Talent Management

Talent Management

An organization survives if it meets its business goals. For successful achievement of the business goals the organization must have the required talent. Talent comes through its human resource which mainly consists of the people working in the organization. Talent management (TM) is a set of continuous and integrated human resource (HR) processes which are designed to attract, develop, motivate, and retain productive and engaged employees. Main HR processes of TM are recruiting, training, managing, supporting, compensating and motivating the people of the organization. The objective of talent management in an organization is to create a high performance work force that helps in the organizational sustainability as well helps the organization in meeting its strategic and operational goals and objectives. The wheel of the talent management is shown in Fig 1.

talent management

Fig 1 Talent management wheel

Principles of talent management

There are six talent management principles. These are described below.

  • Alignment with strategy – Corporate strategy is the natural starting point for thinking about talent management. Strategic planning of the organization is to align with attracting, recruiting, developing and deploying the right people to drive the effort. Talent management goals are to be integrated with the business planning process and achievements of these goals are to be tracked through the management processes.
  • Internal consistency – Implementing practices in isolation may not work and can actually be counter­productive. The principle of internal consistency refers to the ways the organization’s talent management practices fit with each other. Consistency is crucial. As an example, if an organization invests significantly in developing and training high-potential individuals, it should emphasize employee retention, competitive compensation and career management. It also should empower employees to contribute to the organization and reward them for initiative.
  • Cultural embeddedness – In an organization, usually the corporate culture is a source of competitive advantage. The organization should make deliberate efforts to integrate the core values and business principles into talent management processes such as hiring methods, leadership development activities, performance management systems, and compensation and benefits programs. The organization must assess applicants’ personalities and values to determine whether they will be compatible with the corporate culture; the assumption is that formal qualifications are not always the best predictors of performance and retention, and that skills are easier to develop than personality traits, attitudes and values.
  • Management involvement – A successful organization is aware that the talent management process needs to have broad ownership i.e. besides HR department it should be owned by managers at all levels including the top management. Senior leaders need to be actively involved in the talent management process and make recruitment, succession planning, leadership development and retention of key employees their top priorities. They must be willing to devote a significant amount of their time to these activities.
  • Balancing of corporate and local needs – For an organization which is operating in multiple locations, cultures and environments, talent management is complicated. Organization needs to figure out how to respond to local demands while maintaining a coherent HR strategy and management approach.
  • Organization branding through differentiation – Attracting talent means marketing the organization to people who will fulfill its talent requirements. In order to attract talent with the right skills and attitudes, organization needs to find ways to differentiate itself from its competitors. The organization must differ considerably in how it resolves the tension between maintaining a consistent brand identity across business units and locations responding to local demands.

Main talent management processes

The following are the key processes for talent management for an organization.

  • Workforce planning – It is the intentional and strategic projection and planning of access to talent (either internal or external) with the skills, knowledge, and behaviors essential for the achievement of the organization’s strategic objectives and goals.
  • Talent mapping – Talent mapping is a formalized process of linking the talent available in the organization to the talent that will be needed to support growth in order to assess shortfalls or gaps. As the organization pursues greater alignment between talent management and strategic planning, they begin to see increasingly greater value in talent mapping.
  • Organization branding – A career in the organization shall be more than a job. An employee shall take pride working for the organization. Organization must be a recognized leader for professional development of the employee. Working for the organization must make a difference.
  • Recruitment – It is the ability to successfully attract and hire key talent from outside for current and future organizational needs through competency based advertising and interviewing efforts. The organization website shall also provide links to the most current applicant information and is to be the convenient method for submitting an application for joining the organization’s team.
  • On boarding – The process of acclimating new employees and ensuring that they quickly feel at home, welcomed, and valued by the organization. This process enables new employees to become productive members of the organization, who understand expectations for their job roles.  On boarding go beyond traditional ‘orientation’ programs which focus mainly on the education of new employees about organization policies, structure, and procedures.
  • Strategic planning – It is the process of developing and implementing plans to reach an organization’s long term goals and objectives. It is the roadmap to lead an organization from where it is now to where it would like to be in coming 4 to 5 years.
  • Performance management – It is a continuous ongoing process of communicating and clarifying job responsibilities, priorities, performance expectations, and development planning that optimize an individual’s performance and aligns it with the strategic goals of the organization.
  • 360 degree assessment – This is a tool through which management gets a feedback from the employees about the performance of the senior members.
  • Leadership development – It is the intentional goal driven activities that enhance the quality of leadership abilities or attitudes within employees.
  • Professional development – It is the process of establishing training goals and plans that link to individual goal attainment, career planning, and possible succession planning.
  • Career planning – This is a process by which an organization structures the career progress of the employees. It is the process for identifying job opportunities for an employee within an organization’s structure, and the sequential steps in education, training in skills, and experience building needed to attain specific career goals.
  • Recognition and rewards – It is a method used by a organization for acknowledging, honoring, encouraging, and supporting individuals and teams who contribute, through behaviours and actions, to the success of the organization.
  • Compensation – it is a method to reward employees for the work accomplishments, contributions to the objectives of the organization, and increased skills and competencies in their jobs.
  • Succession management – Succession management is a process for identifying and developing internal personnel with the potential to fill key or critical organizational positions. Succession management ensures the availability of experienced and capable employees that are prepared to assume these roles as they become available.
  • Engagement – It is the extent to which an employee is committed to the organization’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organizational success, and is able at the same time to enhance his own sense of well-being.
  • Competencies – These are measurable behaviours, characteristics, abilities and personality traits that identify successful employees against defined roles within an organization
  • Retention – It is a systematic effort focused not only on retaining an organization’s talented employees but also to create and foster a welcoming work environment and high retention culture.  The end result is an organization that operates more effectively and efficiently, while becoming a great place to work.


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