Talent management takes the form of a ‘bundle’ of interrelated talent management processes that constitute the talent pipeline. These processes are all directed to creating and maintaining a pool of talented people with potential, as shown in Figure 17.1.
Talent management starts with the business strategy and what it signifies in terms of the talented people required by the organization. Ultimately, its aim is to develop and maintain a pool of talented people. The business strategy informs the HR strategy, which is concerned generally with each aspect of talent management and particularly with talent relationship management. The elements of the talent management pipeline are described below.
The resourcing strategy
The business plan provides the basis for workforce resource planning, which defines human capital requirements and leads to attraction and retention policies and programmes for internal resourcing (identifying talented people within the organization and developing and promoting them).
Attraction and retention policies and programmes
These policies and programmes describe the approach to ensuring that the organization both gets and keeps the talent it needs. Attraction policies lead to programmes for external resourcing (recruitment and selection of people from outside the organization). Retention policies are designed to ensure that people remain as committed members of the organization. The outcome of these policies is a talent flow that creates and maintains the talent pool.
A talent audit identifies those with potential and provides the basis for career planning and development – ensuring that talented people have the sequence of experience supplemented by coaching and learning programmes that will fit them to carry out more demanding roles in the future. Talent audits can also be used to indicate the possible danger of talented people leaving (risk analysis) and what action may need to be taken to retain them.
Talent management is concerned with the roles people carry out. This involves role design – ensuring that roles provide the responsibility, challenge and autonomy required to create role engagement and motivation. It also means taking steps to ensure that people have the opportunity and are given encouragement to learn and develop in their roles. Talent management policies focus on role flexibility – giving people the chance to develop their roles by making better and extended use of their talents.
Talent relationship management
Talent relationship management is the process of building effective relationships with people in their roles. It is concerned generally with creating a great place to work, but in particular it is about treating individual employees fairly, recognizing their value, giving them a voice and providing opportunities for growth. The aim is to achieve ‘talent engagement’, ensuring that people are committed to their work and the organization. It is always best to build on an existing relationship rather than try to create a new one when someone leaves.
Performance management processes provide a means of building relationships with people, identifying talent and potential, planning learning and development activities, and making the most of the talent possessed by the organization. Line managers can be asked to carry out separate ‘risk analyses’ for any key staff to assess the likelihood of their leaving. Properly carried out, performance management is a means of increasing the engagement and motivation of people by providing positive feedback and recognition. This is part of a total reward system.
Learning and development
Learning and development policies and programmes are essential components in the process of talent management – ensuring that people acquire and enhance the skills and competencies they need. Policies should be formulated
by reference to ‘employee success profiles’, which are described in terms of competencies and define the qualities that need to be developed. Employee success profiles can be incorporated into role profiles.
Career management consists of the processes of career planning and management succession. Career planning shapes the progression of individuals within an organization in accordance with assessments of organizational needs, defined employee success profiles, and the performance, potential and preferences of individual members of the enterprise. ‘Destination jobs’ can be identified for people with high potential, which are attainable only if they continue to perform, impress and demonstrate growth potential.
Management succession planning
Management succession planning takes place to ensure that, as far as possible, the organization has the managers it requires to meet future business needs.
The talent pool
The talent pool consists of all those employees who have been identified as talented and who have undergone or are undergoing the various processes of performance management, learning and development, management development, career management, and talent relationship management that constitute the talent management pipeline.