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The Alternative Board Blog

What is Talent Optimization?

Aug. 16, 2023 | Posted by Lee Polevoi

Think how much easier hiring new employees would be if the process was an exact science. Well, in some respects, it already is.

According to The Predictive Index, “Talent optimization” is “a four-part discipline that details what’s required for aligning your business strategy and your talent strategy” to attain desired business outcomes. At its core, talent optimization “is the collection, analysis, and application of people data.”

Those four parts (or “aptitudes”) include:

  • Diagnose
  • Design
  • Hire
  • Inspire

The objective, as Talent Management suggests, is a seamless alignment between strategy and hiring, so that “everyone contributes with purpose, leveraging their natural strengths, and works together with high levels of cohesion.”

Here’s more detail on the components of talent optimization:


The best starting place is a careful assessment of existing workforce conditions. Using stored data based on past recruitment efforts, you can analyze and determine where present-day hiring techniques are falling short. Among the factors to be analyzed are (a) communications issues within the workplace; (b) the potential for a toxic work environment; and (c) the team’s overall level of morale and productivity.


Based on compiled data, the next step is creating a “people strategy” that builds on new knowledge of your team members’ motivations and degree of engagement. Ensuing actions may include a reorganization of the company’s structure and leadership responsibilities, so there is stronger alignment between long-term strategic goals and the ways in which you go about recruiting and retaining high-quality employees.

Want additional insight? Read 7 Steps for an Effective Hiring Process now to learn more



By following the first two steps of talent optimization, your organization is better prepared and equipped to resume your hiring efforts. All too frequently, companies don’t approach “their hiring from a data-driven perspective, resulting in mismatched teams or duplication of duties and strengths,” notes Garmen Partners. An objective hiring strategy, on the other hand, results in a team of “not just A-players, but ones that will be a good culture fit.”

Specifically, this phase incorporates results from behavioral and cognitive assessments of job candidates, as well as a behavioral-based interview process. Be sure your team clearly defines job descriptions and requirements and have a strong sense of what type of individual will best fit within the company culture.


Qualified new hires, a more capable team of employees, greater in-depth knowledge of the most effective recruitment tactics—once this all falls into place, the next phase is up to you and your senior leadership team.

Look at new ways to communicate and inspire your team, leveraging communications tools most employed within the organization. Craft a compelling and inspirational message that stresses how everyone’s work is integral to the company’s overall success. Provide better, more updated equipment and technology to help them get the job done.

All businesses grapple at one time or another with misalignment in hiring, employee relations, team efforts, and communications. Much of this grows out of a lack of understanding exactly how corporate hiring and high-level strategy work together. Using the approach of talent optimization, businesses can take a more objective, data-based approach that will result in stronger alignment and greater return on investment.

Want more tips on enhancing your recruitment efforts? Register for our free TAB Boss Webinar, “Design Employee Incentives to Recruit and Retain Top Talent.”

Read our 19 Reasons You Need a Business Owner Advisory Board


Written by Lee Polevoi

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