Click here to skip navigation
An official website of the United States Government.
Skip Navigation

In This Section

Human Capital Management Talent Management

 

Overview

Talent Management exists to ensure that organizations get the right people with the right skills into the right position at the right time so an agency can accomplish its mission. Locating, recruiting, hiring, and developing the best talent is crucial, not just to support agency strategic planning, but to contribute to a thriving, sustained Performance Culture in the Federal workforce.

Talent Management Definition

A system that promotes a high-performing workforce, identifies and closes skills gaps, and implements and maintains programs to attract, acquire, develop, promote, and retain quality and diverse talent.

Standards

The standards for the Talent Management System require an agency to—

  1. Plan for and manage current and future workforce needs;
  2. Design, develop, and implement proven strategies and techniques and practices to attract, hire, develop, and retain talent; and
  3. Make progress toward closing any knowledge, skill, and competency gaps throughout the agency.

Outcomes

Ready workforce
The workforce is positioned to address and accomplish evolving priorities and objectives based on anticipated and un-anticipated events.
Employee investment
The agency invests in its employees through formal and informal learning and development related activities to close competency gaps and enhance mission related outcomes.
Efficient operation
The workforce is aligned, positioned, and trained to provide efficient and effective services to the agency's internal and external stakeholders.
Increased retention
Retention strategies create an environment where employees understand and are committed to the mission of the organization and empowered to make a difference.
Increased customer satisfaction
Learning and development activities demonstrate enhancements in program management and service delivery yielding increases in customer satisfaction.
Trusted labor/management relationship
Labor and Management partner to ensure the workforce receives the tools, resources, and training to accomplish the mission of the agency.

Strategic View — Senior Leadership

Cube PuzzleTalent Management should be woven into and throughout all strategic and business plans. It is supported by Human Resources, not owned by Human Resources. The presence of an integrated strategy and strategic partnerships throughout the Agency is the key to talent management.

What Does This Mean To You As A Senior Leader?

The agency's talent management strategy is an integral part of the agency's business strategy, which supports the strategic plans and priority goals.

You must think beyond attracting talent. Your talent management strategy must include succession planning, assessments, development, retention, and knowledge sharing. These functional processes must be planned and executed as part of an integrated talent management strategy. Another important issue is how will you create a more flexible and agile organization that responds and adapts to change.


Actions/Decisions For Senior Leaders

Three arrows depicting a cycleIs my workforce performing optimally? Are we achieving goals and objectives? If not, why? Can we attribute organizational performance to attrition and/or retirements? Does my agency have an overarching workforce strategy?

How can I utilize the talent I have to gain efficiencies of operation?

How can I support talent mobility, the ability to move employees within an organization across functions and roles, across lines of business?

How is employee morale overall at the agency and within my organization? Can we sustain and enhance it through the demands of the next 24 months? How can I mitigate any negative impact?

Are we continuously monitoring employee development and progress to ensure that our workforce is able to address future changes?

Are we continuously keeping abreast of current workforce talent management strategies that we can integrate into our business processes in light of fiscal restraints (e.g., crowdsourcing, hiring recent graduates using Student Pathways, or individuals with disabilities using the Schedule A hiring authority, and Veterans)?

What do the retirement and turnover trends reveal? How can we leverage this information to build a comprehensive process to transfer knowledge from experts to entry and mid-career professionals?

What are the results from my organization's Employee View Point Survey (EVS)? Are we addressing challenges/issues identified by employees? Are we communicating actions taken to employees?

