6B’s Model of Talent Management | Implementing SWP

6B’s Model of Talent Management | Implementing SWP

In today’s competitive business landscape, attracting, developing, and retaining top talent is crucial for organisations to thrive. This is where the 6B’s Model of Talent Management and Strategic Workforce Planning comes into play. This model provides a comprehensive framework for managing talent strategically and aligning workforce planning with organisational goals. In this article, we will delve into the key components of the 6B’s Model, the benefits it brings, how to measure its success, and how it fits into the broader strategic workforce planning cycle.

What is the Strategic Workforce Planning Cycle?

Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP) is a critical process for aligning an organisation’s human resource management with its strategic goals. It ensures that the organisation can meet its future challenges and opportunities with the right workforce. The SWP cycle comprises six essential steps:

  1. Strategic direction: The first step in the SWP cycle is understanding the organisation’s key mission goals and future objectives as set by its leadership. It’s crucial to have a clear vision of where the organisation is heading and the role the workforce plays in achieving these goals.
  2. Supply analysis: This step focuses on evaluating the current workforce and predicting how it will evolve due to attrition, retirements, and other factors. This analysis provides a comprehensive overview of the existing workplace skills and competencies.
  3. Demand analysis: Understanding the organisation’s current and future workforce requirements is critical. Demand analysis assesses the types of roles, skills, and capacities needed to meet strategic objectives. It forecasts the future needs of the organisation in terms of workforce size, structure, and capabilities, considering factors like projected growth, technological advancements, and market trends.
  4. Gap analysis: Skill gap analysis highlights the discrepancies in skills, numbers, and capabilities, prioritising them based on their impact on organisational performance. These skills can be visualised using a skills matrix. This step is crucial for identifying the most critical areas that need addressing to prevent potential bottlenecks or shortcomings in achieving organisational goals.
  5. Solution Implementation: After identifying the gaps, the next step involves developing and implementing appropriate workforce interventions to bridge these gaps. Solutions may include targeted recruitment, training and development programs, restructuring, or strategic workforce adjustments. The 6B’s of Talent Management are the ideal model to close any gaps in a way that aligns with the organisation’s strategic direction and enhances its overall performance.
  6. Monitoring Progress: The final step in the SWP cycle is monitoring the effectiveness of the implemented solutions. This involves tracking progress towards closing the workforce gaps and assessing the impact of interventions on achieving strategic goals. Continuous monitoring allows for the identification of any adjustments or improvements needed to maximise the effectiveness of workforce planning efforts.

new hires lining up for interview

6B’s Model of Strategic Workforce Management Implementation

The 6Bs (Buy, Build, Borrow, Bind, Bounce, Boost) fall primarily within the “Solution Implementation” phase of the Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP) cycle. This phase involves developing and implementing appropriate workforce interventions to bridge the gaps identified in the “Gap Analysis” phase.

Each of the 6Bs represents a specific strategy for managing and optimising the workforce to align with the organisation’s strategic direction and goals. Here’s how each of the 6Bs fits into the Solution Implementation phase.

1. Buy

Refers to the acquisition of new talent through hiring external candidates. This strategy is used when specific skills, experiences, or capabilities not currently available within the organisation are needed to achieve strategic objectives.

2. Build

Involves developing existing employees through training, online courses, education, and developmental assignments. This strategy focuses on enhancing the skills and competencies of the current workforce to meet future in-demand skills or business needs.

3. Borrow

Entails using external resources temporarily to meet business demands. This can include contractors, freelancers, and consultants who provide specialised skills or support for short-term projects or specific initiatives.

4. Bind

Focuses on retaining key employees and talent critical to the organisation’s success. Retention strategies can include career development opportunities, competitive compensation, recognition programs, and a positive work environment to encourage valuable employees to stay.

5. Bounce

Sometimes referred to as “exit management,” this involves strategically managing the departure of employees from the organisation. This can include retirement planning, layoffs, and terminations as a way to optimise workforce composition and costs.

6. Boost

Boost is about accelerating the development of key talent and high-potential employees to ensure they are prepared for future challenges and leadership roles. It involves targeted training, mentorship, and exposure to critical projects, aimed at enhancing their skills and readiness for advancement. This strategic approach not only prepares the organisation for future success but also helps retain top talent by showing a clear commitment to their growth and career progression.

company hiring team

Using Skill Training Software to Implement the 6Bs

In recent years, businesses have grappled with aligning their workforce’s skills with future demands. According to a survey of Learning and Development (LD) and HR Managers, despite facing a skill shortage, there was a lack of visibility into each worker’s skill set, limited only to their role within the organisation.

Skill training software offers a solution. Cloud Assess Skills Matrix and Organisational Structure enable easy visibility into your talent pool and help identify skill gaps for personalised training, whether conducted online, in-person, or through hybrid methods. This software empowers teams, mitigates risks, and streamlines workforce management, serving as the ultimate tool to connect employee skills with organisational needs.

