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Workshop 2: Putting Strategy Back into Strategic Talent Management—Not a Random Act of HR


Sarah Evans, ServiceMaster
Erica Desrosiers, Johnson & Johnson
Ken Oehler, Aon


Neha Singla, Visa


Organizations are facing unprecedented technological disruption; however, the inertia of current HR programs can make talent management feel out of sync with the business. This workshop will help participants connect innovation and evolving business strategies with talent strategies and point to solutions and approaches designed for the future.

Full Description:

Effective talent management selects, on-boards, develops, engages and retains talented individuals with programs and interventions that meet the employee needs at various points of the lifecycle – but it also meets the evolving needs of the business first and foremost. This workshop will use a business case format to unpack and connect together business strategy, value drivers, culture, talent objectives and talent management interventions, including designing leadership development programs that align with the business strategy. Presenters will share tools, knowledge acquired, and observations from their own experiences to help participants learn to develop a talent management strategy connected to business strategies for the future.

Intended Audience:

Intermediate level and for a general audience at the post-graduate level. Solid understanding of the basic talent management concepts covered in this workshop is assumed and may not be discussed, or only discussed briefly, during this workshop. The workshop is intended for I-O psychologists and HR professionals with some experience designing and implementing Talent Management strategies and processes.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify drivers of business value through a case study approach, including high performance culture traits connected to growth strategies
  • Critique business and strategic priorities and identify the implications for talent management
  • Compare approaches for developing talent management tools and processes that align with and support strategic business objectives and maximize value
  • List and describe best practices for how to effectively implement strategic talent management initiatives by leveraging product management approaches

Presenter Biographies

Sarah Evans joined ServiceMaster in October of 2017 as their Head of Talent; in this role, she is responsible for Leadership Development, Succession Planning, Selection, Engagement Surveys, and Performance Management. Prior to joining ServiceMaster, Sarah was Senior Director, Global Talent Management at Walmart. In this role, she had responsibility for Succession Planning, Performance Management, and Executive Coaching. Earlier with Walmart, Sarah led teams in leadership development and selection. She also spent 5 years with TECO Energy as an internal consultant, with responsibility for selection, surveys, and organizational development. Sarah holds an M.S. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of Central Florida and is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) as well as SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP).  


Erica Desrosiers joined Johnson and Johnson in September 2016 as Head of Accelerated Development. In this role, she is responsible for creating and leading the enterprise strategy for high potential talent pool management to ensure a diverse, robust pipeline of leaders who are prepared to assume positions of increasing scope and complexity. Before joining J&J, Erica was Senior Director, Global Talent Management at Walmart, where her responsibilities included talent review and succession planning, assessment, performance management, executive coaching, and 360 feedback. Erica also held roles at PepsiCo in Global Talent Development, where her responsibilities included executive talent development, high potential assessment and development, executive coaching, personality assessment and 360 feedback, employee surveys and performance management. Prior to PepsiCo, Erica led the OD function for a software company, and spent several years at SHL designing competency models, selection systems, assessment centers, and conducting individual executive assessments. Erica earned her Ph.D. in I-O Psychology from Purdue University. She has published and presented in the areas of competency modeling, leadership development, performance management, 360 feedback, and executive coaching.

Ken Oehler is Aon’s Global Culture & Engagement Practice Leader. He specializes in developing data-driven leadership, culture and rewards interventions that accelerate performance. Ken has 20 years of human capital strategy consulting experience. He has worked with clients in a variety of industries across the globe in the areas of Culture and business strategy alignment, Employee engagement research and interventions, Total Rewards Strategy and Total Rewards Optimization, Advanced analytics and data mining, Mergers and Acquisitions and Change management. Ken drives Aon’s research agenda that draws on data from Aon’s employee survey database with responses from over 25 million global employees. Most of this research has been covered in outlets such as Fortune, Fox Business, Human Resource Executive, Market Watch and World at Work. He has also published in outlets such as Benefits & Compensation International, Harvard Business Manager, Harvard Business Review, Workforce Solutions Review and Workspan. Ken earned a B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from DePaul University.

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