Glossary
Essential terms used by HR and their meanings.

Talent management


Talent management is the methodical approach to overseeing an organisation’s employees during their employment life.

It therefore encompasses several distinct areas of activity including:

  • Talent acquisition – the identification and targeted recruitment of new employees to meet the organisational needs for workforce volume and skills. This might incorporate employer brand, talent assessment, or recruitment outsourcing.

  • Onboarding & engagement – ensuring new employees can become productive quickly and efficiently, and embedding organisational culture across all employees to improve engagement.

  • Development – continuous review of the workforce to understand skill gaps within the workforce and to put the learning opportunities in place to upskill employees effectively. This may encompass formal training, career management skills, or upskilling programmes.

  • Performance Management – a systematic approach to reporting on employee performance so that positive performance is encouraged and weaknesses in performance are mitigated. This could include performance reviews, monitoring, and continuous feedback processes.

  • Succession Planning – creating the knowledge transfer necessary to facilitate internal mobility or to inform best quality resourcing processes to replace senior leaders.

  • Workforce Planning – analysing the employee make up, in alignment with organisational goals and market trends, to make sure that the organisation workforce is future-proofed. This may incorporate people data analytics.

Talent management model

While there are many models that can be applied to talent management, all have certain core principles incorporated that will inform and shape your talent management strategy.

  • Planning – the foundation of the strategy, assess the organisational needs, outlines goals and the steps to be taken to get there.

  • Attracting – this might include large-scale recruitment or the highly targeted acquisition of specific high-value skill sets that support the organisational objective.

  • Selecting – having successfully developed a talent pipeline, it then becomes necessary to put in place quantitative and qualitative assessments to ensure best quality candidates are selected.

  • Developing – the business landscape is rapidly changing; processes will need to be in place to monitor performance and ensure new skills and proficiencies can developed in the workforce overtime.

  • Retaining – once talent has been acquired and developed it is important to ensure the organisation enjoys the benefit of this work for as long as possible, by consulting on and implementing wellbeing, reward and engagement initiatives, employee retention can be improved.

  • Transitioning – 100% retention of staff is impossible, and employees can leave an organisation for a large variety of reasons. Making sure that essential skills and knowledge are identified and developed in multiple team members, considering the future evolution of roles at all levels of the organisation especially in leadership positions.


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Talent management strategy

A good talent management strategy will be based on delivering the organisational goals, and therefore will likely vary from one organisation to another. An organisation with a workforce shortage may focus on talent attraction, employer branding, recruitment processes while one that is expecting significant change in the marketplace might focus on skills development in the existing workforce and maximising employee retention.

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