Plan

  • Plan for the unexpected. Does your Agency anticipate a new strategic goal that will require an influx of resources and capabilities? Are there environmental factors that will impact your workforce that may require you to downsize or train existing employees?
  • Identify Agency-level vacant and/or potential shortfall positions. What skill sets are critical to accomplishing your mission? Which positions and competencies are essential to accomplishing the mission with significantly limited resources?
  • Make a plan to address competency and skills gaps, and whether your agency could train and develop current employees, hire employees with specific desired strengths, or a combination of these approaches. Processes can include leveraging employees' knowledge to train their colleagues and/or using skills from across the government and within your agency (e.g., rotations and agency skills banks).
  • Evaluate agency recruiting goals. This is more than a total number of FTEs. Are you looking to bolster a particular functional area, or do you need to increase staff resources across the board? Take the time to align your recruitment, development, and retention priorities to the specific skill sets and expertise that will ultimately fulfill your strategic goals and priorities.
  • Instill agility into the broader workforce. By promoting talent mobility, which refers to the ability to move employees within an organization across functions and roles, and across lines of business or business units. Talent mobility allows greater organizational agility by quickly filling near-term talent needs as well as developing talent to fill critical job roles longer-term.
  • Plan for managers' time spent on talent management. Senior leaders have an important role not only in driving strategic priorities, but also in supporting managers' ability to devote time to talent management functions.
  • Design a strategy and methodology for collecting, transferring, and managing knowledge. Too often, organizations are not aware of gaps in knowledge management processes until the need for knowledge transfer is urgent (e.g., a critical staff member's impending retirement). As a best practice, think about knowledge management throughout the life cycle of a project or initiative—not just at the end.

Implement

  • Oversee recruiting initiatives by determining specific targets and milestones to ensure successful completion of recruiting goals.
  • Support a robust on-boarding and orientation program for new employees. The on-boarding model should include ongoing feedback, development, and acculturation.
  • Include talent management as a standing agenda item for your staff meetings. Talent management initiatives should not take place in a vacuum; rather, they are integrated into other programmatic initiatives. Incorporating talent management into each staff meeting helps to maintain this connection.
  • Empower managers by providing them with information regarding the various recruitment, assessment, employee development, and retention strategies.
  • Demonstrate the value of learning and development by providing time, support, and resources for employees and managers to participate in these activities. Actively engage in building a strong pipeline and a diverse pipeline of future leaders.
  • Communicate your organization's commitment to its employees. This can be in the form of videos, emails, or handwritten notes.

Evaluate

  • Determine metrics with meaningful targets and track progress in meeting goals. Align metrics with government-wide performance measures such as GPRAMA and HRstat metrics. Track quarterly reporting requirements through OMB and performance.gov (i.e., manager and applicant satisfaction measures, time to hire, hiring reform progress).
  • Review accountability for metrics. Senior leaders are responsible for holding supervisors and managers accountable for achieving talent management metrics. They help colleagues maintain a clear understanding of the strategic alignment between Administrative goals, Agency strategic objectives, and performance goals.
  • Ensure competency and skills gap analyses are performed. Assess skill and competency gaps on a regular basis. This insight into your employee's abilities will enable you to provide developmental interventions that will enable you to develop a workforce with up-to-date skills and abilities.
  • Ensure the right skills are available when the organization needs them, along with the ability to retain them. Are the right skills available when and where the organization needs them? Did new hire placement result in measurable progress toward strategic objectives? Are resources appropriately allotted for recruitment, onboarding, and development?
    • New Hire Survey
    • CHCO Managers' Satisfaction Surveys and Applicant Satisfaction Surveys
    • Employee Viewpoint Survey
    • One- and two-year retention data
    • Exit surveys where applicable/available
  • Evaluate the accuracy of your position descriptions in relation to the effectiveness of your assessment tools. Ensure position descriptions accurately reflect what employees are doing.

Back to top

What Is Available To Help Facilitate Leadership In The Completion Of These Activities And Decisions?

There are a variety of items available to help facilitate leadership in the completion of human capital decisions and activities.

Agency Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan presents the long-term objectives an agency hopes to accomplish, set at the beginning of each new term of an Administration. It describes general and longer-term goals the agency aims to achieve, what actions the agency will take to realize those goals and how the agency will deal with the challenges likely to be barriers to achieving the desired result. An agency's Strategic Plan should provide the context for decisions about performance goals, priorities, and budget planning, and should provide the framework for the detail provided in agency annual plans and reports.

Agency Annual Performance Plans (APP)

Under the Government Performance and Results Act Modernization Act (GPRAMA), an agency's APP defines the level of performance to be achieved during the year in which the plan is submitted and the next fiscal year.

Agency Annual Performance Reports (APR)

The APR provides information on the agency's progress in achieving the goals and objectives described in the agency's Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan, including progress on the Agency Priority Goals. The term APR refers to the same content as in the performance section of the Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) published by agencies in November, or the Annual Performance Report that is published by agencies in February.

Succession Management Plans

The document used to communicate initiatives, programs, and activities associated with the succession management strategy. The Plan is intended to obtain buy-in and support, articulate expectations, and ensure policies and practices are modified, when necessary, to support succession management efforts. The succession management plan must include the strategies to meet succession targets, an implementation plan, and an evaluation accountability plan.

Past Hiring Trends

Reviewing past hiring trends can reveal a host of critical decision making actions and activities. Past hiring data can uncover useful information about successful recruitment strategies and emerging hiring needs.

Competency and Skills Gap Analysis

Critical workforce-planning exercise used to identify difference between competencies and skills needed and competencies and skills possessed by employees in mission-critical and non-mission critical occupations.

Managers' Satisfaction Survey Results

A useful way to capture, measure, and understand the hiring manager's satisfaction levels with the hiring process. The agency's CHCO can use the survey data to design strategies that improve and strengthen the relationship between the human resource office and the hiring managers.

Applicant Satisfaction Survey Results

A useful way to capture, measure, and understand the applicant's satisfaction levels with the application and hiring process. The agency's CHCO can use the survey data to design strategies that improve the application and hiring process.

Exit Survey Results

Exit surveys are a great way to identify and understand trends associated with the reasons that employees leave a particular organization. Information from the exit surveys can be used to improve an agency's recruitment, hiring, and retention strategies. The surveys should become a regular and recurring part of the process as employees transition out of the agency or retire from Federal service.

New Hire Survey Results

New hire surveys should be given to employees during their first 90 days of employment. This survey provides valuable data on the employee's acculturation and engagement in their new role. This satisfaction directly contributes to an agency's retention rates.

Back to top

Operational View — HR Practitioners And Program Supervisors

The parties involved in operations will not only be the facilitators of the required actions, they will be the face of the Agency and organization to the sources of candidates, the candidates, employees, and other Federal agencies. The interactions they have will not only impact the immediate tasks at hand, but will influence the successful interactions between the Agency and top talent in the future. Therefore, your interactions could not only impact your own agency, but also other Federal agencies' ability to hire, develop, or retain top talent.

What Does This Mean To You As A Program/Process Owner Or HR Professional?

Manager holding a checklistAll parties who will have a part in the operation must be involved in all stages of the planning and implementation. To be successful, this requires a strong partnership between Program/Process Owners and Human Resources staff. This marathon, not a sprint, will require that both parties establish a cooperative partnership that involves regular communication about an organization's functions and goals. This partnership will influence the guidance Human Resources staff provide and will influence managers' staffing decisions.

Actions/Decisions For Program Owner And HR Professionals

Is my organization keeping abreast of future trends and environmental factors? What will have a significant impact on my organization and workforce?

Are we developing and implementing talent management strategies that will enable the organization to address foreseeable and unforeseeable workforce challenges?

Do I have the talent and capacity to accomplish specific program and policy related goals and objectives?

What other resources are available to me to achieve program and policy-related goals and objectives? This includes information about hiring authorities, workforce programs and resources, such as Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and the Department of Labor Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP).

Am I aware of, and do I have access to, appropriate data and information about my workforce and occupational specialty? This includes data about workforce trends and employee perspectives.

Do I have appropriate tools and technology required for capturing, measuring, and reporting program and policy goals and objectives?

Do we have current procedures and practices required for achieving program and policy-related goals and objectives?

Does my organization have an up-to-date strategic workforce and recruitment plan? Are they comprehensive in that they include strategies for recruiting hard-to-fill and mission-critical occupations, in additional to veterans, students, people with disabilities, and those from underrepresented groups?

Plan

  • Invest in analysis of trend information available to build into the recruitment plan. Did recruitment initiatives result in a high yield of viable candidates? Are we diversifying our recruitment strategies, such as using social media, to reach a diverse and talented applicant pool? Did the candidates that were ultimately hired meet the strategic expectations of the vacancy announcements and recruiting initiatives?
  • Create a viable assessment strategy and implementation plan. Where could the recruitment process have been streamlined? What specific areas for improvement were identified from the analysis of your recruiting, development, and retention initiatives?
  • Create a marketing/outreach plan. Work with subject matter experts to identify sources for recruiting applicants with particular skill sets. Consider educational programs, professional organizations, networking groups, or other relevant populations that could enhance your mission-critical objectives along with the overall workforce priorities.
  • Create an action plan. Develop actionable goals that support priority areas for improvement. Include short-term milestones to ensure progress toward complex, long-term objectives.
  • Review Individual Development Plans (IDPs). Guide employees in setting individual goals and ensure their development activities align with agency goals.

