The intersection between HR strategy and HR technology

What is Talent Management?

systematicHR Avatar

JPIE wonders.  I answer.  Sort of.

Hype aside.  What is talent management?  Software, services, software as a service – what?  What components make up talent management?  Applicant tracking, succession planning, compensation, training, assessments, metrics – what?  Where does it start and where does it end, and why?  Exactly what are the boundaries of talent management?  What’s not included in talent management?  Engagement?  Ask yourself, is executive search a part of talent management or not, and why?

Confused.  I am.  The human capital buyer sure is.  And, truthfully, so are most human capital vendors – though they probably won’t say it out loud.

Talent management is simply a Human Resources exercise that utilizes various strategies and processes to ensure the optimal health of the future workforce.  Talent management certainly is not software or a software delivery system.  It’s simply a practice within the broader spectrum of Human Resources.  There are of course components of talent management that we can utilize to make it easier to understand.

What are these components?  So far, these are part of those strategies and processes that we talked about above:

Talent acquisition:  Note, this is not applicant tracking.  Applicant tracking refers more to a technology that helps the process.  But acquiring talent and successfully onboarding them is really the component we’re talking about.

Performance management:  Again, this is not the technology, although technology helps.  This is about measuring the workforce individual by individual and creating goals that will continuously improve those measurements year over year.

Compensation management:  Routinely part of talent systems, this is only part of talent in that incentives are available and related to future performance.  Otherwise, compensation (IMHO) is really part of total rewards.

Employee development:  Going a step further than performance management, this involves the grooming of the next generation of leaders and senior professionals.

Succession planning:  Succession is to me a microcosm of the broader talent process in that it focuses on a smaller population, but really performs the same general activities.  It’s worth pointing out specifically only because those top 200 employees really are critical to the future strategy and growth.

Learning:  Continuously planting key skills, competencies and knowledge into the workforce to create and mold the workforce into what you want.

Workforce planning:  Figuring out what your workforce should look like now and in the future, and creating a plan to get there through all of the above processes.

I’m sure I’ve left something out, but in general and simplistically, that’s my opinion, and I’m sticking to it.

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3 responses to “What is Talent Management?”

  1. In recruitment, having a right strategy to go about in the recruitment process is needed in order to ensure that you are getting quality applicants as opposed to just getting a lot of people who are not qualified for the job.Systematic HR

  2. Scott Savage Avatar

    This is like arguing that writing a letter is not opening MS Word and choosing a template. Talent Management Software provides a framework for you to make better decisions and follow better processes, it does not make those decisions or implement those processes for you.

    Having said that if you feel that your technology provider has feature gaps and misunderstandings then tell them. The market is so competitive that they will either have to listen or face having their chair sold from under them while they sit there covering their ears.

  3. Martin Snyder Avatar

    As relates to Performance:

    This is about measuring the workforce individual by individual and creating goals that will continuously improve those measurements year over year.

    I think thats not enough- rethought, it should be:

    This is about measuring the workforce team by team and creating goals that will continuously improve those measurements year over year.