Talent reviews are a critical step in Succession Planning and are used to discuss talent information from many different perspectives. Instead of solely relying on one person’s perception, the power of team-based decision-making is leveraged, and used to improve the accuracy of organisational decisions.

It is however important to take into account, some of the benefits and challenges of team-based decision-making account:


  • Increased perceptions of fairness by employees;
  • Improved rating accuracy;
  • More effective talent solutions;
  • Limited individual bias;
  • Evaluation of talent across teams;
  • Holistic view of the workforce; and
  • Perspective diversity.


  • Social loafing;
  • Groupthink;
  • Conversations can unravel/ digress;
  • Decision-making can take longer;
  • Diffusion of responsibility;
  • Ignoring individual opinions; and
  • Social pressure.

When taking these into account when thinking about talent reviews one can include these 7 practices to make the team-based decision-making more balanced:

  • Define decision being made

Before even drafting an agenda, ensure that the purpose of the meeting is clear. If the intention is Succession planning, set a decision such as choose 1-2 successors for each critical role.

  • Establish decision criteria

Preceding meeting day, clearly articulate and agree upon which criteria to assess when choosing potential successors. Is it performance? Potential? Or both?

  • Use an external facilitator

Having an objective party with no vested interest regarding actual decisions made will help eliminate the challenges listed above. Skilled facilitators can emphasise rater accountability and ask raters to justify their decisions, which will result in more careful consideration of performance behaviours.

  • Strictly follow an agenda

Having an agreed upon agenda beforehand will assist in reducing decision-making time and the digression of conversation. It is however key to ensure there is buy-in from the entire group regarding a proposed agenda. Avoid analysis paralysis!

  • Limit the size of the group

Having more people does not result in more effective decision-making. Rather it contributes to potential chaos, social loafing and groupthink. Be very selective in who you invite to a talent review.

  • Get input separately, then share perspectives

Asking individuals to prepare before the meeting and allocating them individual time to express their opinions will help to alleviate ignoring of individuals, social loafing and social pressure.

  • Ensure every person knows their role

There is always a risk in having too many chiefs. Ensure that every individual clearly understands their role in terms of decision-making finality and the exact reason they were included in the meeting. This will aid in preventing a long drawn out meeting.

Janko A. Kotzé
Organisational Psychologist
M: +27 (0)83 233 7147
E: janko@humaninterest.co.za

About the author

Janko is an Industrial and Organisational (IO) Psychologist and holds a Master’s Degree in IO Psychology at Unisa (Cum Laude). He has extensive consulting experience and has designed and delivered Talent Management solutions to over 30 clients across various industries.

He is the Founder and Director of Human Interest Consulting. A boutique talent management consulting firm that partners with organisations to create high-performing, integrated Talent Ecosystems that allow people to prosper. He is a skilled people strategist and facilitator and likes to embed new strategies through individual and group coaching engagements.

Janko has written numerous articles and is a sought after conference speaker. He has represented South Africa in the 110m hurdles at Youth, Junior and Senior National level and has aided international athletes and sport teams in the art of Mental Excellence.

Janko’s qualifications include a BCom Sport Management, BCom Hons Industrial Psychology, Certificate in Marketing & Customer Centricity (Cum Laude) and an Intensive Coaching Training Accreditation (Cum Laude). He is a member of Coaches and Mentors of South Africa (COMENSA), Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychologists of South Africa (SIOPSA), Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and the South African Board for People Practices (SABPP).

Lara Bloch
Intern Organisational Psychologist

About the author

Lara holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial/Organisational Psychology from the University of the Witwatersrand. Lara’s qualifications include a BA (Psychology & Linguistics) (Cum Laude), in which she received a University Council Member Scholarship, eight Certificates of First Class and two Certificates of Merit, a BA Honours Psychology (Cum Laude), in which she received the Postgraduate Honours Merit Award, a BA Honours Industrial/Organisational Psychology (Cum Laude), in which she received a Certificate of First Class for her Research titled “Absenteeism and presenteeism as proxies of productivity change pre and post-occupancy in a Green building in South Africa”. For her Master’s year in Industrial/Organisational Psychology she received the Postgraduate Masters Merit Award. She also received the National Research Foundation’s Innovation Masters Scholarship for her research titled “Impact of indoor plants on work engagement and well-being perceptions”, which is awarded to those at the frontier of knowledge in innovation areas, as well as for academic merit.

Lara is a qualified Psychometrist and registered with the Health Professional Council of South Africa, after completing her degree at the University of Johannesburg. She is accredited in using the following psychometric assessments: 16PF, Giotto Integrity Test, the Work-related Risk and Integrity Scale (WRISc), MBTI and the Saville WAVE Assessment. Lara was inducted into the Golden Key International Honour Society in 2011, which recognises the Top 15% of students per field of study for outstanding academic performance. Lara holds the following certificates: Divorce and Family Mediation, Law for Mediators and Psychology for Lawyers. Lara is part of the Johannesburg’s Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology of South Africa (SIOPSA) branch committee.

Lara prides herself in ensuring her work is completed efficiently with careful attention to detail, to produce the highest quality output. Lara is able to tackle complex situations with consistency and perseverance. She will take initiative, in order to learn and grow professionally. Lara lives by the following quote, “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do”.


Forsyth, D.R. (2009). Group dynamics (5th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Janjua, S. (2012). 7 best practices for effective group decision making. Retrieved from http://www.philosophyib.com/3/wholebrain/effective-group-decision-making

Larson, E. (2017). 3 Best Practices for High Performance Decision-Making Teams. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/eriklarson/2017/03/23/3-best-practices-for-high-performance-decision-making-teams/#aff43dff971b

Martell, R., & Borg, M. (1993). A comparison of the behavioural rating accuracy of groups and individuals. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78(1), 43-50

Pytel, L. (2017). 4 Best Practices to Improve Talent Calibration. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/2017/08/19/4-best-practices-to-improve-talent-calibration/#4d8aa0ed2b05

Riley, K. (2017). Coach Your Clients Through a Talent Review to Get More Job Orders. Retrieved from https://www.topechelon.com/blog/owner-issues/what-is-talent-review-process-best-practices/

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