Implement

  • Identify accountable parties for talent management initiatives. Connect operational staff with leadership champions whenever possible.
  • Consider having co-leadership with a program leader and an HR professional to monitor the entire project. This encourages collaboration and enables strategic integration of talent management goals and operational program priorities.
  • Follow organizational guidelines for on-boarding and acculturating employees into their new positions by working with your operational support team to ensure that their work space is ready for the employee (prior to their start date), have meaningful work assignments ready, fully welcome your new team member (e.g., create a welcome sign, assign a mentor), and follow up to make certain that orientation and on-boarding deliverables are met (e.g., establish their performance plan within their first 30 days on the job). In addition, ensure that employees are given information about organizational procedures (e.g., how to submit timecards, access printers, have knowledge about key meetings such as staff meetings).
  • Include milestones from talent management action plans in performance management plans in order to show employees their specific connections to agency objectives. Hold open, timely feedback discussions with employees.
  • Document all plans, decisions, and desired outcomes along the way. If an initiative works well, this documentation will streamline the process for next time. If it is less successful, detailed documentation of plans and decisions will make it easier to target specific areas for improvement.
  • Supervisors are accountable for the development of their employees/direct reports, but employees also should be accountable for their own development as well. Act as a role model for encouraging, monitoring, reinforcing, and rewarding the application of new learning.
  • Support positive knowledge management practices. Make time available for collecting and recording work processes, decisions, outcomes, and events as part of the normal work day.

Evaluate

  • Compare actual results to desired targets to determine if gaps exist. Where there are gaps, look to implementation documentation to identify areas of improvement.
  • Based on results, determine how you want to make improvements. Manager involvement is paramount in talent management processes, but also in evaluations. Managers need to consistently participate in the CHCO Managers' Satisfaction Survey in order to provide feedback on how to improve current processes. Operational staff should also focus on Time to Hire, manager satisfaction survey results, applicant satisfaction survey scores and new hire survey data.
  • Create and document lessons learned. Discuss successes, challenges, and modifications for next time. Include multiple perspectives in your Lessons Learned (senior, management, program manager, HR professional, candidates, sources of candidates, employees, unions). Determine where business re-engineering needs to occur for process improvement, and leverage best practices throughout the organization.

Back to top

What Is Available To Help In The Completion Of These Activities And Decisions?

There are a variety of items available to help HR Practitioners and Program Supervisors in the completion of human capital decisions and activities.

Past Hiring Trends

Reviewing past hiring trends can reveal a host of critical decision making actions and activities. For example, past hiring data on Veterans employment can uncover useful information about successful recruitment strategies and events to target for upcoming and emerging hiring needs. The hiring data may also be used to track retention and longevity within an organization.

Managers' Satisfaction Survey Results

A useful way to capture, measure, and understand the hiring manager's satisfaction levels with the hiring process. The agency's CHCO can use the survey data to design strategies that improve and strengthen the relationship between the human resource office and the hiring managers.

Applicant Satisfaction Survey Results

A useful way to capture, measure, and understand the applicant's satisfaction levels with the application and hiring process. The agency's CHCO can use the survey data to design strategies that improve the application and hiring process.

Exit Survey Results

Exit surveys are a great way to identify and understand trends associated with the reasons that employees leave a particular organization. Information from the exit surveys can be used to improve an agency's recruitment, hiring, and retention strategies. The surveys should become a regular and recurring part of the process as employees transition out of the agency or retire from Federal service.

New Hire Survey Results

New hire surveys should be given to employees during their first 90 days of employment. This survey provides valuable data on the employee's acculturation and engagement in their new role. This satisfaction directly contributes to an agency's retention rates.

Workforce Planning

The process agency leadership uses to identify the human capital required to meet organizational goals, conducts analyses to identify competency gaps, develops strategies to address human capital needs and close competency and skills gaps, and ensures the organization is structured effectively.

Lessons Learned

Review lessons learned from previous experiences.

