Talent Management Application Design and Implementation

Provides a customized, interactive process that focuses on creating a fully-developed, documented application (or multiple applications) with communications, guidelines, tools and training for high-impact execution.

We help clients improve their success by creating integrated competency-based approaches for various talent management applications. We have well-documented process guidelines, tools, templates and training for virtually all talent management applications, including:

  • Talent Acquisition and selection
  • Assessment
  • Performance management
  • Goal management and measurement
  • Learning and development
  • Career development
  • Succession planning
  • Leadership and executive development
  • Total rewards linkages to all of the above.

This enables us to apply available off-the-shelf materials and develop customized applications to fit each organization’s unique requirements. We also frequently implement engagements focusing on creating an integrated set of applications that span the employee life cycle. A brief description of our approach for each application area is provided below.


Talent Acquisition

Hiring and selecting the right people for positions within organizations represents one of the highest-impact human resources interventions. Schoonover Associates designs and implements the criteria, the process, and the supporting tools and training to help organizations maximize role-person fit.

The best method for overcoming potential vulnerabilities in the hiring and selection process is to identify specific behavioral criteria for excellence. We do this by using behaviorally anchored interviews and supporting evaluation tools and processes. Our hiring process offering and tools help clients focus on the following.

  • Using behaviorally anchored interviewing guidelines based on content-specific competency models.
  • Applying specifically designed probe questions to elicit objective evidence related to the expression of the required competencies.
  • Using tools and a process that provide a systematic analysis and ranking of candidates based on objective competency criteria.

In many engagements, we not only develop the interview process and guidelines, but also create overall approaches to hiring and selection (for example, campus hiring strategies, talent pipeline development, and new hire onboarding and assimilation) and provide the training during the rollout.

Schoonover Associates provides a specific workshop, “Hiring Right Every Time,” to help recruiters and hiring managers master best practices for hiring and selecting employees. This one- or two-day workshop provides practical approaches for successfully integrating and using competency interviewing techniques and tools for collecting and analyzing interview data.

Assessment and Development Planning

We help organizations maximize their human assets by providing objective, competency-based assessment services. We help organizations fulfill their assessment needs by developing assessment criteria, defining the process, and supporting appropriate gap analysis and development planning.


We provide a range of role/person assessments including:

  • Self and manager assessment (assessing an individual for coaching purposes and development planning).
  • 360º assessment (assessing an individual using multi-rater feedback).
  • Workforce assessments (assessing employees against roles to identify workforce development issues).
  • Succession planning (assessing multiple high potential employees against particular roles/criteria in order to make better decisions around talent).


Survey and Organization Assessment Services

We provide organizations with various off-the shelf assessments, including a Values and Preferences Inventory. The Adaptive Leadership Perspectives Competency Assessment, an Organization Readiness Survey, and others.


We also have capabilities for designing, implementing and analyzing customized surveys and assessments for candidate screening and other applications such as climate and employee satisfaction surveys.

Workforce Analysis, Design and Planning

Mobilizing and managing human assets has become one of the most critical factors for organizational success. Our experience and research indicates clearly that maximizing the contribution of all team members requires a systemic approach that relies on three characteristics:

  • Alignment of individual and team behavior and goals with organization values and strategies;
  • Integration of human asset applications into a common set of processes based on common success criteria; and
  • Distribution of accountability and learning using enabling tools and technology.We help organizations define and augment their human resource strategies through activities such as:
  • Creating a vision, values and supporting competencies;
  • Developing a core people strategy;
  • Generating a goal-setting approach;
  • Creating talent identification and pipelining processes;
  • Producing a human assets management approach (i.e., ensuring availability, mobilization and development of the right people for the right projects and/or positions);
  • Developing processes, tools and support materials to create a learning organization;
  • Integrating the core human asset management applications (e.g., hiring/selection, assessment, development, learning and performance management) into a common process.



The consultants at Schoonover Associates often help organizations maximize their human assets by providing objective, competency-based assessment services. We help organizations define their assessment needs by designing the criteria and guiding principles, and by clarifying the appropriate level of consulting support required for success. We can provide a range of role-person assessments, where the fit between a person and a designated role can be used for multiple applications, including the following.

