Talent Planning

As a manager, talent planning will help you prepare for what's likely to be on the horizon in terms of business and staffing needs.

What is talent planning?

Talent planning is the process of anticipating new responsibilities and staffing needs and planning how to meet them by developing current employees. It can help you avoid the potentially timely, costly, and inherently uncertain process of meeting needs by hiring people from the outside. It also pays dividends in fostering a growth-oriented team.

Talent planning should be done in conjunction with performance development and career development and with input from your manager, your HR contact, and the employees on your team.

Why is it important to make time for talent planning?

Changes in staffing or team responsibilities often come with little notice. It can be taxing for a manager and the team to adapt, as such changes likely come with additional work and possibly the need to find and hire new staff. You can be well positioned to change course when necessary if you have already spent time thinking about future needs and developing a plan. Developing existing staff as part of your plan will be especially valuable. Existing staff have useful MIT relationships and knowledge of your team's work and culture. You can also tailor their development to specific needs and ways of operating.

How does talent planning work?

Anticipating future needs can be somewhat of a guessing game. It is most likely to be accurate if you seek input from others (your manager, local HR, and employees) and look to key factors in your environment (industry trends, departmental and MIT priorities, the nature of the job market). It's important to revisit your anticipated needs regularly — they will change as priorities, trends, and the job market evolve. Identifying people who might be able to take on anticipated new responsibilities or roles requires a genuine understanding of your employees (their strengths, development needs, interests, career goals, etc.) as well as a commitment to their growth and development.

What resources for talent planning are available to me?

The following worksheets will help you lay the groundwork for a talent plan:

You can draw from those worksheets to create your talent plan using this template.

Once you have a plan in place, it's important to follow through with performance development and career development efforts that are aimed at meeting your anticipated needs.

What if I still need help?

Looking for assistance with talent planning, performance development, and supporting the career development of team members? Support is available. The Talent and Career Development team within Human Resources offers programs, services, and resources to help you plan strategically, manage change, build bench strength, create an inclusive culture, and enhance team and organizational effectiveness. See how we can help.