Accelerate Organizational Agility with Dynamic Talent Allocation

Sep 11, 2023


In today’s volatile economic, political, and social environment, businesses need a strategy to adapt to new realities and change course quickly.

That can't happen without the right talent to execute the new direction. Yet, the scarcity of on-demand skills, increased by the pandemic and technology change, is still with us.

featured-image-Accelerate-Organizational-Agility-with-Dynamic-Talent-Allocation-Dynamic talent allocation increases the odds of success - slow 29%, moderate 58% and dynamic is 2.2 times faster at 63%


To get the best talent in important positions quickly, some companies are using flexible structures like the flow-to-work model. A McKinsey Global Study confirmed that dynamic talent allocation, "the ability to move people among strategic projects as priorities emerge and fade," increases shareholder returns. And it's the top driver of effective talent management strategies.

What is Dynamic Talent Allocation?

This method creates pools of resources you can deploy on demand.

Your pools prioritize skill similarity over business function, making it simpler to access the right skills when needed.

There are powerful benefits to accessing talent quickly when you need it.

  • You can avoid the inefficiency of hoarding valuable skills.
  • By reallocating and redeploying talent based on priorities, you can respond rapidly to external changes, including customer or business demand shifts.
  • By forming flexible teams, you can match skills to the work.

Overall, implementing a flow-to-work operating model and designing effective talent pools can help you respond quickly to changing business needs and make the most of the people you have.

What are Talent Pools?

The idea of talent pools has been in the HR lexicon for at least 30 years, but it has been primarily a single group considered as future executive succession candidates. As recently as 2018, SHRM's recruiter handbook spoke to a single program designed as a feeder for senior leadership.

Today's talent pools have become the source for rapid deployment of talent to your top priorities as you adjust to new strategies. Resource pool leaders match and deploy workers to tasks based on the highest-priority work areas and the skills required to complete them. The result is faster, more responsive talent deployment, improved talent development, and more skilled leadership.

This approach counteracts talent hoarding, one challenge in building talent mobility. Managers will find it difficult to hide talent when a strategic initiative zeroes in on those people for the company's top priorities.

To define and design talent pools, organizations can follow several step:

  • First, they should identify the key competencies and values that align with their business goals.
  • Then, they can develop employees in these areas rather than focusing on developing specific position skills.
  • You can increase flexibility by informing each group that they are the company's future rather than training them for a particular role..

Implementing Dynamic Talent Allocation

Changing the way you manage talent isn't easy or quick. It takes time and a significant mind shift. However, it will speed up responsiveness and talent development, making you more competitive.

Your journey will be more successful if you address these questions before you begin:

What skill gaps do you have?

Begin by identifying the gaps using your workforce planning tools. then consider these four questions proposed by McKinsey & Co.

  1. Which types of work need flexible deployment? For example, flexibility will power up your project work and analytical tasks, but compliance, finance, risk management, and operations need fixed teams.
  2. How should you organize your pools? Moving from functions, regions, or business areas to talent and skill types demands deep thinking about development in your job families.
  3. How should you deploy talent within each pool? Once you have designed your talent pools, decide how you will deploy talent. McKinsey recommends three deployment archetypes:
    • Project-based deployment, based on demand and priorities.
    • Internal advisory/business partnering for long-term or multiple projects.
    • Centers of excellence (strategy and advisory)
4. How will you make deployment decisions? Work out the trade-offs in professional development, skill-to-work matching, strategic priorities, and available capacity. If you don't have an internal talent marketplace, this may be the opportunity to launch one.

Become an evangelist

Educate the executive team and the organization on the benefits of dynamic talent allocation.

  • It helps you deal with long-term talent trends: scarcity, the need to respond rapidly to external dynamics, and the need for flexibility to respond to change.
  • You can quickly deploy scarce talent to your highest priorities.
  • Your organization can adjust priorities to respond to external changes.
  • Talent mobility and development will be much more efficient.
  • You can create flexible teams staffed to match the work to be done.

Update your talent strategy

Develop a talent strategy to address the talent and skills needed. Consider the talent market, the time to develop skills, whether you need external talent, and your engagement and retention strategies.

Create a skill-building initiative

Engage the entire organization in skills development to build broader capabilities, leadership, digital literacy, and a growth mindset.

Use this opportunity to drive a cultural transformation.

Leverage technology

Use technology to create efficiency. You'll need the following tools to manage skills well and lighten the workload.
  • Talent intelligence platforms use AI to help you make talent decisions by analyzing data from many internal and external sources.
  • A skill inventory platform is a database of employees' professional skills, experiences, and educational qualifications. It will be one of your data sources for talent intelligence and skill groups.
  • A talent marketplace enables internal mobility by matching people to new roles, projects, and temporary growth assignments, serving as your internal gig market.
  • A robust learning and development platform is necessary for your internal development processes.

You may find all these tools or several of them on one platform. Check out G2, the world's largest and most trusted software marketplace, or call us for a technology assessment to help you get on the right track.

Aligning talent with your business strategy is essential for achieving results and long-term success. By following these steps and embedding them in your culture, you can create a skill-building culture that supports your business goals and executes your shifting strategies with the right talent.


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About Pixentia

Pixentia is a full-service technology company dedicated to helping clients solve business problems, improve the capability of their people, and achieve better results. 

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