In today’s workforce, Baby Boomers are beginning to exit the workforce. With their physical exit so too does their knowledge and skills… This steady decline is expected to continue until around 2050. This movement will have significant implications for an organisation’s internal talent pool.  In 2015 it was suggested that 75% of the British workforce were considered passive job seekers, meaning they are always looking for growth opportunities and are not merely being reactive to changes as they occurred – the picture in South Africa are very similar.

When wanting to develop an internal talent pool, one needs to answer three key questions:

  1. Have you identified your critical roles?
  2. How visible is your talent pool?
  3. Have you got a pipeline for these critical roles?

When considering what your critical roles are, one can take the following points into consideration:

  • Those roles that take a long time to fill;
  • Those that have higher attrition, perhaps due to headhunting by other companies; and
  • Those that have the biggest bottom line impact.

It is extremely important to collaborate both with HR and the business partners, when looking at quantitative and qualitative analytics which will inform the decisions. This can also be referred to as Talent Intelligence. Once a critical role has been identified, it is crucial to assess what the organisational needs are. This will inform what talent enters the talent pool .

Once this is in place, it is vital that the talent pool is visible organisation-wide. Three ways in which this could be addressed are:

  • Provide employees with a full view of new opportunities that are likely to arise in the future;
  • Constant communication with management regarding high-performing individuals or individuals likely to leave; and
  • Employees need to be told how sources of talent are identified.

Technology is an enabler that should always be considered in making talent pools transparent. Examples of this is utilising the intranet to enable an expression of interest portal or do internal advertising, a software that can filter talent by different skills or the use of social media (Employment Office, 2013).

Once talent has been identified and interest is shown by a feasible employee, an organisation cannot simply assume they have a filled talent pipeline. This is in fact where all the hard work begins. For one employee who is identified as potentially filling current and future talent the following should be in place:

  • Constant communication and check-ins to keep the employee interested and engaged;
  • Training and development opportunities to further develop skills;
  • Continual tracking and assessment of performance;
  • One-on-one coaching to discuss career pathing and aspirations ; and
  • Practice of a culture that is nurturing and attractive to employees.

Employees need to feel like the organisation they are currently in is investing resources into their growth and development, but also that the organisation has a genuine interest in their goals.

The above is one way of ensuring your key internal talent stays internal and does not leave to find better opportunities elsewhere. Only those organisations who value talent and invest in creating and nurturing talent will have a true competitive edge.

Janko A. Kotzé
Organisational Psychologist
M: +27 (0)83 233 7147

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”.


Alexander Mann Solutions. (2015). Everyone into the (talent) pool! Retrieved from

Employment Office. (2013). Talent pools improve recruitment processes. Retrieved from

Oracle (2013). Building critical talent pipelines: Creating a plan for staffing critical job roles. Retrieved from

PageUp. (2017). Talent Pooling – How to set & maximise your talent pool strategy. Retrieved from

Shukla, A. (2015). Talent pool: Simple steps to get the best pool of talent in your organisation. Retrieved from

Wilson, A. (2014). The importance of talent transparency. The HR Review. Retrieved from

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