Analysing Talent management aka Human Capital management

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Talent management refers to the process of developing and integrating new workers, developing and retaining current workers, and attracting highly skilled workers to work for a company. Talent management in this context does not refer to the management of entertainers. The term was coined by David Watkins of Softscape published in an article in 1998. The process of attracting and retaining profitable employees, as it is increasingly more competitive between firms and of strategic importance, has come to be known as "the war for talent."

Talent management is a complex collection of connected HR processes that delivers a simple fundamental benefit for any organization.

Talent drives performance.

We all know that teams with the best people perform at a higher level. Leading organizations know that exceptional business performance is driven by superior talent. People are different and Talent management is their strategy.

Analyst research has proven that organizations using talent management strategies and solutions exhibit higher performance than their direct competitors and the market in general. From Fortune 100 global enterprise recruiting and performance management to small and medium business e-recruiting, leading companies invest in talent management to select the best person for each job because they know success is powered by the total talent quality of their workforce.



Distinctly called human capital management, employee relationship management and workforce management, among others, talent management is not a new concept, but one that in the past corporations haven't been set to finalize. In most companies functions such as recruitment and succession planning, learning and development, performance management, workforce planning, compensation and other HR or training functions have often been isolated in departmental silos .

The six dimensions of talent management are as shown in table 1 below

Talent management dimensions


Develop strategy

Establishing the optimum long term strategy for attracting, developing, connecting and deploying the workforce

Attract and retain

Sourcing ,recruiting and holding onto the appropriate skills and capitalize, according to business needs

Motivate and develop

Verifying that  people's capabilities are understood and developed to match business requirements, while also meeting people's  needs for motivation, development and job satisfaction

Deploy and manage

Providing effective resources deployment, scheduling and work management that match skills and experience with organizational needs

Connect and enable

Identifying individuals with relevant  skills , collaborating and sharing knowledge and working effectively in virtual settings

Transform and sustain

Achieving clear measurable and sustainable change within the organization, while maintaining day to day continuity of operations

Table 1 :- Six Dimensions Of Talent Management

Source: IBM Institute for Business Value/Human Capital Institute.

These programs are usually a loose potpourri of HR initiatives with little relation to each other, little arrangement with the organization's vital few business goals and little real way of measuring their bottom-line impact.

Talent Management enables organizations to rapidly align, develop, motivate, and maintain a high-performance labor force. They also alleviate the hassle of writing performance reviews by automating the task and ensuring quality of reviews and reviewed on time. Organizations can establish and communicate critical corporate goals, measure performance improvement, and ensure that all levels of the organization are aligned to attain critical business objectives.

Talent management and HR

Talent management suddenly evoked the charm and attention for the business world. Much of the reason may be due to the fact that technology has finally begun to catch up. Human resource management systems (HRMS) providers, already present in many businesses, have begun to create add-on applications that provide a strategic layer on top of the more administrative HR functionalities they already offer. It seems obvious then that the functions that make up talent management can no longer be viewed independently, or hidden in HR or training departments if they are to be truly successful. Rather, talent management must be counterfeit from a true partnership between management and the departments that oversee the "people function." The main characteristics of HR and TM are as shown in table 2 below.


HR process

TM Process


Greater efficiency , obedience

Better management of people to achieve strategic business goals


Shorter time to hire , lower cost to fill, higher percentage of employees reviewed

Higher quality hires , stronger leadership pipeline


More efficient HR performance

Better business performance


HR professionals / power users

Business managers , HR professionals

Decision makers

HR specialist

HR specialist, senior executives, business managers,

Technology solutions

Feature rich single function applications, designed for HR professionals

Comprehensive , configurable cross functional solutions designed for business managers

Table 2:- Characteristics Of HR And TM Process

Many HR processes and systems that organizations use today to manage people suffer from three fundamental flaws as shown in figure (1) below

Figure 1: Fundamental Flaws In HR Systems

Because of these flaws in most HR systems - limited direct business impact, difficult for managers to use, and poor integration - business managers use them only halfheartedly. They do not adopt them as vital to achieving their business goals.

The greatest talent management system on the market is worthless if the organization is not prepared to adopt and integrate it. Each company needs to take inventory of its people and processes, answer questions about its direction and who is responsible for getting it there. Most importantly, companies need to break down the ever present "departmental silos" by creating an environment in which technology can be leveraged to facilitate and maximize an already well-thought-out program and to link it the organization's strategic goals.

