How to implement a Talent Strategy?

Jim van Hulst has worked in several leadership functions at EY, ING Bank, ABN AMRO Bank, and Johnson Controls International. His positions have included Director Talent Management, Global Head Professional Development, and Global Learning Technology Leader. Jim has an MSc. in Learning Technology from the University of Sheffield and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Arnhem/Nijmegen. He also holds a diploma in Business Management and Leadership from the Rotterdam School of Management, and he completed his MBA in 2020 from MSM, The Netherlands. He is a frequently asked speaker and author of numerous articles. Jim founded Jignite recently in 2021.

Jim van Hulst, owner Jignite

How to Start?

What is Talent Development?

Talent development is a term that encompasses a wide range of practices and strategies to foster learning, engagement, and performance among employees. It is about providing training or compliance courses and identifying and developing new skills and opportunities that align with organizational goals. Talent development is essential for any organization that wants to thrive in the new digital economy and remain competitive in the ever-changing global market.

Where to start with Talent Development?

How can you design and implement a talent development program that meets the needs of your organization and your employees? Here are some best practices to guide you:

  1. Assess your current state and your desired state. Before you can plan any talent development initiative, you need to clearly understand where you are and where you want to be. This means conducting a skills gap analysis to identify the current and future skills that your organization needs and the strengths and weaknesses of your existing workforce. You also need to align your talent development strategy with your business strategy and objectives so that you can prioritize the most critical areas for improvement and measure the impact of your efforts.
  2. Define your talent development goals and metrics. Based on your assessment, you must set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals for your talent development program. These goals should reflect the outcomes that you want to achieve, such as increasing employee retention, productivity, innovation, customer satisfaction, or revenue. You must also define the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help you track and evaluate your progress and success.
    Design your talent development solutions. Once you have your goals and metrics, you can start designing the learning and development solutions to help you achieve them. These solutions can include formal training programs, coaching, mentoring, job rotations, stretch assignments, career paths, succession planning, and more. You should use various methods and formats to deliver your solutions, such as online courses, webinars, podcasts, videos, simulations, games, etc. You should also consider the preferences and needs of your learners, such as their learning styles, motivations, interests, and challenges.
  3. Implement and support your talent development solutions. After designing your answers, you need to implement them effectively and efficiently. This means ensuring you have the resources, infrastructure, and processes to deliver your solutions to your target audience. You also need to provide ongoing support and guidance to your learners, such as feedback, recognition, incentives, and opportunities to apply their learning. You should also create a culture of learning in your organization, where employees are encouraged and empowered to learn and grow continuously.
  4. Evaluate and improve your talent development solutions. Finally, you need to monitor and measure the results of your talent development program. This means collecting and analyzing data on your KPIs, such as learner satisfaction, engagement, completion, retention, performance, and business impact. You should also solicit feedback from your learners, managers, stakeholders, and customers on the strengths and weaknesses of your solutions. Based on your findings, you should adjust and improve your solutions as needed.

    Talent development is not a one-time event or a one-size-fits-all approach. It is a dynamic and ongoing process that requires constant evaluation and improvement. By following these best practices, you can create a talent development program that will help you unleash the potential of your employees and achieve your organizational goals.


1 8 Talent Development 8 Best Practices for Your Organization – AIHR 

2 What is Talent Development? | ATD

3  Reimagining people development to overcome talent challenges – McKinsey & Company 

4 Winning with your talent-management strategy | McKinsey Best practices for effective talent management – HRForecast

5 The Most Effective Talent Development Strategies | Upwork

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