Personnel Today Awards 2020: Talent Management Award shortlist

The Fresh Direct team pick up their award for talent management at the 2019 Personnel Today Awards

We continue our countdown to the Personnel Today Awards 2020 by taking a closer look at the organisations shortlisted for the Talent Management Award, which recognises firms that have taken a proactive approach to succession planning, retention and employee development.


The Applus+ Group is a global testing, inspection and certification company. It is convinced that attracting and retaining talented individuals is key to its long-term sustainability and competitiveness, and is committed to developing new leaders for the future.

Personnel Today Awards 2020

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It identifies key people at various tiers who have the potential to progress into more senior positions and evaluates them based on their strengths and weaknesses, which are addressed via a personal development plan.

Key candidates must meet three criteria: capacity of great performance that influences the success of the organisation; growth capacity; and motivation and willingness to take on additional tasks with great enthusiasm.

An action plan is put in place for each employee on the development scheme, which involves setting goals and education. Some 137 individual talent development plans have been implemented for employees across 26 countries.

Applus+ also has a nine-month Global Management Development Programme which it runs with IE Business School.  It combines teaching by the senior executive team with academic learning, both online and in person, and each programme ends with a final team project presentation to the Group’s management. The ideas presented could end up being financed by the company.

The first edition brought together 30 Applus+ managers from 17 countries and the second wave, which began in September 2019, involved 29 managers from 19 countries. Female participation increased from 20% in the first programme to 34% in the second.

HRA Pharma with DBLX

HRA Pharma represents 70% of the European pharmaceutical market. It is on a mission to find people with a desire to grow and learn, in order to help it expand into new markets and to double in size by 2022. This is why it partnered with DBLX to create a bespoke tool for developing, engaging and retaining top talent.

The system, named iDevelop, consists of five distinct components, including talent management systems iDentify, iLead and iPerform.

iDentify identifies a person’s strengths, potential and future aspirations through two assessments, a psychometric profiling tool and qualitative assessment. This data is used to pick out people who can take on additional responsibilities as part of its expansion plans.

iPerform is a performance management tool where managers and employees work together to plan, monitor and review one’s work objectives. Unlike traditional performance reviews, it allows the employee to have active ongoing conversations with their manager throughout the year, keeping talent engaged and development front of mind.

During iDevelop’s soft launch phase, a select few employees and managers were given a first look at the system and the opportunity to provide further feedback. After an extremely positive response, it rolled out the app across the company with a “big bang” launch day.

Some 167 individuals across seven sectors have been categorised using the system, which amounts to 67% of its total workforce. These individuals were situated into one of nine possible categories that cross reference whether an employee is exceptional, strong, or has potential for growth. This information was used to restructure and upskill the workforce. Specialised plans were used to focus on areas of development.

Since launch in 2018, employee retention has improved and HRA Pharma has been able to create a detailed progression plan for employees and confidently pursue its business objectives.

Siemens and Aon’s Assessment Solutions

Siemens, which has 385,000 employees in more than 200 countries, has developed a Mindset Model to unify organisational culture, values and behaviours that are important to its future success, enabling it to identify candidates with high potential.

Socio-political and technology advancements have pressed the company to introduce talent processes that reflect the need to entirely rethink its customer proposition and the employee behaviours required to deliver this. Its previous assessment processes relied heavily on competency-based interviews and technical skills, but it has since found it needs staff who are able to adapt regardless of their qualifications.

Competencies were identified following focus groups with various areas of the business, including the leadership team in the UK. The common areas identified as high priority were: cognitive ability; connecting with people; open mindedness and quick-learning; and motivation and resilience.

Pre-validated assessments provided by Aon were mapped into its Mindset Model to measure the abilities, work styles and preferences needed. Four assessments were selected: numerical reasoning; inductive logical reasoning; learning/memory capacity assessment; and personality questionnaire.

Siemens says that introducing the technology and communicating about why it uses the Mindset Model have provided a better experience for candidates. They can access online psychometric assessments in a time or place that suits them and allows for individual feedback.

It says the Mindset Model predicts success: when comparing those with the strongest fit with those with the weakest fit, overall performance is 12% higher; and those with a match score of 5 have overall 35% higher performance ratings than those with a match score of 1.

It increases fairness and reduces bias, and forces evidence collection.

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