Talent management challenges

Business success relies on successful talent management. If a hospital executive can't find nurses, a retail store executive can't develop and engage store managers, or a lab director can't keep great scientists, they will have difficulty meeting their organization's strategic business objectives. The challenges of finding, keeping, developing, and motivating people in key positions are precisely what progressive HR professionals should be focusing on. These managers face ongoing talent management challenges that are critical to their achieving business goals.

The main challenges are as shown in figure 2 below

                                          Figure 2: Challenges in Talent Management

Many organizations believe that effective talent management practices can be a significant source of demarcation in today's cutthroat competition in a globally integrated economy. At the same time, industries face their own set of unique challenges - a situation that has led ventures to focus on different pieces of the talent management "puzzle." A recently completed study by IBM highlights how knowledge- and service-intensive industries tend to spend significant time and attention on talent management activities, while not-for-profit organizations appear to struggle to make the most of their workforce. Knowledge-intensive industries tend to focus on developing and connecting their employees. Financial services companies tend to focus on employee attraction and retention, Retailers apply a notable number of talent management practices overall and finally Government agencies, educational institutions and some healthcare firms fall short in managing talent and sustaining change

Effective talent management processes and systems can have a significant positive impact on business. The most valuable systems are those that deliver direct value to the business manager, which are easy to use, and that are integrated across functions. Processes and systems that meet these criteria are well-suited to help companies meet their critical talent management challenges.

Strategies for talent management

Talent Management, usually  referred as Human Capital Management, is the process recruiting, managing, assessing, developing and maintaining an organization's most important resource-it's people!

The typical strategies include:-

1. Merge talent management data by having incorporated exceptional capabilities in learning, performance, and compensation management software

2. Automate the talent management process into an online solution there by reducing time and costs of performance reviews.

3. Recognize and close employee performance gaps by instantly turning automated performances appraisals into training development plans.

4. Align training demand with performance needs and strategic goals directly there by reducing time and money spent on non-strategic training activities.

5. Eliminate conflicting evaluation criteria by applying a standardized solution that impose consistent language, feedback, and evaluation criteria

6. Use reliable, fair pay-for-performance initiatives

Talent Management processes is typically found in numerous parts of an organization. Thus, many organizations struggle to align their talent management under one consistent strategy. It may be a considerable challenge to make this happen. For example, a cohesive talent management strategy is as shown in figure 3 below

                                        Figure 3: Cohesive Talent Management Strategy

To apply these strategies a 4 level engagement model is applied the business managers which is as shown in figure 4

                                                 Figure 4: 4-Level Engagement Model

Talent Management Strategy Development:

Evolve Talent Management Strategy

for Maximum Business Impact

The right people, in the right roles, at the appropriate cost-these are core talent management drivers that are important to business leaders, regardless of industry. An effective and cost-efficient talent management strategy requires a deep understanding of issues ranging from talent acquisition to performance management, succession planning, learning and development, and more. It also requires support from an objective, expert consulting partner that is willing to work with you to ensure that your strategy delivers value to the business.

Key Advantages

An ability to understand business drivers and a willingness to be measured by these-We help ensure that your talent management effort delivers real and measurable impact on core business performance.

A track record of success-The Newman Group has more than a decade of experience building and implementing successful HR, recruiting and talent management strategies.

An understanding of theory and best practices-We have deep understanding of today's best practices and tomorrow's emerging next practices, but we also have a willingness to put this aside if it is not right for the organization. A business-first approach enables maximum positive impact from your talent management strategy.

Getting Started: Talent Management Assessment

The best starting point for developing your talent management strategy is an assessment of your current strategy and operations. The Newman Group provides a proven framework for helping you better understand your talent management strategy and its effectiveness in supporting your business goals. The assessment process covers three main phases, including:

Discovery-We conduct a thorough review of all aspects of your talent operations, assessing the people, processes and technology in place across talent acquisition and talent management functions. The process includes extensive research, and interviews with key stakeholders as needed to gain a complete understanding of your talent management environment.

Analysis-The Newman Group conducts a comprehensive analysis of your talent management operations, based on findings from the discovery process. We analyze our findings against your talent managment plans, industry benchmarks, market conditions and your competitive landscape.

Recommendation-Based on results from the discovery and analysis process, The Newman Group can identify strengths and gaps in your talent management strategy. We then provide specific recommendations in a prioritized action plan to address identified gaps in your operations and align your strategy with your business goals.

Support Through All Phases of Strategy Development

An effective talent management strategy requires attention to detail across four critical phases: Planning, Discovery, Development and Deployment. From initial strategy assessment through all phases of development and implementation, we provide guidance to help ensure ongoing success of your talent management operations. By providing support and leadership through each of these phases, we will help you devise a strategy that addresses critical needs and facilitates buy-in from across the organization.

