SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2085917 - Pool-Based Succession Planning - Succession


  • What is Pool-Based Succession Planning?
  • Explanation of CSV Column Headers


  • Succession Management


  • Pool-based succession planning lets you nominate employees to talent pools targeted for key positions. This planning option makes it easy for you to include employees from many different positions in the same pool so they can all be considered and prepared for a future role. You can add people to multiple talent pools.
  • Talent Pool nominations are a new way of aggregating nominees for similar target positions. Pool-Based Planning enables organizations to scale their succession planning effort and begin identifying, tracking and preparing candidates for future roles-even before a specific target position has been defined-by allowing managers to nominate an employee to a talent pool.
  • Pool-based planning is frequently used for "second-tier" succession planning (for example, Director-level positions) and combined with "named" succession plans for the upper tier (for example, VPs and above). In the product, talent pool nominations can be combined with person-based or position-based nominations to support this structure.
  • Important: as you'll see below, the pool-based planning features described here are different from the talentPool standard-element attribute which can be defined in the live profile data model, and represented on the succession org chart and in matrix grid reports (9-boxes). That attribute is limited to a single value per employee, does not have a readiness level associated with it, and cannot be manipulated from the org chart. Typically you should use one or the other of these features in an instance, not both, to avoid confusing your users and administrators.
  • Pool-based succession planning can be combined with person-based or position-based planning, but you must also use Instant Nominations. If you want more information or want to know if pool-based succession is right for you, contact SuccessFactors Customer Success.
  • Pool-based nominations require Ultra and the succession org chart. If combining pool-based planning with person- or position-based nominations, you must also enable Instant Nominations.
  • To use pool-based nominations, check this setting in provisioning > company settings: > Pool-Based Succession Planning
  • Next, define your talent pools by listing them in a CSV file and importing them in admin tools. Use config guide for file format. (See example below)
  • To import the CSV file, go to Admin tools > Talent Pool Setup. Browse for the file and click "Import." You can also export the existing talent pool list on this page.
  • The Talent Pool Setup page also lets you select whether to use Readiness to rate talent pool nominees. If this option is selected, the same Readiness scale described above for other nomination methods is used for talent pool nominations.


Finally, you must link talent pools to the relevant roles. Go to Admin tools > Families & Roles and edit a role. You will see the talent pool drop-down in the edit window, showing the pools that you imported:


Note that for a given role you can only select one talent pool as the source for nominees. However, the same talent pool can be used for more than one role. So for example, if you have several roles defined that represent substantially the same kind of job (for succession planning purposes), you can map all those roles to the same pool.


Example CSV File


  1. ,talent,Sales Leadership,Sales Leadership,Rising stars in the sales organization.,,ACTIVE
  2. ,talent,Marketing Program,Marketing Programme,Marketing and product design visionaries. ,Marketing and product design visionaries. ,ACTIVE
  3. ,talent,Engineering Leads,Engineering Leads,,,ACTIVE


Explanation of CSV Column Headers

Unique number assigned to the pool. The administrator should assign a number and make sure it does not change. This allows you to rename talent pools but retain their members

Currently, always “talent”.

Short name for the pool, locale-specific. You can specify many names in different languages (they should be grouped together in the import file). The locales should match the locale codes used in the instance: en_US, en_GB, fr_FR, etc.

Optional longer description for the pool, locale-specific. You can specify many descriptions in different languages (they should be grouped together in the import file). The locales should match the locale codes used in the instance: en_US, en_GB, fr_FR, etc. At this time, the description is not shown to users, so it is for the administrator’s use only; however planned enhancements include showing it to managers nominating employees into a pool.

Either “ACTIVE” or “DELETED”. Use “DELETED” when you want to remove a pool that was created before; “ACTIVE” in all other cases.



Talent pools are shown in the org chart nodes underneath the named successor list (if any). To view the talent pool name and link, the user must have Succession Management & Matrix Report permissions or Succession Planning permission. (Users with reporting permission but not planning permission will be able to view the pool but not make any changes to it.)

To manage a talent pool, start from an incumbent on the org chart who is in a role that is linked to a talent pool. Then, click the talent pool link at the bottom of the org chart node to open the pool window:


The talent pool link on the org chart node shows what talent pool that incumbent or position will draw successors from. (This is different from the old talentPool icon on the org chart node, which shows what talent pool the employee is in.)

The talent pool window shows all employees currently in the talent pool, with their readiness level (if this option is enabled). If the user has Succession Planning permission they can:

  • Add employees to the pool, by clicking the "Add" link
  • Remove employees from the pool, by clicking the trashcan icon
  • Change the readiness level of employees (if enabled), by clicking on the readiness value

Changes are not saved until the user clicks "Save".

The user can also print the pool list by clicking "Print Preview" in this window. If the user has made changes to the pool, he or she will be prompted to save those changes before printing (unsaved changes cannot be printed). Note: pop-up blockers may interfere with this feature.


Limitations of pool-based planning

As of b0901, the following limitations exist in the product design; closing these gaps may be considered for the future product roadmap:

  • Pools can be printed from the talent pool window, however no additional reporting is available.
  • Talent pool membership cannot be represented on the org chart or matrix grid report. (The link in the org chart node shows what talent pool that incumbent or position will draw successors from, and the talentPool standard-element in live profile is not the same as pool-based nominations.)
  • You cannot search for employees in a given talent pool.
  • Talent Pool associations with roles cannot be set in the families & roles import file.
  • You cannot mark talent pools as obsolete (you can only delete them after removing all the employees in them).
  • When adding employees to a talent pool, the system does not do a good job of stopping the user from adding the same employee twice, or adding an employee who is already in a role associated with the pool.
  • The history of talent pool nominations is not tracked.


KBA , LOD-SF-SCM , Succession Management , How To


SAP SuccessFactors HCM Core all versions