Talent management is the process of identifying, developing, recruiting, retaining and deploying talented people. As defined by Baron and Armstrong (2007: 101), ‘talent management is a comprehensive and integrated set of activities which ensure that the organization attracts, retains, motivates and develops the talented people it needs now and in the future’.
The term talent management may refer simply to management succession planning and management development activities, although this notion does not really add anything to these familiar processes except a new (but admittedly quite evocative) name. It is better to regard talent management as a more comprehensive and integrated bundle of activities, the aim of which is to secure the flow of talent in an organization, bearing in mind that talent is a major corporate resource.
Strategic talent management
Talent management is a strategic management process because, in the words of Johnson et al (2005: 6), it involves ‘understanding the strategic position of an organization, making strategic choices for the future, and turning strategy into action’. Talent management concentrates on understanding and satisfying the requirements of the business to achieve organizational capability, growth and competitive advantage. It aligns its policies with the organization’s strategic intent – its competitive strategy and operational goals.