TALENT MANAGEMENT INTRODUCTION: Talent management refers to the process of developing and integrating new workers, developing and

retaining current workers, and attracting highly skilled workers to work for a company. Talent management in this context does not refer to the management of entertainers. The term was coined by David Watkins. The process of attracting and retaining profitable employees, as it is increasingly more competitive between firms and of strategic importance, has come to be known as "the war for talent." DEFINING TM TM is a strategic and holistic approach to both HR and business planning or a new route to organizational effectiveness. This improves the performance and the potential of people – the talent – who can make a measurable difference to the organization now and in future. And it aspires to yield enhanced performance among all levels in the workforce, thus allowing everyone to reach his/her potential, no matter what that might be. HISTORY Talent management is a process that emerged in the 1990s and continues to be adopted, as more companies come to realize that their employees’ talents and skills drive their business success. Companies that have put into practice talent management have done so to solve an employee retention problem. The issue with many companies today is that their organizations put tremendous effort into attracting employees to their company, but spend little time into retaining and developing talent. A talent management system must be worked into the business strategy and implemented in daily processes throughout the company as a whole. It cannot be left solely to the human resources department to attract and retain employees, but rather must be practiced at all levels of the organization. The business strategy must include responsibilities for line managers to develop the skills of their immediate subordinates. Divisions within the company should be openly sharing information with other departments in order for employees to gain knowledge of the overall organizational objectives. Companies that focus on developing their talent integrate plans and processes to track and manage their employee talent, including the following:
• • • • • •

Sourcing, attracting and recruiting qualified candidates with competitive backgrounds Managing and defining competitive salaries Training and development opportunities Performance management processes Retention programs Promotion and transitioning

Talent management is also known as HCM (Human Capital Management), HRIS (HR Information Systems) or HRMS (HR Management Systems), and HR Modules.

TM INVOLVES Talent management is the integration of different initiatives, or constructs, into a coherent framework of activity. There are certain crucial components and a useful model for defining TM is to think of it in these key words: • Ethos – embedding values and behavior, known as a “talent mindset,” to support the view that everyone has potential worth developing. • Focus – knowing which jobs make a difference and making sure that the right people hold those jobs at the right time. • Positioning – starting at the top of the organization and cascading throughout the management levels to make this a management, not HR, initiative. • Structure – creating tools, processes and techniques with defined accountability to ensure that the work gets done. • System – facilitating a long-term and holistic approach to generate change. IMPORTANCE OF TALENT MANAGEMENT Talent management (TM) brings together a number of important human resources (HR) and management initiatives. Quite often, organizations adopting a TM approach will focus on co-ordinating and integrating:
• •

Recruitment - ensuring the right people are attracted to the organization. Retention - developing and implementing practices that reward and support employees. Employee development - ensuring continuous informal and formal learning and development. Leadership and "high potential employee" development - specific development programs for existing and future leaders. Performance management - specific processes that nurture and support performance, including feedback/measurement. Workforce planning - planning for business and general changes, including the older workforce and current/future skills shortages. Culture - development of a positive, progressive and high performance "way of operating".

An important step is to identify the staff or employees (people and positions) that are critical to the organization. They do not necessarily have to be senior staff members. Many organizations lost a lot of "organizational knowledge" in the downsizing exercises

of a few years ago. The impact of the loss was not immediately apparent. However, it did not take long for many companies to realize their mistake when they did not have people with the knowledge and skills to either anticipate or solve problems that arose. TRADITIONAL UNDERSTANDING OF TALENT MANAGEMENT Traditional talent management systems have clearly defined components including: Training and development, skill inventories, performance management, recruiting, and succession management. According to Kevin Wheeler, internationally known expert in talent acquisition and management says, “Most companies perform two or three components of a talent management system well, but the total system seems to be elusive without executive level involvement.” CURRENT APPLICATION OF TALENT MANAGEMENT In current economic conditions, many companies have felt the need to cut expenses. This should be the ideal environment to execute a talent management system as a means of optimizing the performance of each employee and the organization. However, within many companies the concept of human capital management has just begun to develop. “In fact, only 5 percent of organizations say they have a clear talent management strategy and operational programs in place today.” INTEGRATING TM THROUGH A SYSTEM This will not operate in isolation from strategy, business planning and the organization’s approach to people management. In this sense, the work of talent management cuts across what has been a traditional HR silo. If integrated, it functions in a more facilitative, OD-like nature. It will also reach higher up the organization than other HR initiatives, often attracting the attention of boards and senior teams. Similarly, TM reaches down the organization, to include new recruits along with tenured professionals. Lastly, talent planning must be done in parallel with business planning, creating a rich integration of people and strategy. One way of achieving such system integration and alignment is the CRF Talent Management System. This systemic view of talent has five elements: 1. Need – the business need derived from the business model and competitive issues. 2. Data collection – the fundamental data and “intelligence” critical for good talent decisions. 3. Planning – people/talent planning guided by data analysis. 4. Activities – the conversion of plans into integrated sets of activities. 5. Results – costs, measures and effectiveness criteria to judge the value and impacts of TM. Using this system can help TM become a strategic differentiator rather than a standard set of HR processes – if the right conditions, context, timescales and offerings exist in the

first place. System integration and alignment ensures that TM efforts are rational and fit for purpose. Since the arrival of the current era of “talent” is widely acknowledged, it’s not surprising that renewed significance is being placed on the management of that talent. And as talent continues to be viewed as a strategic differentiator, its management will take more of a strategic role. How fascinating it will be to take the pulse of talent management in the business community in another five years. We believe that while the management of talent will most likely become embedded in the fiber of cultures by then, the HR executives who led those initiatives will have achieved much more prominence. OPPORTUNITIES AND BENEFITS OF INTEGRATING TM WITH BUSINESS STRATEGY In summary there are many benefits of taking on the complicated multi-layered project of creating an integrated talent management and workforce planning structure.
• • • • • • •

Predictability of performance Higher customer satisfaction rates Lower employee turn-over Increased profits as a result of right people/right time Increased revenue as a result of efficiencies Increased employee engagement Assurance of stable management team today and in future

FIGURE 1. THE CRF TALENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

10 TALENT MANAGEMENT PRIORITIES FOR HR Based on interviews in case organizations with HR/OD practitioners, talent managers and talented individuals, it concludes with these 10 priority issues. They will guide the choice of appropriate approaches and practices that could make a difference to talent management efforts: 1. Rethinking/establishing the talent focus 2. Positioning talent management 3. Integrating talent and business 4. Leading the talent focus 5. Examining culture and talent mindset 6. Assessing capability and accountability 7. Process design and implementation 8. Assessing talent performance 9. The talent agenda 10. Reviewing talent management CONCLUSION: The current discussions about traditional understanding, current application and integration with business strategy are also helping organizations to focus on the talent management issue. It may not be possible to simply go out and recruit new people to meet operational needs. Many leading companies have decided to develop their own people, rather than trying to hire fully skilled workers. In summary, every organization should be implementing talent management principles and approaches.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful