the lens through which others can see what you want them to see or perceive.

This brings us to Concept, Step 3 in the Personal Product Development Process.

In the Personal Product Development Process, individuals share a Target Position Description, their personal product concept. Your target position is the position to which aspire to advance in your company’s career ladders/lattices. When you share your target position description with your manager and others engaged in your organization’s talent pool evaluations, you set the lens through which perceptions and assumptions about your potential are formed. You clearly communicate what you want.

In addition to your target position, I suggest that you also share the following information to set the lens.

  • How assessments of your skills and strengths match the responsibilities of your target position.
  • Your plans to prepare yourself for the position. This should include training, earning certifications and degrees, and assignments to gain the required experience.
  • Your signature accomplishments, accomplishments that reflect your potential.

In terms of assignments, include projects and initiatives in addition to job positions, especially those with high visibility or strong strategic value. Sources of this information could be the project management office in the Information Technology function (IT) and the strategic planning function. I suggest the IT project management office because many of today’s key projects and initiatives have an IT component.

In terms of assignments, include projects and initiatives in addition to job positions, especially those with high visibility or strong strategic value. Sources of this information could be the project management office in the Information Technology function (IT) and the strategic planning function. I suggest the IT project management office because many of today’s key projects and initiatives have an IT component.

Include your signature accomplishments with companies for which you worked prior to your current employer. Members of the management team may not be aware of these accomplishments. Share what you accomplished while working in other organizations and business units within your current company. Do not assume that your management team is aware of these accomplishments. If they interviewed you for hiring in the company or your current organization, they may have forgotten.

I emphasize the importance of sharing your target position and related information with members of the talent pool evaluation team other than your manager. This can convert these individuals as your supporters as your manager presents his recommendation for your position in the organization’s talent pool. Thank them for the opportunity to share your plans with them.

I also suggest that you share your progress preparing yourself for your target position with members of management team to maintain their support of your positioning in the talent pool.

If you take these actions, you will influence your positioning in your organization’s talent pool, rather than being positioned.

Salmon set their course by swimming in the direction they desire. Flounders flow with the tide and go wherever the tide takes them. Would you rather be a salmon or a flounder?

Did this week’s article generate Aha Moments?    

Did the article provide ideas for addressing your career opportunities, challenges, and situations?

Are you taking advantage of company-sponsored personal development resources such as assessments, training, and career ladders/lattices?

Have you opened The Business of You?

I invite you to share your comments, experiences, and suggestions.

Your career is your most important economic asset.

Next week’s article will cover Prototype, the 4th step in the Personal Product Development Process.

Linwood Bailey is a career coach and the author of The Business of Me: Your Job … Your Career … Your Value. The Business of Me provides a career management and information resource designed for today’s business professional. Since 2008, Linwood has enabled business professionals to manage their most important economic asset—their careers. Linwood, the been there coach, provides innovative career management solutions derived from his 34 years of experience managing functions and people in multiple industries, regions, and corporate cultures.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply