Coach Your Clients Through a Talent Review to Get More Job Orders

Are you looking for ways to get more placement jobs? Your current and past clients might have unrealized job openings. You can help them realize their gaps by walking them through a talent review.

What is a talent review?

A talent review is a meeting where company leaders discuss employee performance and how employees fit into future positions. The leaders should determine during the meeting which positions are key, meaning operations would halt if someone doesn’t fill the position immediately. Meeting participants should consider if current talent can fill the positions.

The review also gives the leaders an opportunity to consider the company’s future growth. They can discover new positions that need to be filled to advance future business improvement.

A talent review is different than an employee performance review. During a performance review, managers discuss performance with an employee. But during a talent review, business leaders consider performance, potential, and the business’s future.

A talent review is something that a business does internally, but you can develop a program to help your clients to do it.

Why should recruiters offer talent review services?

While talent review services aren’t within the average scope of a recruiter’s job, offering them can help you gain more lucrative jobs sourcing candidates.

You can recommend that your clients do a talent review to discover employees with high potential and identify any employment gaps. You can walk your client through the review process. Your talent review services can bring in extra income. And if your client realizes they have unfilled positions, they can pay you to fill the position.

How to help your client with the talent review process

Encourage your client to do regular talent reviews. They can do a review multiple times per year, whenever there is a vacancy, or when the business wants to make changes. Regular review meetings will benefit both you and your client’s company.

Before the meeting

Meet with managers and other leaders to discuss talent review best practices. The talent review process will likely involve senior managers, HR representatives, and other key decision makers.

Tell the group what you need them to do before the talent review meeting. Everyone should come prepared.

Have managers fill out information about the people they manage. Give managers a standardized assessment with talent review questions so they review all employees equally. Explain to the group how to do candidate assessments. Have managers consider each employee’s performance, experience, skills, leadership qualities, growth, ability to learn, development needs, and fit within their current position.

You can have managers fill out a 9-box grid for each employee. The 9-box grid is a standard tool for talent reviews.

The x-axis of the grid measures an employee’s performance. The y-axis measures an employee’s potential. Managers should put each direct report on the grid. The grid can help the group visually see if an employee is a good fit for a new role.

Here’s what the 9-box grid looks like:

Under PerformanceEffective PerformanceOutstanding Performance
High PotentialBox 5
Employee is capable of a larger role but might need coaching and further development to improve performance.
Box 2
Employee does well in current position and is capable of doing more.
Box 1
Employee consistently performs well in multiple tasks. Employee has mastered their current position and is ready for more.
Medium PotentialBox 8
Employee shows some potential for a future role but must improve performance with some mentoring.
Box 6
Employee might need coaching to improve in several areas. Might be ready for some new tasks.
Box 3
Employee performs tasks with expertise, but might need to develop some skills.
Low PotentialBox 9
Employee might need a lower level position to succeed. Or, employee might not be a good fit for the company.
Box 7
Employee is consistent, but has low potential. Employee might need coaching or a different role.
Box 4
Employee is a high performer, but might have reached career potential. Employee can learn other skills to continue growth.

An employee in box one is most suited to fill a key position. An employee in box nine is the least qualified for advancing to a new position.

Create an agenda for the formal talent review meeting. You might distribute this in advance so everyone is prepared and knows the expectations for the talent management review process.

During the meeting

Your job is to facilitate the meeting. You might want to set some rules at the beginning of the meeting so everyone knows what to do and how to behave. You should also explain that the meeting is confidential. Confidentiality will prevent employees from learning the results. During the meeting, direct the conversation and ask questions.

Talk to the group about the difference between readiness and high potential identification. Some employees might be ready to fill a position right now. Others have the potential to fill a position in the future but need some nurturing or resources to become ready. Employees who have potential should not be discounted because they aren’t currently ready to fill a position.

The leaders should identify employees who have the potential to fill key positions. Have them think about the present and about employees who could fill positions in six months, one year, two years, or five years.

Ask the group to nominate candidates for key roles. You can have the group members fill out nomination forms, or they can discuss the nominations as a group. Remind them that nominations do not necessarily mean an employee will fill a position. A nomination simply means that an employee has the potential for a position in the future but might need training.

Have the group identify talent gaps. They should establish priorities for filling the gaps. Which ones are urgent? Which ones can wait? Record these gaps and the company’s priority for them. Follow up with your client later and offer your candidate search services.

Looking at an organizational map during the meeting might help the group. The managers can see exactly how the business is structured. The map might help the group see where there are gaps and where they need to make changes.

After the meeting

After the meeting is over, create a summary of results. Send the summary to everyone who was involved in the meeting.

In the summary, you might include action items for the group to do. It is not enough for the team to rank and nominate employees. The group needs to take action after the meeting. High potential employees must be trained and mentored. Ideally, the company should have a training program to foster employee growth.

Separate from the summary, follow up with how you can help the business. You will likely direct this to your contact at the business. Keep notes in your recruiting software about what positions the company might need to be filled and when it needs them. Set reminders to follow up on your client’s needs.

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