  • Hiring and selection (assessing candidates against a role).
  • Succession planning (assessing multiple high-potential employees against particular roles and/or criteria so as to make better decisions about development and talent).
  • Self-assessment and manager assessment (assessing an individual for coaching and development planning purposes).
  • Multi-rater or 360-degree assessment (assessing an individual using feedback from more than one person).
  • Workforce assessments (assessing employees against roles to identify workforce development issues).

We also provide both off-the-shelf and customized online assessment and reporting capabilities to our clients, including a spectrum of assessment services that enable organizations to quickly and effectively make informed decisions about individual employees and the workforce as a whole.

Performance Management

An organization’s performance has a direct correlation with individual and team performance. Individuals need to understand the business direction and desired work culture, and should be rewarded for demonstrating behaviors and results in line with key goals and objectives. Ultimately, this leads to both better business performance and a more satisfied workforce.

In performance management engagements, we apply the following guiding principles:

  • They encompass both what employees need to do (goals) and how they need to behave to achieve excellent performance (competencies). (See also goal management and measurement.)
  • They align individual performance with business values and strategies (as with the Balanced Scorecard).
  • They embody a clear process spanning each business cycle.
  • They encompass clear, common policy decisions and workflow.
  • They are supported by clearly documented job aids or guidelines, tools, and training.
  • They serve as an integrating “hub” for other talent management processes.

From this premise, we help organizations do the following.

  • Develop a consistent approach to standard setting and performance planning.
  • Develop organizational competencies and values.
  • Provide a focused, objective process for planning, coaching, feedback, and appraisal.
  • Provide links to other talent management applications such as goal setting, learning and development, career development, succession planning, and compensation.

Goal Setting and Management

Managing goals efficiently is a critical strategic endeavor for all organizations. In many settings, top management establishes goals, leaving managers and team members to their own devices for implementation. In our view, four critical perspectives make goal management work. These are the four perspectives on which our goal management and measurement offering is focused.

  • Strategic alignment. Organizations should focus on the “critical few” strategic levers for performance; approach goal cascading consistently so that managers know when to cascade and when not to, and to what extent; and refine their understanding of interdependencies such as cross-team synergies and conflicts.
  • Goal quality. Criteria for key goals should encompass the types of measures that most accurately define desired outcomes; include the right level of a value chain or process (beginning, middle, or end); and be practical and easy to track and measure.
  • Implementation process excellence. Goals should be tailored to the individual; developed collaboratively; managed via a manager-employee “contract”; and tracked, refined, and updated dynamically as conditions change.
  • Collaborative coaching. As the critical, informal component of performance excellence, coaching should convey fully the substance and rationale behind goals; create a shared stake in the fulfillment of goals; and support open, ongoing feedback to support goal refinement and revision.

Goal management and measurement is the “what” of performance management; competencies are the “how.” Therefore our process for goal management and measurement resembles our approach to performance management, as follows.

  • Develop a consistent approach to goal setting, cascading, tracking, and measurement.
  • Develop organizational competencies and values and linkages to organizational strategies.
  • Provide a focused, objective process for planning, coaching, feedback, and appraisal.
  • Provide links to other talent management applications such as performance appraisal, learning and development, career development, succession planning, and compensation.

Learning and Development

Organizations gain a competitive edge by creating an environment of knowledge sharing and continuous learning. Ensuring that the workforce has the right knowledge and skills leads to overall business success and higher levels of workforce retention. Therefore, the continued success of an organization is tied to the effectiveness of training and development initiatives for its workforce.

Schoonover Associates has developed approaches to learning and development that focus on aligning learning with business and talent management strategies, linking learning to day-to-day activities and performance, and providing highly accessible, self-directed learning opportunities in a variety of venues. We design and implement both off-the-shelf and customized learning systems. Drawing from our library of learning references and developmental experiences, we help clients do the following.

  • Identify critical employee development needs.
  • Build and link key development activities and experiences.
  • Create development and career pathing tools.
  • Design integrated processes for performance development and productivity.
  • Generate a continuous learning and knowledge-sharing environment.
  • Develop learning portals for communicating and linking employees to available resources.

Effective learning and development programs align learning with the business and talent management strategy, ensuring that the workforce can compete and win in today’s business environment.