Skip to main content
Back to How We Help Clients

Talent Management

Recognizing the crucial link between talent and value, we help clients run organizations that create value and adapt at the speed of business.

Adapting to a fast-changing world is a defining challenge for leaders today. The critical differentiator in talent management is the ability to deploy and redeploy talent as opportunities arise and dissipate. In today’s economy, characterized by an abundance of capital and growing skill gaps, talent management and HR capabilities are key sources of competitive advantage.

This is an exciting time for HR; the function is moving from business partner to business leader, from a service provider to an executive-officer mentality. The chief human-resources officer (CHRO) is now a partner to the CFO and CEO, equally responsible for implementing the strategic business agenda. While the topic of strategic HR is not new, advances in technology (such as People Analytics) are changing the game. HR can now consistently apply data, not instinct, to make talent decisions. At the same time, new automation technologies are enabling more consistent HR service at lower cost. We see a tremendous, often untapped potential to generate business value through talent outcomes.

Featured Insights

Winning with Talent

Read this special collection of articles and interviews on talent management.
Learn how to win by putting people first.

How we help clients

Our client support is grounded in the belief that organizations must link talent to value. Our work on talent:

  • begins with what drives value for the business
  • is underpinned by data and advanced analytics
  • develops the capabilities of the G3—the CEO, CFO, and CHRO—to build the talent systems and culture necessary for linking talent to value
  • aggressively allocates talent to business opportunities
  • leverages grounded, research-based approaches
  • is fit for purpose in the digital era

We apply our “Talent to Value” philosophy to help clients:

  • Actively match top talent to critical roles. We identify the critical roles required to deliver on an evolving business agenda and help our clients ensure the best talent with the right skills are dynamically matched to those roles. We focus the leadership team on the roles driving the greatest value and help ensure a rich pipeline of qualified succession candidates for critical roles. Throughout the process, we draw on the power of data and analytics, such as our Talent Match solution, which allows clients to identify and define roles, build high potential and succession lists, and match talent to roles with the ease and speed of a swipe.
  • Build a strategic plan for your workforce. We help clients determine what skills to focus on, based on the skill’s value and projected scarcity. We quantify the skills required in the future and project internal and external supply based on organizational workforce-trend data and market labor analytics. We prioritize likely gaps between supply and demand and develop talent strategies to address talent gaps.
  • Identify, attract, and select talent. We deploy some of the best consumer branding approaches to design winning employee value propositions. Using advanced analytics, we expand talent sourcing pools and reduce risk in hiring decisions.
  • Develop, motivate, and retain talent. Drawing on our seminal research on next-generation individual performance management, we build the mind-sets, capabilities, and behaviors that drive business performance. We offer an extensive suite of manager capability-building programs through McKinsey Academy.
  • Transform the HR function into a powerhouse that delivers value. We help HR make the leap from service provider to business leader. We revolutionize the HR function by embedding People Analytics in HR processes and building HR-team capabilities. We support HR transformations that improve efficiency, effectiveness and the employee experience.

What makes us distinctive

  • We link your value agenda and talent strategy.
    We serve a variety of clients, from established multinationals, publicly traded companies, and public-sector organizations to private-equity firms, NGOs, and start-ups. We understand the nuances of what it takes to win in the industries in which our clients operate. The breadth and depth of our business expertise allows us to delve into value agendas in a way that traditional HR consulting firms and boutiques cannot.
  • We craft strategies based on facts, data, and analytics.
    We custom build our models instead of offering a one-size-fits-all solution, driving richer results and answering the strategic questions that matter most to our clients. Our People Analytics team helps clients achieve the widest lens by aggregating data from multiple sources—including basic HR data (such as demographics), advanced internal data (such as performance and recruiting), active channels (such as assessments, interviews, and surveys), and external data. We work with clients to develop a sustainable People Analytics capability. We help clients establish their own analytics teams, processes, and tools and identify future use cases to scale the impact.
  • We build client capabilities and win hearts and minds.
    We establish the right combination of governance, process, systems, and incentives to build capabilities and support for initiatives. Recognizing the challenges that can accompany implementation and change, our firm invests heavily in solutions such as McKinsey Implementation, McKinsey Academy, and Aberkyn. Our goal is to ensure self-sustaining, continuous HR improvement for years to come.
  • We are flexible in how we work, but uncompromising on impact.
    Because of the flexibility of our work models, tools, and solutions, we meet clients where they are in their individual talent-management and HR-transformation journeys.

Our people

Bill Schaninger
Senior Partner, Philadelphia
Designs and manages large-scale organizational transformations, strengthening business performance through enhanced culture, values, leadership, and talent systems.
Bryan Hancock
Partner, Washington DC
Supports private, public, and social sector clients through expertise in talent management, organizational design, and workforce development
Carla Arellano
Partner, New York
Brings a background in finance and organization in helping companies strengthen and transform their culture and talent management and create value using people analytics
Dana Maor
Senior Partner, Tel Aviv
Leads McKinsey’s Israel office, as well as our work on transformational change across Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. Passionate about talent management and leadership development—within client organizations, McKinsey, and society.
David Muhlmann
Senior Expert, Paris
Advises clients in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East on talent management, workforce planning, performance management, organizational change, leadership, and development
Laura Blumenfeld
Partner, London
Advises on organizational, talent, and commercial issues, including transactions, merger management, carve-outs, new business building, restructuring, transformation, top-team effectiveness, talent, corporate strategy, and brand strategy
Mary Meaney
Senior Partner, Paris
Coleads the Organization Practice globally and is one of the leading experts in transformational change
Michael Barriere
Partner, New York
Draws on years of private-sector experience to build HR, leadership, and workforce capabilities that deliver business outcomes and value
Neel Gandhi
Partner, New York
Advises leading organizations on how to strengthen their talent-management capabilities and build an HR function that operates as a true strategic partner and value driver for the business
Leads Talent Value Leader Academy
Nora Gardner
Senior Partner, Washington DC
Combines technical expertise with a passion for people, advising clients on issues of organizational change and talent management across the public, private, and social sectors.

Featured capabilities

Using talent management to create value

You’ve got great people—but are you realizing their potential? founder Sandy Ogg explains why companies must link talent to value, and what that means for the role of HR.

Impact Story

Implementing a talent strategy drives growth

The telco client's recruiting time is halved, allowing the company to sign on 100 IT specialists within three years—a crucial enabler of its growth strategy.


Retraining and reskilling to ease the strain of automation

Economist Michael Spence talks about the role the public and private sectors need to play in helping people prepare for changes in the workforce.

Talent management at BlackRock: A conversation with Larry Fink

The most important component of good management is ensuring “diversity of mind,” says the CEO of the world’s largest asset manager.

Related Insights


Why you should apply analytics to your people strategy

– Bringing advanced computing power and analytics capabilities to bear on people decisions in an organization is crucial to driving lasting and effective change.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Are we long—or short—on talent?

– By looking at their supply of skills and talent in a new light today, organizations can take actions that better prepare their companies for tomorrow’s challenges.

Winning with your talent-management strategy

– Three best practices for managing and allocating talent support better business performance, according to a new survey.
Podcast - McKinsey Quarterly

Putting talent at the top of the CEO agenda

– McKinsey global managing partner Dominic Barton discusses how executives serious about delivering value need to spend more time identifying their organizations’ top performers and most critical roles.