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Talent management in the APS

Talent management in the APS is the systematic identification, development and deployment of individuals with potential for more challenging roles in the future.  It is a key business strategy and an investment in the future capability of the APS. Taking a systematic approach to managing the growth of high potential employees ensures the APS has the right people ready for critical roles now and in the future.

On behalf of the APS, we support the Deputy Secretaries Talent Council and the Secretaries Talent Council, who manage the Senior Executive Service talent processes.

Managing talent in your agency

Talent management guide and toolkit

We designed this guide and toolkit to assist APS agencies implement internal talent management linked to broader workforce planning. We also use it for APS-wide talent management initiatives we coordinate in partnership with agencies.

The guide covers principles and practices of talent management, including:

  • Attraction and identification
  • Development
  • Engagement
  • Deployment
  • Governance

The toolkit comprises the following practical frameworks and templates:

  • APS framework for high potential: This framework provides agencies with a practical understanding of the qualities that indicate high potential.
  • Manager guide to identifying high potential: This guide assists managers to observe whether an individual is displaying the qualities and behaviours that indicate high potential. The tool only provides an initial assessment. We recommend formal assessment to confirm an initial judgement of high potential.
  • Guide to career conversations: This guide assists managers to provide feedback to employees about their performance and potential, their career aspirations and development requirements. The guide includes: feedback prompts, questions to pose to the employee and possible development options.
  • Formal assessment tools and methods: This document offers a range of assessment options agencies can use to validate initial assessment or obtain a deeper understanding of development requirements. This list is not comprehensive; we only included a small sample of assessments available on the market.
  • APS nine-box grid: This matrix helps agencies understand their talent management pool or cohort. The tool relies on accurate assessment of an individual's performance and potential prior to plotting. Placement on the grid can facilitate important decisions regarding succession and development.
  • Career profile template: This is an example internal CV that allows the sharing of professional experience, qualifications and aspirations with a Talent Council or equivalent.
  • Talent Council terms of reference: This is an example for developing terms of reference for a Talent Council or equivalent.
  • Succession plan template: This is an example plan to track critical roles, likelihood of vacancy and potential successors, to allow a greater understanding of key capabilities and people risks within the agency and areas for individuals to focus their development.  Note: placement on a succession plan is not a guarantee of future position – merit-based recruitment processes still apply.

© Commonwealth of Australia January 2015 All material produced by the Australian Public Service Commission (the Commission), constitutes Commonwealth copyright administered by the Commission. The Commission reserves the right to set out the terms and conditions for the use of such material.  Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, and those explicitly granted herein, all other rights are reserved.
Connecting with other practitioners

Collaboration and communication across the APS strengthens our work. We host a regular Talent Management Working Group that meet regularly – talentmanagement [at] apsc.gov.au">contact us for more information.

Last reviewed: 
15 July 2019