What is Talent Management?

Over the next few weeks I will be sharing insights on the various elements of talent management as it relates to organizations. The talent management series will begin with a brief introduction to the basic components of talent management which I will share below.


Now let’s dig in…


According to Wikipedia, the term “Talent Management” was coined by McKinsey & Company following a study in 1997.  Talent management can be defined as the science of using strategic human resource planning to improve business value and to make it possible for companies and organizations to reach their goals.


Talent management is an important and necessary skill for people in the workforce to acquire. Finding good and talented people is not a hard thing to do, but making sure that they want to stay working for the same business is the challenge.


If someone has so much talent and they are good at what they do, businesses will want them to stay and work there forever. However, most of those people are either satisfied with the job they have, or they go out and look for better opportunities.


The core areas an organization focuses on when it comes to talent management are:


  • Employee Evaluation
  • Employee Competencies
  • Talent Marketplace


Employee Evaluation


From a talent management standpoint, employee evaluations concern two major areas of measurement: performance and potential. Current employee performance within a specific job has always been a standard evaluation measurement tool of the profitability of an employee. However, talent management also seeks to focus on an employee’s potential, meaning an employee’s future performance, if given the proper development of skills and increased responsibility.


Employee Competencies


Talent management decisions are often driven by a set of organizational core competencies as well as position-specific competencies. The competency set may include knowledge, skills, experience,  education and personal traits (demonstrated through defined behaviors).


Modern techniques involve creating a competency architecture for the organization that includes a competency dictionary to hold the competencies in order to build job descriptions.


Talent marketplace


A talent marketplace is an employee training and development strategy that is set in place within an organization. It is found to be most beneficial for companies where the most productive employees can pick and choose the projects and assignments that are ideal for the specific employee.


An ideal setting is where productivity is employee-centric and tasks are described as “judgement-based work,”. The point of activating a talent marketplace within a department is to harness and link individual’s’ particular skills (project management or extensive knowledge in a particular field) with the task at hand.


With more companies in the process of deepening their global footprints, very few questions are being asked on the kind of leadership structure that will bring success in their globalization process. Few organizations actually have a clear talent management strategy and operational programs in place today. Subsequent articles will address these questions as well as other talent management concerns.

Written by Genevieve Craig