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Talent Management Framework: frequently asked questions

General questions

What is talent management?

Talent management is a process designed to proactively understand and support the development and career aspirations of our workforce. It enables staff to be supported to become their best selves, encourages career mobility and development whilst ensuring that we have a workforce that is empowered to meet the current and future workplace needs and demands. 

Why has UHB created a Talent Management Framework?

We know it's important for staff to feel recognised for their work, and that time is spent understanding how we can grow their skills, knowledge and careers. The Talent Management Framework provides managers with tools to understand team and individual career aspirations, and identify how skills, knowledge and experience can be developed and supported. It also helps to ensure that we have plans in place to meet current and future workplace needs and demands.

Who is the Talent Management Framework for?

The framework has been created for all line managers who have responsibility for the management and development of their workforce.  It can also be used by project leads who are looking to identify talent to work on specific projects. 

How will the framework benefit my team?

All staff have talent, so investing in them to enable them to be the best they can is important. A team which feels fulfilled and engaged with will ultimately be happier at work. The framework will help to identify future successors, which will contribute to the development of staff and teams to deliver the best quality services to our patients. 

When should I complete the framework for my team?

There is no set timeline in which the framework should be completed. It can be accessed as frequently or infrequently as required. 

Should I have a talent conversation with every member of my team?

Yes, all members of staff within your team should be included in the process. 

Where is it appropriate to hold the talent conversation?

The conversation should be held in a confidential setting, either face-to-face or virtually. 

The framework sounds very similar to an appraisal. How is this different?

While similar, an annual appraisal reviews how a member of staff has performed over the previous 12 months and agrees key targets, objectives and personal development needs for the next year.

The Talent Management Framework looks to enhance the talent and personal development conversation. In addition, it can be used to identify potential future successors to fill business-critical roles, on a short-, medium- or long-term basis. Both processes can be undertaken in parallel and used to support the conversation with staff.

How do I avoid potential bias when working through the framework?

It's important to recognise that our own attitudes, beliefs and experiences will influence how we view individual staff within our teams.

There are different biases that we may all have which are important to be aware of when rating performance and potential.

Bias in either direction can result in a reduction in objectivity and may mean that evaluations are unduly influenced by irrelevant factors. For tips on how to avoid bias when working through the framework, please refer to the information on potential bias.

What is included in the Talent Management Framework?

The Talent Management Framework is broken down into different sections. The first section consists of talent assessments and the talent matrix, with the second section focusing on succession planning. The third section focuses on developmental strategies for staff.

What is talent assessment?

Talent assessment is about understanding and identifying the current skills, knowledge and competencies of a member of staff, and how these can be developed and nurtured dependent on their career aspirations and wants.

What is a talent matrix?

A talent matrix is a tool designed to summarise where a member of staff is at a given point in time in relation to their performance and potential. It is designed to be used as a snapshot, as we know that performance and potential changes and evolves constantly. The talent matrix is not about putting people in a box but rather guiding managers towards having helpful conversations to enable staff members to develop.

What is succession planning?

Succession planning is the process of identifying and developing potential future successors to fill business-critical roles, on a short-, medium- or long-term basis. The aim of this is to be able to fill key roles effectively, whether it's due to planned or unplanned turnover of staff.

What are strategies for development?

Strategies for development refer to ways in which managers can support staff to develop their skills, knowledge, competencies and experience.

How do I access the toolkits?

Managers will need to attend the Talent Management Framework training. The toolkits will be shared as part of the training.

Will there be any training on how to use the Talent Management Framework?

Yes.Managers can book onto the training via easylearning.

If you would like further information on training, please email

Post-training questions

What is the difference between performance and potential?

Performance should be measured by a combination of what people do (the tasks and objectives they need to complete as part of their role) and how they do it (the behaviours and attitudes they display in their day-to-day interactions).

Potential can be defined as having or showing the capacity to develop into something in the future.

In the assessment of potential, what is the difference between "reached", "growth" and "leading"?

"Reached" is where a member of staff is not currently displaying the skills, knowledge, or behaviours to work outside or above their existing role or does not want to work outside or above their existing role.   

"Growth" relates to members of staff who have potential to develop further within their role or career but require more support to get there.    

"Leading" is for staff who are demonstrating the skills, behaviours or potential to move into a more senior role or develop further within their current role.

Why do I plot staff into different areas of a box on the talent matrix?

Placing staff at different areas within a box is particularly useful when you are plotting a team. You may find that several staff within your team have all plotted into the same box on the matrix, but their potential and readiness to move into the next box is different, based on their indicator scoring. Placing them at different positions in the box allows you to visually identify the varying levels of development and support required.

Which roles are critical?

All roles within the Trust are important. However, critical roles are the roles that have the biggest impact on the strategy of the Trust and on its ability to deliver a high-quality service to patients and meet the expectations and targets of stakeholders. 

How do I complete the competency identification table?

The competency identification table allows you to consider the key competencies that are required for each critical role. You should refer to the job description and person specification to support you with the completion of the fields.

What happens if a member of staff has different career aspirations to those I have identified?

You would need to understand how the views differ. It may be that the member of staff is happy in their current role or that they would like to move to another area within the Trust.

If the member of staff wishes to develop their career, there are several strategies available to support them, along with a development plan and regular completion of appraisal. Strategies can be found in the manager’s guide document. 

I have more than one member of staff who has identified as "ready now" on the readiness chart. What do I do?

You should consider the strategies for "ready now" candidates and continue to provide development and support to these candidates. If a critical role becomes available, staff members would be able to apply via the normal recruitment process and subject to the usual selection process.

I have completed the readiness chart, and nobody has been identified as "ready now" or "ready soon". What do I do?

Where there are no ready internal candidates for critical roles, refer to the list of strategies within the framework that will help to assist with the next steps.

What happens if a member of staff disagrees with the outcome of the framework?

The process for staff who wish to dispute the outcome are outlined on the "review and evaluation" page.

What happens if a member of staff does not complete their personal development plan within the agreed timeframe?

It's advisable to review the development plan on a regular basis, which will allow both staff member and line manager to determine if agreed timescales will be met. Support and flexibility are key to ensure that a staff member’s development and career aspirations are fully considered and supported. 

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