People are the reason why companies succeed. They establish workflows, develop business solutions, and generate value for the company. Nevertheless, employees grow out of their positions, get promoted, or leave while the business pipeline has to go on as usual. The company needs to be ready for that. And that’s what the talent planning is for. It addresses the business needs to go on in full force and grow.

Our previous articles looked at how to avoid costly hiring mistakes and make the recruitment process cost-effective

This time, we will explain how to make the IT recruitment process a part of the cycle and not its disruptor.

Talent planning in a nutshell

Talent planning is a part of human resources and recruitment strategy that addresses the business goals’ hiring needs. According to a McKinsey survey, companies with established talent planning practices can: 

  • react to any changes in the personnel; 
  • maintain a steady pace without significant productivity losses;
  • predicting possible skill gaps;
  • remain competitive in their niche with a well-oiled talent pipeline keeping the workflow stable.

For example, talent planning mitigates the doldrums of the following business scenarios:

  • preparing for the product launch;
  • scaling company expansion (opening new R&D offices, etc.);
  • reducing the impact of employee turnover;
  • addressing the changes in business goals.

In a nutshell, talent planning is a form of human resources foresight. It is an example of proactive recruiting – solving a problem before it becomes the problem. 

This approach is especially useful when companies collaborate with recruitment agencies. 

This way, the companies have more room for maneuver. If there is a need to scale the team or substitute the leaving employee – the company is already aware of it and only needs to enact it. 

Talent planning essential practices

1. Business Goals Determine Hiring Needs 

How talent planning addresses business goals?


Business goals are at the foundation of an effective talent planning strategy. In one way or another, it is always about “the end justifies the means” – i.e., hiring needs reflect business goals.

It is important to understand cause and effect. Because of that, the hiring needs to revolve around the following:

  • What is the current state of product/service, and where you want it to be?
  • How do you want a product or services to grow or compete on the market? Whether it is making drastic changes fast or gradually evolving into a different state?
  • What talent and skills will you need to make that happen? 
  • In what time frame are you planning to do this?

Seems clear, right? Here’s an example. Your goal is to develop an innovation to gain a competitive advantage. You know your standing on the market and state of your organization. 

Here’s how your hiring needs might look like: 

  • Business analysts to identify the innovation and its impact on the product; 
  • Project managers to drive the effort in the right direction at the right pace;
  • Specialists with the cutting-edge domain expertise to realize and implement it. 

These elements construct a hiring plan with clear goals, requirements, and deadlines. With the talent planning intact, it is far easier to get the budget right and correctly assess the scope of operation.

Thus the whole effort is much more efficient.

2. Prepare for different scenarios

How talent planning prepares recruiting for different scenarios?

You never know what the future holds, but you sure can guess what might happen and get ready for it. As it was mentioned before, the talent planning strategy addresses different business scenarios. 

Thankfully, tech companies have a predictable set of scenarios that talent planning can handle. Let’s take a closer look:

  • Employee turnover. In one way or another, no employee is forever filling the role. They get promoted, switch domains, leave the company, or retire. Mitigating the impact of this factor is one of the primary goals of talent planning.
  • Product launch. Adding another product to the fold is a massive undertaking for the business infrastructure. Handling it with the existing workforce is an additional workload, which puts a strain on people. Talent planning addresses the goal of optimizing the workload by arranging a dedicated team for the project and filling specific skill gaps.
  • Company expansion. The usual scenario goes like this: there is a need to maintain growth while keeping it cost-effective, so the company plans to open a foreign R & D office. Talent planning strategy considers what talent is needed and who can help find it on location. 
  • Change of business goals. This one is tricky. For example, the company started as an outsource company doing projects for clients. The company then decides to reorganize itself into a product company and make their product because of established expertise and solutions. In this case, talent planning aims to identify skill gaps and prioritize them according to business goals. 

3. Maintain Deep and Diverse Talent Pool 

Why talent planning makes recruiting effective

Maintaining or having access to a talent pool is one of the requirements of being competitive in the current economy. You need to know what kind of talent is available and how well it fits your present and future hiring needs. 

The benefits of a talent pool at hand are apparent:

  • you already know about the available candidates and can gradually screen them upon the need to hire a specific specialist;
  • the time spent on sourcing, screening, interviewing, hiring talent is significantly lesser. So is the spending on the hiring effort.

However, maintaining a talent pool is often not an option for the company. Not every company can keep a fully-fledged recruitment department, not to mention developing and maintaining a talent pool. 

The company can keep its talent pool at hand, but it never will be as deep and diverse as the ones provided by recruitment agencies. And it is not just pushing our agenda. 

The reason for depth and diversity is simple – by nature, recruitment agencies are in contact with many people, whether they are consultants or job seekers or clients.

Because of that, their talent pools are designed to address more needs and requirements. As a result, there are far more established contacts at hand.

So the chances of finding the right candidates faster and more efficiently are much higher compared with relying on internal recruiters. 

4. Don’t hesitate to ask for external advice

How talent planning makes recruiting effective?

Speaking of recruitment agencies. When it comes to recruitment, it is not uncommon to use extra help. The scope of operation and its requirements are demanding and unrelenting. 

Because of that, reliance on the company’s internal recruitment is simply not feasible. So engaging with recruitment agencies and consultants is a natural option.

Here’s how it works.

  • Sourcing and screening are the most time-consuming parts of the recruitment effort, especially if vacant positions are niche and complex. The stakes are too high, and the wrong hire’s impact is too significant to take a gamble. 
  • So agencies and consultants take over this part of the pipeline and power it with their established infrastructure.
  • The result: the operation proceeds faster and more cost-effective. 

This approach allows companies to focus on making a well-informed decision with a set of viable candidates. 

Because of that, the entire hiring narrative shifts from “whether a candidate is right for the job?” to “how well the candidate will be able to pursue business goals?”. A big difference, right?  

In conclusion

Establishing a talent planning strategy is a good way of making the recruitment process less stressful and more fruitful. After all, it is far easier to operate when the vision is clear, and the scope is defined. No matter what the future holds, you are always ready to address it. 

If you need help developing a talent planning strategy or need a partner to provide talent – we can help you.

Author: Taisiia Mliuzan