Talent management, succession planning and knowledge management seem like HR buzzwords of the last decade, yet for some businesses they represent a very real and very threatening problem.

A global engineering company with an outstanding reputation has a highly skilled and experienced workforce with experience going back to the first jet aircraft, the first nuclear power stations and the first large scale materials handling systems in the UK.

The problem is that 50% of these people will reach retirement age in the next 5 years. This means that 50% of the company's tacit knowledge will disappear, and the older installations that the company still supports will be left with no instruction manual.

Somerfield is a high street supermarket with an emphasis on fresh foods and convenience shopping. As part of a refresh of Somerfield’s strategy, a new graduate program was developed to bring fresh talent into the business. A previous program had failed to retain graduates and the HR team knew they needed the new program to be a success.

Sharon Collier, Head of People Development, said, “I knew we needed to do something different, and modelling was something we hadn’t done before, so I wanted to try it. Because it was something new, I knew I had to use somebody that I trusted, not only in the technique but somebody I trusted to come into the organisation.”