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Talent reviews: the key to effective succession management

Karien Stadler (Career and Succession Planning Manager at DAL Group, Khartoum, Sudan)

Business Strategy Series

ISSN: 1751-5637

Article publication date: 6 September 2011




The purpose of this article is to discuss succession management within the context of talent management, with specific reference to the role of talent reviews in the identification, development and retention of potential successors for critical job roles at different organizational levels.


The article utilizes a case study of talent reviews from a Saudi Arabian mining company, explores the different succession management approaches and highlights emerging best practice solutions in the field. In the case study, the primary task was to evaluate a sample of 59 executives and senior managers against the company's leadership competency framework in order to support them in a structured career development process within the context of the company's talent strategy.


The main findings indicate that the sample's strategic thinking ability and leadership skills are generally weak and that the current leadership capabilities might not be aligned with the company's growth strategy.

Practical implications

To enhance the talent review process, companies should: apply additional measures to develop a more complete picture of individual capability; fast‐track the talent review process; create a talent score card; review selection practice; determine retention risk by means of a risk‐criticality analyses; and implement individual conversations about performance and career development.


The article has found that talent review is a powerful intervention tool that helps to identify high‐potential employees and future leaders, determine bench strength at a specific level and identify talent gaps, organizational capability and risks. This study contributes to the practice of strategic human resources management with implications for succession management.



Stadler, K. (2011), "Talent reviews: the key to effective succession management", Business Strategy Series, Vol. 12 No. 5, pp. 264-271.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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