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SAP ERP HCM Talent Management Tips

by Venki Krishnamoorthy

December 23, 2014

Talent Calibration is an important process in Succession Planning. Veteran SAP ERP HCM consultant and HR Expert author Venki Krishnamoorthy shares some tips on calibration grids and performance management.

Here are some tips on the use of Talent Calibration in Succession Planning that I have discovered during my career as an SAP ERP HCM consultant.

Talent Calibration is an important process in Succession Planning. The calibration meeting is used to discuss the employee’s strengths and development needs. A standard nine-box grid with performance and potential as the X–Y axis is used to review the performance potential of a particular segment of the workforce.

Many companies use a nine-box grid, a six-box grid, or a 15-box grid. Although SAP HCM Talent Management comes standard with a nine-grid setting, you can configure a nine-box grid, a six-box grid, or a 15-box grid.

In Figure 1 employees who fall within the grids Exceeds expectation (performance) and Accelerated Growth (potential) are categorized as Top Talent. Similarly, employees who fall within the grids Consistently exceeds expectation (performance)/Accelerated Growth (potential) are categorized as High Potential. Typically less than 8 to 10 percent of the workforce is categorized as Top Talent/High Potential during the appraisal year.


Figure 1
Example of a 15-box calibration grid


Companies provide required training to employees identified as Top Talent/High Potential. This training could include functional cross-training or even an opportunity to shadow senior executives. Many such employees are also identified as potential successors to key positions and are added to the bench strength.

In SAP, you can configure the calibration grid in customizing by following IMG menu path Talent Management and Talent Development > Calibration Grid > Specify settings for grid (Figure 2).


Figure 2
Customizing settings to create a calibration grid


In the customizing step, name the Calibration Grid and identify the scales that will be used for performance and potential grids. For the performance-related scale, it is important that you use the same scale that you used to assess the final appraisal ratings in SAP ERP HCM Performance Management.

If you have SAP ERP HCM Performance Management in your landscape, there is a delivered Business Add-In (BAdI) that enables you to populate infotype 7409 (performance) with the overall final score as assessed in SAP ERP HCM Performance Management.

Now, click Calibration Grid Fields and name the different grids (Figure 3). It is in this customizing step that you set up a nine-box calibration grid (or a six-box or a 15-box grid).


Figure 3
Nine-box grid


Based on the settings in Figure 3, if an employee is given a performance rating of Exceeds Expectations and a potential rating of High, then the employee falls in the Future Leader grid (in the Label column). You can rename the grid labels as it suits your business practice and culture.

Once you have created the grid, you need to assign the grid in the system. You can perform this customizing step by following IMG menu path Talent Management and Talent Development > Calibration Grid > Specify grid to be used (see Note, below).

In an SAP system, only one grid can be assigned in the system at any one time. If you have different grids for different functional areas or job levels, then, prior to the calibration meeting, assign them in the customizing step Specify grid to be used.

Talent calibration is an important process in Succession Planning and is an opportunity for line managers to present their talent assessments, as well be challenged by their peers. At the end of the meeting a group of employees remains (identified as Top Talent/High Potential) who have been reviewed and supported by management.

The talent management specialist can create a talent group identified as Top Talent/High Potential and assign the identified employees to the talent group. This would help the specialist to create specific programs and emails for this talent group.

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Venki Krishnamoorthy

Venki Krishnamoorthy is an author, speaker, and SAP ERP HCM talent management solutions subject-matter expert. He is currently an independent SAP ERP HCM functional consultant. Venki has over 10 years of experience as a functional lead, project manager, and program manager in the HCM space. Besides implementing SAP HCM solutions, he has implemented and acted as a trusted advisor on SAP ERP HCM talent management implementations, including E-Recruiting, HCM Performance Management, Succession Planning, SAP Talent Visualization by Nakisa, Learning Solutions, and Employee Self-Service and Manager Self-Services.


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