What Is Talent Management—Really?
Why Talent Management Is an Important Business Strategy to Develop
Talent management is just another one of those pesky Human Resources terms. Right? Wrong. Talent management is an organization's commitment to recruit, hire, retain, and develop the most talented and superior employees available in the job market.
So, talent management is a useful term when it describes an organization's commitment to hire, manage, develop, and retain talented employees. It comprises all of the work processes and systems that are related to retaining and developing a superior workforce.
Talent management is a business strategy that organizations hope will enable them to retain their top most talented and skilled employees. Just like employee involvement or employee recognition, it is the stated business strategy that will ensure the attraction of top talent in competition with other employers.
When you tell a prospective employee that you are dedicated to a talent management strategy that will ensure that he or she will have the opportunity to develop professionally, you attract the best talent. This is because studies show consistently that the opportunity to continue to grow and develop their professional and personal skills is a major motivator for why employees take and stay at a job.
Slight Difference Depending on Stated Talent Strategy
What appears to differentiate talent management focused practitioners and organizations from organizations that use terminologies such as human capital management or performance management, is their focus on the manager's role, as opposed to reliance on Human Resources, for the life cycle of an employee within an organization.
Practitioners of the other two employee development and retention strategies would argue that, for example, performance management has the same set of best practices. It is just called by a different name.
Talent management does give managers a significant role and responsibility in the recruitment process and in the ongoing development of and retention of superior employees. In some organizations, only top potential employees are included in the talent management system. In other companies, every employee is included in the process.
In some companies, the talent management system is accessible via electronics; in others, informal communication among managers and HR staff is the approach.
What Processes Are Part of a Talent Management System?
You can include the following systems when you approach talent management as your overall business strategy to recruit and retain talented employees.
- Recruitment planning meeting
- Job description development
- Job post writing and recruiting location placement for the posting
- Application materials review
- Phone or online screening interview
- In-house interviews that can involve multiple meetings with many of your current employees
- Credential review and background checking
- Making the job offer to the selected person
- Agreeing on the amount of the offer
- Employee starting day and onboarding process
- New employee welcome information and introductions
- On-the-job training
- Goal setting and feedback
- Coaching and relationship building by the manager
- Formal feedback systems such as performance management or an appraisal process
- Ongoing employee development
- Career planning and pathing
- Promotions, lateral moves, transfers
- Employment termination by choice of the employee or cause by the employer
As stated, the majority of these work systems are squarely in the hands of the employee's manager. HR can provide support, training, and backup but the day-to-day interactions, that ensure the new employee's success comes from the manager. Developing and coaching the employee comes from his or her active, daily interaction with the manager.
HR can take the lead in some of the activities you see on this list, especially in recruiting and selecting new employees, and in the case of an employment termination. HR is also deeply involved in the performance management system, career planning, and so forth leading the development of the systems.
But, managers are the means to carry them out for the overall recognition of the employee's work and ongoing retention of the employee. Take the responsibility seriously; it's that important.
Integrate Talent Management Fully Into Your Organization
Talent management is a business strategy and you must fully integrate it within all of the employee related processes of the organization. Attracting and retaining talented employees, in a talent management system, is the job of every member of the organization, but especially managers who have reporting staff (talent).
An effective strategy also involves the sharing of information about talented employees and their potential career paths across the organization. This enables various departments to identify available talent when opportunities are made or arise.
An organization that does this kind of effective succession planning makes sure that the best talent you have is trained and ready to assume the next position in their career path. Succession planning benefits the employees and it benefits the organization. Managers across the organization are in touch with the employees you are grooming for their next big role.
In larger organizations, talent management requires Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) that track the career paths of employees and manage available opportunities for talented employees.
Find out more about the work systems that talent management encompasses and the best practices in talent management. Your effective approach to talent management will ensure that you attract and retain the employees you need for business success.