Talent Management: A Four-Step Approach

Campbell V, Hirsh W | Report 502 | Institute for Employment Studies | Dec 2013

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This IES report is based on research with 23 organisations in varied sectors. By speaking directly to practitioners, the study sought to identify how organisations are tackling talent management and particularly thefactors driving their choices.

A four-step model is presented with the following core elements:

  • Definition: what do we mean by talent management in this organisation?
  • Focus: which jobs and groups of people will talent management focus on?
  • Process: how will talent management be done in practice?
  • Action: what are the practical outcomes of talent management?

Choices in approach were found to be very dependent on the business context. For each of the four steps, a set of business moderators was identified which seem to condition the choices made.

These moderators concerned the business drivers for talent management, the business risks to be addressed, the capability of managers implementing the processes, and the measures the organisation will use to determine the impact of talentmanagement.

The report also offers a set of learning points, illustrated by practical examples in the text. These include several aspects of how to align the approach to talent management with current and future business needs; balancing short-term with longer-term outcomes; consideration of organisational culture and the readiness of managers to support talent identification and development.

Successful implementation requires both the support of top leadership and the engagement of the wider HR community, not just talent specialists.