How to identify and develop company talents?

The greatest value of the company is people. Therefore, it is worth investing in the development of their potential, remembering that this can translate into an increase in efficiency and success of the company. Identifying talents, properly managing their development and maintaining them in the company’s ranks are among the most important duties of HR directors.

The success of the company is influenced by many factors. These are not only macroeconomic conditions and the market situation, but also the skills of employees. In highly developed societies, modern technologies are becoming increasingly important. The main value of modern business is therefore innovation, the source of which is always man. Most often, however, he needs external stimuli to develop his wings.

Some people have certain above-average talents called talent. These can be both innate traits and acquired competences. They also mean the ability to easily assimilate messages and apply them in practice. An employee who can be described as a talent is a person who contributes to the implementation of the organization’s strategy in an above-average way and is distinguished by high potential for further development.

Certain character traits favor the ability to turn natural talents into success. This is served, among other things, by a sense of agency and responsibility for one’s fate and a focus on self-realization. Not without significance is also the ability to self-reflect, distance from oneself and the environment, as well as adequate self-esteem and resistance to stress. Talent should be characterized by creativity, energy and passion, which strongly motivates to achieve goals and cross borders.

Unfortunately, not everyone has innate abilities and above-average skills. Most people succeed on the long road of self-development. On this path, the employer can support them, as long as they skillfully recognize the employee’s potential and give him opportunities to use it.

The measure of an employee’s value is the results currently achieved by him and his potential, which is a harbinger of further development. Talent is a rare good, and not everyone can be eminently gifted. At the same time, however, everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, and assuming the right selection of people to carry out the tasks entrusted to them, it may turn out that all employees of the company are talents in their area. Therefore, it is worth thoroughly analyzing the skills of employees at various levels and investing in the development of competences not only of a few selected „stars”, but also of a larger part of the crew. According to various studies, more and more Polish employers use the latter approach – treating all employees as a pool of potential talents, assuming the right selection of people for specific tasks and directing the development of their competences.

The main methods of identifying potential talents are recommendations of superiors, periodic assessment of competences and periodic assessment of achieved results. When creating profiles of high-potential employees, several key competences should be taken into account, such as: communication skills, creativity and innovation, action orientation, the ability to make quick and accurate decisions, customer orientation, interpersonal skills, the ability to cooperate in a team and skills and expertise. For example, using a 360-degree assessment, soft skills are examined, which can be analyzed both from the point of view of superiors of various levels, as well as co-workers or subordinates, as well as customers and recipients of services. Such an extensive assessment system requires a lot of time and effort of many people, which increases costs. However, the advantage of undertaking such a comprehensive assessment of employees is to obtain extensive information about their behavior in various contexts. This gives you a chance to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of the assessed employee and areas requiring further development.

Talent development programs are a way to increase the skills and predispositions of employees. Their goal is to improve the efficiency of the entire company and secure its future in terms of staffing needs. Such programmes promote active learning, knowledge sharing and open communication. Thanks to this, the desired attitudes of employees are shaped, who gain awareness of their own strengths and weaknesses as well as development needs. This can translate into an increase in loyalty and commitment to the company that has invested in their personal development.

Some companies refrain from investing in development programs due to the relatively high costs of their implementation and the need to find an additional budget. A common concern among employers is the risk of competition buying additionally invested employees. The need to select a certain group of people may cause dissatisfaction among staff members who have not been qualified for the program. However, this is not a significant problem, as long as the criteria for selecting talent are transparent and respected.

The expenditures necessary for the implementation of the programme are not high compared to the benefits of this investment. Much more than taking care of the development of your own staff can cost the tactic of buying „stars” from the competition. The supply of „fresh blood” is sometimes valuable and desirable, but you should not focus only on external „hunting”. Such a strategy can demotivate current employees, cause the loss of undiscovered talent and negatively affect the company’s image. Talent raised in the company is also more loyal and committed. At the same time, they know the specifics of the organization, and as research shows, acquiring a successful person elsewhere does not guarantee that their results will be as high in a new company.

An individual talent development program should include a detailed diagnosis of the employee’s potential and assigning him to carry out specific tasks and projects. Development activities should be tailored to the personal needs and requirements of the position. It is also worth providing the employee with personal advice, e.g. in the field of resolving conflicts and professional problems, personal development or achieving a balance between private and professional life

The purpose of investing in talent development is to increase the efficiency of the organization. However, the money spent will not pay off if the employee loses enthusiasm for work or decides to leave for another company. To prevent this, it is necessary to regularly examine the satisfaction of employees and maintain a high level of their motivation. This can be achieved through a properly selected benefits package, taking into account an attractive fixed wage, but also additional short- and long-term incentives. Long-term incentives and additional benefits that give a sense of security for the future are of particular importance for the maintenance of talent. A good solution is to allow the employee to individually choose a package of additional benefits tailored to his needs.

Actions taken by companies to retain talent are not only attractive remuneration systems. Companies also protect themselves by introducing non-competition contractual provisions, as well as running loyalty programs and concluding agreements on the employee’s reimbursement of costs incurred by the employer for his training and development – in the event of leaving the company before the set date.

An employee may lose motivation if he does not see further ways of development for himself. Therefore, care should be taken to present him with a clear path of further promotion. In order to protect yourself from the escape of talents to other companies, it is worth monitoring the activities of competitors on the labor market on an ongoing basis and analyzing the reasons for the departure of employees from the ranks of the organization.


Region Gdański NSZZ „Solidarność”

Projekt otrzymał dofinansowanie z Norwegii poprzez Fundusze Norweskie 2014-2021, w ramach programu „Dialog społeczny – godna praca”.

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