How does an organisation effectively manage talent?

Recognise talent: Notice what do employees do in their free time and find out their interests. Try to discover their strengths and interests. Also, encourage them to discover their own latent talents. For instance, if an employee in the operations department convincingly explains why he thinks he's right even when he's wrong, consider moving him to sales!

Attracting Talent: Good companies create a strong brand identity with their customers and then deliver on that promise. Great employment brands do the same, with quantifiable and qualitative results. As a result, the right people choose to join the organisation.

Selecting Talent: Management should implement proven talent selection systems and tools to create profiles of the right people based on the competencies of high performers. It's not simply a matter of finding the "best and the brightest," it's about creating the right fit - both for today and tomorrow.

Retaining Talent: In the current climate of change, it's critical to hold onto the key people. These are the people who will lead the organisation to future success, and you can't afford to lose them.

The cost of replacing a valued employee is enormous. Organisations need to promote diversity and design strategies to retain people, reward high performance and provide opportunities for development.

Managing Succession: Effective organisations anticipate the leadership and talent requirement to succeed in the future. Leaders understand that it's critical to strengthen their talent pool through succession planning, professional development, job rotation and workforce planning. They need to identify potential talent and groom it.

Change Organisation Culture: Ask yourself, "Why would a talented person choose to work here?" If the organisation wishes to substantially strengthen its talent pool, it should be prepared to change things as fundamental as the business strategy, the organisation structure, the culture and even the calibre of leaders in the organisation.

A rightly managed talent turns out to be a Gold Mine. It's inexhaustible and priceless. It will keep supplying wealth and value to the organisation.

In turn, Management needs to realise its worth, extract it, polish it and utilise it. Don't hoard Talent- spend it lavishly, like a millionaire flashing his luxuries, because Talent is Wealth!

Indeed, many companies are missing substantial opportunities to save costs and improve performance by upgrading their talent management capabilities. There are four steps that companies can take to quickly assess their talent management process and begin improving their talent management competency:

Step 1 - Identify Key Roles. Analyze the key steps in each part of the talent life cycle (identification and attraction, hiring and inculcation, motivation and development, appraisal and reward, building and sustaining relationships) and map the key players and their roles and responsibilities to each stage. Are there gaps in responsibilities - key activities that no one is directly accountable for? Are there overlapping responsibilities - multiple people responsible for the same activity? Are the right people in the right roles? Are line managers provided with consistent and effective processes, guidelines and tools for managing talent?

Step 2 - Take an Inventory of Your Talent Management Skills. Identify the critical skills needed to play the key roles in the talent life cycle effectively. To what extent does your company employ people who possess them? What might you do to improve or develop them? What are you doing in-house that might be better outsourced? What have you outsourced that you should be doing in-house?

Step 3 - Measure the Right Things. Assess the measures you use to evaluate the performance of your talent management process at each life cycle stage such as offer-to-hire ratios, average tenures of new hires, performance ranking, skill fit to job requirements, etc. What data are you capturing and reporting? Does it feed directly into a enterprise talent scorecard? How do these measures align with your overall talent management strategy?

Step 4 - Set Up a Process-Wide Feedback Loop. Everyone managing talent needs to understand the big picture and to connect their role and responsibilities to the overall objectives of the process. How is data captured in each stage of the life cycle reported and communicated? How are knowledge and experiences shared across the process? Where are the information gaps and missed communications? How much feedback is formally captured and communicated versus informally discussed among staff? What key actions might you take to improve your feedback mechanisms?

With so much of the costs and performance of a business now dependent on people, isn't it time managing them became a core competency of your organization?


Failures in talent management are mainly due to the mismatch between the supplies and demand not due to the failure in the concept. We need a new way of thinking about the talent management challenge.  A new framework for talent management has to begin by being clear about the objectives. Talent management is not an end in itself. It is not about developing employees or creating succession plans. Nor is it about achieving specific benchmarks like a five percent turnover rate, having the most educated workforce, or any other tactical outcome. The goal of talent management is the much more general, but the most important task of TM is to help the organization to achieve its overall objectives.


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Talent Management and Employee Retention-Grey Smith

Strategy-Driven HYPERLINK ""Talent ManagementHYPERLINK "": A Leadership Imperative- Rob Silzer, Ben E. Dowell - 2009

Best Practices in HYPERLINK ""Talent ManagementHYPERLINK "": How the WorldHYPERLINK ""'HYPERLINK ""s Leading corporate manage- Marshall Goldsmith, Louis Carter