tmc bTalent management refers to the anticipation of required human capital for an organisation, and the planning to meet those needs … Everything done to recruit, retain, develop, reward and make people perform forms a part of talent management, as well as strategic workforce planning. (Wikipedia)

We convened a group of principals together with business experts to address the key talent management challenges facing school leaders, and these are some of the key takeaways from the session.


  • Create unique selling points – create a careers page (not “vacancies”) to describe your point of difference for prospective applicants such as the developmental journey that a teacher might expect
  • Identify critical roles and scarce skill sets early and keep an eye open for talented people who could be developed into those roles
  • Use innovative channels to engage potential candidates (especially with scarce skills) long before the recruitment process gets underway
  • Develop a rigorous process to select people with the right talents/attributes – be clear on what you are looking for; have a robust recruitment process; consider using assessment centres; and develop a good interviewing technique.


  • Every leader should schedule time for ‘one on ones’ with all of their direct reports
  • Create relevant career pathways so that staff acquire new skills and are exposed to developmental opportunities. Think about pathways within the school as well as beyond the school e.g. cross-sector roles.triangle
  • Create individualised development plans for each person which targets who they are (soft skills), what they do (technical skills) and how they lead (leadership skills). Try the 70/20/10 framework and avoid relying on generic PLD for the whole staff.
  • Extend leadership development beyond the top tier.

Engaging and retaining:

  • Think about extrinsic as well as intrinsic motivators
  • There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach
  • Measure engagement and motivation and use this to drive continuous improvement in your leadership
  • Optimise your staffing mix to provide access to allowances and flexibility
  • Make use of secondment opportunities outside the school to extend, develop, motivate and retain staff.
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