By aligning software with each of the 6Bs, businesses can effectively manage their workforce development:


  • Utilise skill software to identify specific skill gaps within the organisation that cannot be filled internally.
  • Leverage data insights to pinpoint areas where external hiring is necessary to acquire talent with specialised skills or experiences.
  • Seamlessly integrate the acquisition of new talent into the workforce through streamlined onboarding processes facilitated by the software.


  • Implement skill software to assess employees’ current skill sets and identify areas for improvement or development.
  • Design personalised learning paths and training programs to enhance employees’ skills and competencies in alignment with future business needs.
  • Track employees’ skill development progress over time and measure the effectiveness of training initiatives through the software’s analytics capabilities.


  • Utilise skill software to assess project requirements and identify instances where temporary resources are needed to meet business demands.


  • Employ skill software to identify key talent within the organisation and assess their satisfaction, engagement, and potential flight risk through surveys and 1:1 meetings.
  • Develop retention strategies tailored to individual employees based on their skill profiles and career aspirations using insights provided by the software.
  • Proactively monitor employee sentiment and engagement trends over time to address any issues that may impact retention efforts.


  • Utilise skill software to analyse workforce composition and identify areas where strategic adjustments are needed, such as redundancies or skill misalignments.
  • Plan and execute workforce restructuring initiatives, including layoffs or terminations, in a fair and compliant manner using the software’s data-driven decision-making capabilities.
  • Provide support and resources for departing employees, such as career transition assistance or retirement planning.


  • Identify high-potential employees and key talent using skill software’s talent management and performance evaluation tools.
  • Design personalised development plans to accelerate their growth and readiness for future leadership roles.
  • Foster a culture of continuous learning and career advancement by providing access to targeted training, mentorship opportunities, and exposure to critical projects through the software platform.

Benefits of Implementing the 6B’s Model

Implementing the 6B’s Model can yield numerous benefits for organisations:

  • Increased productivity: By focusing on building a talented workforce and providing opportunities for growth and development, organisations can enhance employee productivity and drive overall performance.
  • Enhanced employee engagement: When employees feel valued, rewarded, and supported, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated to contribute their best work.
  • Better talent retention: The 6B’s Model emphasises creating a workplace where employees feel a sense of belonging. This fosters loyalty and reduces turnover, saving organisations time and resources in recruiting and onboarding new employees.
  • Improved succession planning: By identifying and developing high-potential employees, organisations can ensure a smooth transition during times of leadership change or growth. This helps maintain stability and continuity within the organisation.
  • Culture of innovation: By encouraging employees to think creatively and take calculated risks, companies can stay ahead of the competition and adapt to changing market dynamics more effectively. This innovative mindset not only leads to the development of new products and services but also enhances problem-solving abilities across all levels of the organisation.
  • Diversity and inclusion: By valuing and respecting differences in backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, organisations can build a more inclusive and equitable workplace. This diversity fosters creativity and collaboration and ensures that decision-making processes consider a wide range of viewpoints, leading to more well-rounded and effective solutions.

Measuring Success: KPIs for the 6B’s Model

Measuring the effectiveness of the 6B’s Model is crucial to ensure that talent management strategies are aligned with organisational goals. Here are some key performance indicators (KPIs) to consider:

  • Employee satisfaction and engagement surveys: Regularly conducting surveys can provide insights into how employees perceive their experience within the organisation. High satisfaction and engagement scores indicate that the 6B’s Model is effectively meeting employee needs.
  • Talent retention rate: Calculating the percentage of employees who stay with the organisation over a specific period can indicate the success of talent management strategies. A high retention rate demonstrates that employees feel valued and rewarded.
  • Leadership pipeline: Tracking the number of high-potential employees who progress through the organisation’s leadership pipeline can help assess the effectiveness of the Bridge component. A healthy leadership pipeline indicates that the organisation is successfully nurturing future leaders.
  • Training and development metrics: Monitoring the number and variety of training programs offered, along with employee participation rates, can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of the ‘Build’ component of the model. Assessing the impact of these programs on employee growth and performance improvement is crucial for understanding how well the organisation supports and facilitates ongoing professional development.
  • Organisation diversity representation: By analysing the representation of diverse employees in leadership positions, middle management, and entry-level roles, organisations can gauge the progress they are making in creating a diverse and inclusive workforce. By expanding the scope of KPIs to include diversity and inclusion metrics, organisations can ensure that their talent management strategies not only focus on individual growth and development but also foster an inclusive and equitable workplace culture.

Using the 6Bs to Grow Your Business with Cloud Assess

The 6B’s Model within the Solution Implementation phase of the Strategic Workforce Planning cycle is essential for organisations aiming to align their workforce with strategic objectives. To effectively implement the 6B’s and track their success, organisations should consider adopting a training or skill matrix software solution like Cloud Assess.

Cloud Assess will streamline the development, monitoring, and optimisation of workforce capabilities, ensuring that talent management strategies are effectively aligned with organisational goals. Start a free trial today to fully leverage the power of the 6B’s in your strategic workforce planning.

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