Talent allocation and talent redeployment — these are two terms every people leader needs to understand, especially in today’s post-pandemic environment characterized by an uncertain, tumultuous job market, the Great Resignation and a global skilled labor shortage.
All of these factors necessitate the need to think very strategically about the talent you already have. Where can your people's skills be put to best use? Is talent misallocated? Talent deployment and allocation may be the answers.
You can leverage these two strategies to evaluate your workforce and ensure that employees are in positions that match their skills and drive the most output. Let’s get started.
What is talent redeployment?
Talent redeployment describes moving an employee horizontally from a position that’s being phased out or made redundant, to another position that requires similar skills and experience. While this may vary based on the position, a redeployment is typically a lateral career move that doesn’t necessarily equate to a change in salary or level of seniority.
While some job roles are dying out, an estimated 100 milion new ones are expected to open by 2026. Many of these new positions will require similar skill sets to their aging or inessential counterparts. That’s where redeployment can help companies shift talent into open jobs without the need to hire externally.
For example, a medical assistant working on an overstaffed team might be redeployed to a department that has a more urgent need for their capabilities.
What is talent allocation?
Talent allocation means placing current employees within roles where their skills and competencies can be most successfully utilized.
To illustrate, if a high-performing team member consistently motivates and encourages colleagues, effective talent allocation might relocate this team member to a leadership position where they are better suited to apply these motivational skills to the greater benefit of the team, as well as the organization as a whole.
An allocation strategy differs from a redeployment in that it doesn’t only serve permanent job positions. Skills-based talent allocation may mean that an individual employee is shifted through a variety of roles and projects depending on which role generates the highest value. This type of talent allocation is useful when there are multiple projects that require a specific set of scare skills.
The need for talent allocation and redeployment
Nearly every industry has been disrupted by digitization and the fourth Industrial Revolution. And although technology certainly delivers significant benefits, it often outpaces people's ability to keep up to speed. This leaves organizations scrambling to source skilled talent.
Amid this and other factors affecting the job market, there's a need to focus even more on internal talent and building the workforce you need from within your organization.
Looking at your people strategy through the lens of talent redeployment and allocation allows you to strategize how to get the right people in the right roles, plus how to arm them with the education and training they need to thrive in those roles.
Lastly, talent deployment and allocation can deliver more value in multiple ways. You're learning about your people and their interests, abilities and skills to see where they would bring the most value — beyond the realm of just their job titles and role-specific responsibilities. An employee's skills could be a better fit for a different role within the company, but neither you nor they are aware of it until you start to evaluate talent through this lens.
Integrating talent redeployment and allocation into your greater people strategy can help you to contend with the ever-shifting workforce landscape, allowing your business to be more agile and well-prepared for the future.
Strategies for talent redeployment and allocation
Talent redeployment and allocation require adequate planning and preparation in order to achieve internal career mobility.
Here are two key strategies to keep in mind:
- Prioritize talent development with reskilling and upskilling opportunities: An employee’s entire skill set won’t always be easily transferable to a new role. Employees may need to build upon their existing hard or soft skills to develop a level of proficiency that ensures success in different positions. This is why it’s important to offer a breadth of reskilling and upskilling opportunities that enable team members to refine existing skills and acquire new ones.
- Develop tailored education paths: Learning paths that are strategically mapped to organizational skills needs are a powerful, proven way to correlate training and education with talent deployment and allocation.
People managers and leaders should have a solid understanding of their direct reports’ top skills and competencies to help determine tailored educational pathways. For your teams, they should also be able to clearly see what type of training or education is needed to succeed in a role, and how an individual can get there.
- Create talent pools: A talent pool is a collection or database of external candidates or existing employees that have the potential to fill future job openings. They are typically organized by skills rather than roles or titles, which allows for insight into the range of skills, abilities and competencies within the group.
At a glance, you’re able to see what talent you have on hand and identify any skills gaps that still need to be addressed. This allows for easier allocation, redeployment and can also help with succession planning.
Success markers for talent redeployment and allocation
In many cases, talent redeployment and allocation push individuals outside of their comfort zone and into new territory. That’s why it’s important to work closely with people managers and ensure that team members who are moving into new roles within the organization have the support they need to be successful. While it’s true that redeployment and allocation help to fill important positions, your strategy is only truly successful if the employee remains engaged and productive after the transition.
Here are a couple of signs that show you’re headed in the right direction:
- Increased employee engagement
If employees are equipped with adequate skill sets, ideally, they will feel confident in their ability to perform well in their new role and be more engaged as a result.
- Smooth transitions between permanent roles
If you’ve organized your talent pools correctly and addressed existing skills gaps, redeployed workers should be settling comfortably in their new positions. Similar to onboarding an external hire, the first 30-60-90 days on the new job should be carefully observed to ensure that the individual has the training and resources they need to be successful.
Future-proofing with talent allocation and redeployment
The workforce is changing, technology is changing and how you evaluate your workforce and each individual’s competencies needs to change in order for your business to continue thriving. Creating talent pools and analyzing skill gaps is a start, but this needs to be followed up with comprehensive educational support so you can properly scale this strategy and ensure that talent is equipped to meet the needs of a new position. After all, as tech gets smarter, your people should too.