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Talent Deployment

4.1 What does deployment mean?

Talent deployment is the process of drawing on identified talent to fill critical workforce gaps. This may include placement of identified talent in short-term roles such as critical projects/taskforces or selection for long-term positions. Successful deployment is the return on investment in a talent management system.

It is important to note that identification within the talent management system is not a guarantee of promotion. Rather the aim is to give the agency a pool of talented individuals with the skills, abilities and experience for critical future business roles. A merit-based selection system then determines the best person for the role.

4.2 The role of succession planning

Succession planning involves understanding the critical roles within an agency, the current occupants of those roles and their likely career moves, and the pool of available talent who could fill the roles in the future.

Succession planning works alongside the talent management system and potential successors from the talent pool are considered in terms of:

  • Skills and experience (what does the high potential individual offer this role?)
  • Aspirations (how does this role fit with their aspirations?)
  • Required development (what development might they need to fill this role successfully?)
  • Timing (are they an immediate successor, or do they need time before consideration?)
  • Risks (what would be the risk of putting this person in the role?).

Succession plans should be kept confidential and only senior staff should be party to the discussion and information.

4.3 Supporting deployment to new roles

Setting up the high potential employee for success in taking on a new role is important. Even when a talented employee has been developed and positioned for a more complex or senior role, they will still experience a period of transition. This will involve quickly getting across a broader scope of work and responsibility. It will also involve letting go of their previous role and associated high level of competence in that role.

Consideration should be given to the benefit of a mentor or coach to support in this transition period.

For some talented individuals, successful deployment into a more senior role may fully realise their potential. As such, they may not continue to be actively considered in talent management processes. For others, there may still be room for development and growth for roles of even greater complexity in the future. It is important to continue monitoring and tracking these individuals as part of talent processes.