The term “audit” can be frightening to most small business owners, and yet they can provide a useful tool to determine systematic problems in processes and ways on improving them. HR, as a function of your organization, is no different. To accurately develop employees and HR policies, you should have a firm grasp on where your organization is currently and what needs to be improved. A talent audit is the perfect tool for assessing personnel strengths and potential.

Before embarking on a detailed recruitment strategy or training program, a talent audit can allow you to identify what competencies you are most lacking inside your organization and on an individual level. Through assessing where your employees are in terms of strategic competencies and abilities, you’ll know what dimensions of your organizational performance are lacking versus driving success.

The first important step of the talent audit is to define your talents. This is usually done by looking at the key competencies you hire for in recruitment and observe for performance measuring. REACT recommends using the industry wide SHL UCF (includes competencies that impact all levels of activities including Leadership & Deciding, Supporting & Cooperating, etc) method.

The next stage is to measure the talents that you have defined. You’ll want to take a holistic approach to this step and balance performance with potential. REACT has industry tested framework to assist in the measurement of talent performance as well as potential to accurately gauge a variety of roles. Once the talents have been measured, you’ll need to benchmark them either internally or against industry standards to provide useful insights into how your organization is performing.

Finally you’ll need to improve based on the results and then evaluate those improvements over time. Using the measurements and benchmarks identified through the talent audit, you’ll need to create specific and detailed policies to address shortcomings of your current talent. REACT can assist in this stage with a variety of tools and programs that can help to identify talent in new hires as well as develop talent in current employees. By implementing annual evaluations of the improvements you’ve made you will continue to develop talent and increase performance.