The concept of talent management as a process of ensuring that the organization gets, develops and keeps talented people only emerged in the late 1990s. The basis of talent management is the belief that those with the best people win. It has become recognized as a major resourcing activity, although its elements are all familiar. Talent management has been called a fad or a fashion, but David Guest argues that: ‘… talent management is an idea that has been around for a long time. It’s been re-labelled, and that enables wise organisations to review what they are doing. It integrates some old ideas and gives them a freshness, and that is good’ (quoted in Warren, 2006: 29).
The familiar elements in talent management are resource planning (predicting future needs for talented people and making provisions to obtain them), succession planning (to ensure a supply of people coming through who can take key roles in the future), performance management (to identify talented employees and their development needs), management development (to enhance skills and potential), reward management (to help attract, retain and motivate talent), and the crafting of an employee value proposition that makes the organization an attractive place in which to work. But the beauty of the concept of talent management is that it brings all these processes together so that an integrated and coherent approach can be used to find and develop talent. The talent management package is in effect a connected group of HR activities that is there to achieve the aims of ‘bundling’, ie linking several HR practices so that they are interrelated and reinforce and complement one another. Talent management is ‘focused bundling’ – it
exists to do one thing: to provide the organization with the talent it needs by ensuring that all the constituent parts work together towards that end.