The Talent Plan is the Most Important Plan

The Talent Plan is the Most Important Plan

When we started Stop the Vanilla back in 1999, we focused on helping organizations develop their strategy. We believed that if an organization had a great plan, everything else would take care of itself. However, during the first year of working with almost every client, we found that we spent a great deal of time working “on the team.” As a result, our strategy evolved, and we obtained the certifications, tools, and built the processes to help our clients with strategy and talent planning.

Back in the early years, it appeared that the strategic plan was more important than the talent plan because there was plenty of talent to fill the positions needed to execute the strategy.  However, based on the competitive and tight labor market today, you could argue the talent plan has now become more important than your strategic plan. But the irony is you can’t create the talent plan without first knowing where you are going in your strategic plan.  So, in fact your strategy comes first, but the talent plan has become more important to grow your organization today.

Strategic planning has been around for years, but what is talent planning?  Talent planning is focused on identifying, selecting, hiring, retaining and developing the necessary talent to deliver your differentiation and strategy. That’s what talent planning does for your organization. Your talent plan includes all the actions over the next three years to achieve your 3-year vision you developed in your strategic planning process.

At the foundation of a talent planning system is behavioral science. With the accuracy of the assessments at 80 to 90%, you know the candidate or individual before you ever shake their hand. The rule of thumb is that a bad hire can cost your company five to ten times the employee’s annual compensation. You are talking about investing a few hundred dollars in assessments to avoid hundreds of thousands of dollars in a hiring or promotion mistake. A thorough hiring process weights 1/3 on credentials, 1/3 on assessments, and 1/3 on interviews. Using behavioral assessments will dramatically increase your chance of making the right hiring decisions. All it takes is one bad hire to set your organization back.

Having the right people in the right positions doing the right things is what we call skillset alignment. Skillset alignment is the result of matching the individual’s natural talents to the requirements of the position. From our experience, the #1 reason for a profitable organization is a skillset aligned high-performance team.

In today’s marketplace, talent planning has become more important than the strategic plan.  So take time to begin implementing your Talent Planning System and Build the Team to Achieve Your Dream!   You can learn more about Talent Planning and how to implement it within your organization at


Steve Van Remortel is Founder/CEO of MyTalentPlanner, Chief Strategist & Talent Advisor at Stop the Vanilla, LLC and is a speaker, trainer, advisor, and 3x author.