Managing Bias in Talent Review

"Just sharing with you that yesterday I had the talent review meeting with my senior marketing General Managers. I was absolutely pleased with what I heard from them and how biases were removed during discussions! In many comments they mentioned some of the concepts learned in the workshop to sustain their point of view. I was really impressed that, in a short period of time, things they learned recently have impacted positively how they think, act and articulate their thoughts.”-Associate Director, at Consumer Packaged Goods Company Fortune 500(R)

Session Overview

Facilitated session that explores how we can manage bias and challenge our assumptions in order to achieve a more inclusive outcome in both the talent review and succession planning process. The session identifies four areas of practice where bias can surface: high-potential evaluation and nomination, evaluation of successor candidates, leadership pipeline development, and assumptions of what a leader “should” look like/behave. In addition, it also includes insights on promotion and the talent pipeline, bias in access to key assignments, sponsors/advocates, influential networks, and professional development is examined. Finally, participants practice identifying and responding to various forms of bias that commonly occur during talent review process. Rules of engagement and practical tips are provided as a way for participants to practice what they’ve learned throughout the session.

Target Audience

Business leaders engaging in talent review discussions or on talent planning committees


Our most popular version of this course is delivered online in our highly interactive virtual classroom, allowing an intimate experience for participants coming from across the organization. Not like any webinar you have previously attended, our online format will have you fully engaged with both onscreen activities and facilitator-led discussions during the entire session.  This session can also be delivered face-to-face.

Optional Prework or Blended Learning Solutions

“Intro to Managing Unconscious Bias” e-learning; IDI® assessments, “Managing Bias in Talent Management” workshop. Participants are also given individual access to our "Managing Bias in Talent Review" video after the session, to reinforce the lessons learned.

Learning Objectives

  • Prepare succession planning and talent review committees to challenge unconscious bias in their deliberations
  • Articulate which particular areas of the talent review process are susceptible to unconscious bias (and how)
  • Distinguish between concrete, objective criteria in the talent review process compared to subjective, personal preferences
  • Learn to recognize when we may be implicitly selecting for preferences unrelated to job performance or applying criteria inconsistently
  • List and give examples of several common patterns of bias that influence talent review
  • Practice responding to potentially biased statements/scenarios in a Talent Review meeting
  • Learn useful tips and rules of engagement to interrupt bias in the Talent Review process.

Key Content and Topics Include

  • Example of Bias in Talent Evaluation
  • Example: Selecting for Preferences vs. Performance: Personality Type
  • Activity: Bias in Talent Review?
  • Implicit Stereotyping: Higher Bar and Double Bind biases
  • “I know it when I see it”: Unconscious Bias in estimates of potential
  • Potential risks of typical ‘language codes’ used in organizations to describe talent
  • Hero/Firefighter Bias in Performance Ratings Activity
  • Bias in access to key assignments, sponsors/advocates, influential networks, and professional development
  • Activity: How Would You Respond? (Talent Review meeting scenario)
  • Rules of Engagement and Practical Tips for Talent Review
  • Action planning: What is 1 thing you can do to manage unconscious bias in Talent Review?

Need to manage bias BEYOND 'talent review'?

Interested in managing bias in other stages of the Talent Management cycle? Ask us about our "Managing Bias: Hiring", our “Managing Bias in Recruiting,” or broader “Managing Bias in Talent Management” workshops.