Report on the Audit of Talent Management

4. Background

Talent management (TM) refers to the process of attracting, developing, and integrating new employees, as well as the development and retention of existing employees. The major aspects of TM within an organization must include recruitment, performance management, leadership development, and workforce planning.

At the Department of Justice (the Department), managing talent is a shared responsibility between the Human Resources Branch (HRB) and managers with delegated authority. The HRB supports senior management by providing expert advice based on leading practices. That information is then shared with managers across the Department who apply TM principles in support of departmental priorities.

The only sustainable competitive advantage an organization has is its people. Talent needs to be viewed as a scarce commodity and in order to have the right people in the right positions, an organization needs to look at its long-term needs and develop a plan to address those needs.

The Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer (OCHRO), Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS), defines TM as ensuring that people are matched to the right jobs for their skills, competencies and career plans. Through dialogue, feedback, career support, and individually tailored learning, the potential of each individual can be fully realized, organizational priorities can be met, and overall public service excellence can be achieved.

The aging workforce will have a significant impact on the Public Service overall. In 2012, 50% of all public servants were 45 years of age or older. As per data recently released by TBS, almost 20% of the Government of Canada’s workforce in 2014 was over the age of 55.

The demographic trends for the Department reflect those of the rest of the Public Service. Approximately 8% of the existing workforce is currently eligible to retire. Within the next five years, this figure is expected to rise to 21%.

% of employees eligible to retire now, within 2 years and within 5 years

% of employees eligible to retire now, within 2 years and within 5 years described below

Text description: % of employees eligible to retire now, within 2 years and within 5 years

Approximately twenty percent of employees are eligible to retire in the next 5 years

  • 9% of employees are eligible to retire now
  • 12% of employees will be eligible to retire within 2 years
  • 20% of employees will be eligible to retire within 5 years

Given these demographics and recent organizational transformations, it is critical that the Department focus on managing its talent through career, succession and workforce planning. This is especially important considering most legal professionals in the Public Service spend their entire career in the Department. TM principles can be used to help improve organizational performance through various means including transfer of legal knowledge related to litigation, advisory and legislative services to talented successors. Consequently, the identification and adequate inclusion of successors in TM processes is critical to the sustainment of future departmental performance.

The Department seeks and responds to employee feedback related to TM activities. This allows the Department to refine its TM practices in support of its strategic objectives.

Date modified: