What’s a Talent Roadmap?

September 30, 2011

Until this afternoon, I had no clue myself! My team and I were talking about a comprehensive practice kit we could put together this quarter to post on our OpenView Labs site. We tinkered with topics, such as “Effective Interviewing Strategies” and “Successful Sourcing Tactics,” until Jess Ray, our newest team member, introduced the idea of “Creating a Talent Road Map”.

In my previous HR position at a large software corporation, I remember sitting down with several executives and going through lists of current employees to determine things like how much growth their organization was expecting, who should be trained and mentored for a leadership role, or who would probably leave for greener pastures.

Looking back, I realize now that all of those decisions tie closely into the concept of a Talent Roadmap. I’ll expand in a later blog post, but for now, it’s important to understand the 4 basic steps involved in a Talent Roadmap:

1) Evaluate the status of your talent management strategy

2) Find where the team lines up on the talent management capability continuum

3) Prioritize talent management processes

4) Create a talent management road map

Because OpenView Venture Partners invests in expansion stage technology startups, a talent roadmap seems absolutely critical to consider! A lot of our portfolio companies are growing at astronomical rates and our goal is to help foster that growth with these types of practice kits and resources.

For example, every new hire should have a 30-60-90 day plan as part of their onboarding process, right? So wouldn’t it make sense for a young company to have, at the very least, a 1-2-5 year plan for employees?

A Talent Roadmap certainly wouldn’t slow down your growth; in fact I’m sure it would accelerate it. We always talk about how costly it is to make the wrong hire. Well, grooming and promoting the wrong people can cause companies to incur hefty expenses as well.

Two of our California portfolio companies are world-class when it comes to employee development and planning in conjunction with their rapid growth. Kareo has gone from 40 to 60 employees in just one year, while uSamp (founded in 2008) has almost 200 employees worldwide! Not to mention that throughout their rapid growth, those expansion stage start-ups have identified high-potential employees early and carefully groomed and promoted many into VP-level positions.

If you have any similar stories that promote and justify the use of a Talent Roadmap, I’d love to hear them!



Director of Recruiting

Victor Mahillon is the Director of Recruiting at <a href="http://kamcord.com">Kamcord</a>. Previously he was a Talent manager at OpenView.