Tools

In addition to these documents, policies, and guidelines, OPM provides several useful tools to for HR professionals and managers under the Talent Management System.

Back to top

Employee View

Meeting at a long conference tableResults from the Employee Viewpoint Survey demonstrate the importance of the employee's perspective about how management decisions and actions regarding employee development, performance appraisals and rewards must be fair and consistent. As this reinforces how employees are valued by their organization. Also of value to employees is a work culture that recognizes the importance of quality of Work/Life programs.

What Does This Mean To You As An Employee Of Your Organization?

The HCF provides a means for agency leadership to focus on being great managers, while paying greater attention to the prudent delivery of services to the American public. You are an essential contributor for ensuring that your organization accomplishes its mission. Strategic human capital management will ensure that your organization's mission requirements drive all human resources activities and that all agency staff contributes to achieving results and are recognized accordingly.

Conversely, employees must be active participants, as this is a two-way process. Employees should work with their supervisors to identify developmental opportunities to ensure that their skills are current and aligned to their organizational goals. Employees also should become familiar with their organizational mission, vision, and strategic goals and objectives as these will directly impact their work assignments and performance plans. Finally, employees also should identify opportunities where they can contribute innovative ideas that will result in more efficient processes.

Actions/Decisions For Employees

What is my role in the success of my organization?

What can I do to enhance my knowledge, skills, and abilities required to be a successful contributor?

How can I assist leadership with the decision making process and stay engaged in the mission of the agency?

What resources are available to create and foster positive working relationships with my managers, supervisors, and coworkers?

Plan

  • Be aware of how your role and responsibilities relate to the agency's strategic plan and human capital objectives.
  • Take responsibility for the development and identification of your career goals. Self-assess your skills and ability to advance your career. Ask for feedback from peers, supervisors, and subordinates (if applicable).

Implement

  • Provide recommendations for how to improve business processes.
  • Informally share your knowledge in an effort to establish a knowledge and succession management process in support of ensuring that your wealth of experience is passed on to your successors.
  • As a part of your continued support for your agency's knowledge and succession planning program, document information about business processes or projects that you are responsible for in the form of notes or a standard operating procedure (SOP).
  • Continuously strive to identify opportunities for ways in which work assignments can be improved beyond what is expected. Recommend creative and innovative ways to accomplish a project in a different way.
  • Work towards your identified goals as stated in your Individual Development Plan. Track your progress and the results of your efforts.
  • Seek mentoring and/or coaching relationships to facilitate development.

Evaluate

  • Review the results of your ideas and solutions to determine if improvements were made.
  • Actively participate in evaluation efforts that involve employee input. Leaders and managers rely on employee participation in order to gather meaningful data on employee engagement, satisfaction, and a variety of other topics.

Back to top

What Is Available To Help In The Completion Of These Activities And Decisions?

There are a variety of items available to help Employees in the completion of human capital decisions and activities.

Agency Mission

The agency mission statement serves as the guiding principles for all activities within a given organization. All strategic plans, annual performance plans, human capital plans, and individual performance plans, to name a few, should link directly to the mission of the agency. Agency mission and vision statements are available on their respective websites.

Agency Strategic Plan

An agency's Strategic Plan should provide the context for decisions about performance goals, priorities, and budget planning, and should provide the framework for the detail provided in agency annual plans and reports. An agency's strategic plan is available on its website.

Performance Management Plan, System and Policies

Performance management is the systematic process by which an agency involves its employees, as individuals and members of a group, in improving organizational effectiveness in the accomplishment of agency mission and goals. Employee performance management includes:

  • Planning work and setting expectations
  • Continually monitoring performance
  • Developing the capacity to perform
  • Periodically rating performance in a summary fashion
  • Rewarding good performance

Awards Policies and Plans

Agencies have the authority to provide awards to employees in a variety of forms, including monetary awards, special act awards, performance awards, and granting time off, subject to the availability of funding.

Individual Development Plans (IDPs)

The IDP helps identify employee's career development goals and the means for achieving them. Typically, the employee will complete an IDP on an annual basis and it can include training (free or fee based), online learning (through an online learning management system), development opportunities and assignments, mentoring, reading, and attending conferences and college courses.

Back to top

Reference Materials

Control Panel