What is talent management?

Talent management is a holistic method of recruiting, hiring, and engaging high-performing employees to achieve company objectives. An offshoot of HR management, talent management offers a strategic, integrated approach to attracting quality employees and optimizing their competencies. 

HR influencer Josh Bersin explains the evolution of talent management. Known as the Personnel Department in the 1970s, it focused on the rudimentary functions of hiring, paying, and offering basic benefits. In the 1990s, the department transformed into Strategic HR, aiming to attract and engage desirable employees.

Today, talent management strives to increase efficiency and productivity by sharpening its strategies and blending HR processes with business functions. Talent management encompasses:

Why should HR leaders care about talent management?

Talent management enables HR leaders and managers to nurture a stellar workforce to promote company performance. Effective talent management contributes to:

  • Recruitment
  • Hiring 
  • Engagement
  • Motivation
  • Retention

HR professionals are the leaders of the talent management process. HR advisor Sharlyn Lauby explains that HR leaders can develop a valuable strategy through studying the company’s industry, business processes, and workforce practices. Through observation and analysis, HR can enrich its knowledge of the company mechanics to facilitate congruence between talent management and the business strategy

What can HR leaders do to promote effective talent management?

Developing and maintaining talent management is a continuous process. HR practitioners can integrate these practices to fuel a robust, dynamic, and agile talent management system:

  • Develop a strategy. Align talent management with the company’s mission, vision, objectives, and business strategy to provide strategic direction. HR leaders must determine the competencies and roles necessary to drive company objectives and identify methods to recruit, hire, and engage employees. 
  • Invest in employee growth. A learning and development program can provide employees with the resources they need to continue their upward journey and drive business achievements. Developing employee competencies enhances their careers and promotes engagement and retention. Investing in managers is beneficial as well; they can leverage their crucial roles to coach employees, inspire engagement, and spur motivation.
  • Build a positive culture. HR leaders can encourage a thriving work culture by incorporating a welcoming onboarding program, regularly recognizing employee achievements, and offering attractive employee development opportunities. Increasing support, learning, and gratitude at work can nurture a healthy work community. 
  • Make data-driven decisions. Using key HR metrics to make educated decisions can support effective recruitment, increased retention, and engagement. Additionally, the HR leader and CFO should collaborate— combining HR metrics with finance data can provide powerful insights into developing better talent management practices.  
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How does talent management improve company culture?

A robust talent management system provides fertile soil for a company culture to grow and flourish. Developing a strategic talent management system is key to nurturing high performance, job satisfaction, and employee wellbeing. Happier employees infuse the company culture with enthusiasm and motivation, leading to a flourishing community of engaged individuals.