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Talent Management Today—What Organizations Are Doing Well and What Needs To Improve

Investing in nurturing, developing, and optimizing internal talent pools offers significant benefits for both an organization and its workforce. It enables succession planning, identifies high-potential employees, and facilitates career mobility.

We surveyed global organizations¹ about their Talent Management strategy to see what they are doing well and what needs to improve.

Talent Development is Increasing in Importance

On average 36% of HR budgets are allocated to talent management and this is increasing, indicating a collective commitment to talent development and management as a strategic priority. This deliberate investment can provide a rapid solution for bridging critical skills gaps. Simultaneously, it ensures the establishment of a robust succession plan for future leaders, safeguarding the organization’s success and prosperity.

However, with financial pressure being felt within all departments within organizations today, what are organizations doing well and what areas can they improve?

What Are Organizations Doing Well?

  • Assessments Are Widely Used to Manage Talent
    Over 80% of our respondents actively use assessments for talent management, highlighting the importance of applying accurate, objective data to make informed decisions.
  • Prioritizing Leaders and High-Potentials
    Organizations are prioritizing roles that have the most impact, with Leadership Development being the top priority for talent management, followed by High-Potential Identification and Career Development.
  • Investing in Talent Management
    Most organizations (83%) plan to invest in talent development, highlighting the strategic importance that this has in future success and in retaining key employees.

What Can Organizations Do Better?

  • Internal Mobility Opportunities
    Opportunities for internal mobility exist at various organizational levels, but most opportunities exist at the individual contributor level (27%) and at the first-line manager level (27%). It is critical that talent can see a pathway to senior positions if they are to remain engaged and motivated to stay within the business.
  • Talent Identification Lacks Objectivity
    Internal selection and promotion decisions heavily rely on subjective input (87%) and past performance (78%), indicating the opportunity to realize the value of more objective inputs, like assessments.
  • Identifying High-Potential Employees is Still a Challenge
    Despite the use of assessments to identify high-potential employees (55%), satisfaction levels with how they are defined and identified within organizations remain under 50%. Having effective high potential programs based on scientifically backed data can provide huge benefits.
  • Effective Use of Talent Data Still Has Many Barriers
    Organizations need to be aware of any barriers to data use and have a plan to overcome them—an integrated talent system can offer a big step in the right direction.

Managing talent is no easy task and these are just some of areas organizations must consider to develop an effective talent management strategy. By working strategically with their HR teams and the business as a whole, they can maximize employee potential and enabling them to thrive in their roles.

See more insights from our survey to over 1,600 HR Professionals across a range of topics including the use of talent assessment tools and talent analytics, how organizations approach DEI and neurodiversity, and the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI).



¹Global Talent Trends, SHL, 2024

headshot mckenzie specht


McKenzie Specht, M.A.

McKenzie Specht is a Scientist at SHL and has been with the organization since May 2022. McKenzie is an active contributor to SHL’s Neurodiversity Research Program, which is dedicated to researching how the personnel selection process may be uniquely different for a neurodivergent candidate than that of someone who is neurotypical. This research aims to inform best practices for employee selection to create a more fair and inclusive experience. McKenzie received her M.A. in IO Psychology from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

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