A Breakdown of Talent Management

In every successful business, top leaders in the organization must focus on identifying and retaining the best, most diverse talent to achieve its mission and grow the business. Talent management, after all, plays an important role in the business strategy since it manages one of the most important assets of any company — its people.

What is talent management?

In 1997, McKinsey & Company first coined the term talent management in their book War for Talent. While the term differs from company to company and industry to industry, it is a business strategy that focuses on attracting, hiring, and retaining high-performing employees. In other words, “Talent management is a unified strategy designed to help organizations make the best possible use of their human capital now and in the future, to use their human capital to help meet the organisation’s vision, and to ensure the maximum return from their talent by creating an attractive organisational culture that encourages happiness and commitment.”

These definitions are great, but you may be thinking, “what does talent management really do?” Talent management is the science of strategically aligning recruitment, retention, development and engagement of talent with current and future organizational goals and strategies. Consider, for example, Friddy Hoegener of SCOPE Recruiting published a defined set of processes for talent management, and it all begins with recruitment. Talent management teams need to calculate when, where, and how to locate and attract the best talent. Once an employee is hired, the job doesn’t end for talent management professionals. Teams must craft thorough and connected employee onboarding, career planning and relationship-building opportunities to ensure a positive, well-rounded experience.

What is affecting talent management?   

McKinsey & Company reported that almost 40 percent of American employers say they cannot find people with the skills they need for roles at all levels of the organization. This reality affects talent management greatly as employers are out to get the most skilled and motivated employees out there. With millennials already representing the largest generation in the workforce, talent management must adapt and change to what emerging and future employees are attracted to in a company. Companies must not use a one-size-fits-all approach, but instead, personalize their efforts for each employee they aspire to attract and retain.

Within the past several years, the expectation for learning and development has become the norm with many positions. Employees feel compelled to constantly update their skills and stay ahead of the curve. This pressure creates the need for companies to engage employees with many options for learning within their position and industry. In 2018, we are seeing a push towards self-directed, social, informal, learning platforms. User-generated content and idea-sharing help make learning more digestible for employees.

Overall, talent management, like most other business functions, is continually evolving. Investing in talent management surely is a great help for the company, now the question is, how will companies implement it!