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What is Talent Management?

What is Talent Management?

A Talent Management strategy has different layers and many aspects to consider. A careful analysis is the base of established goals and determined means to reach them. The combination and expression of tools can vary.

26/05/2024 Back to all articles

The term talent management is constantly present nowadays.

Ever company, small, middle, or big size holding is invented, created, run by and with people. They would not exist without people.

Employees are described as talent. What exactly do we mean with talent?

In a work and business context, “talent” refers to the skills, knowledge, experience, and abilities possessed by individuals. Talent represents the human capital that contributes to the success and competitive advantage of a business.

This includes a range of competencies from technical expertise and creative ability to people skills and leadership qualities. People in posses of competencies that are useful to companies are also called “talent.”

Talent groups in an organization can be subdivided in various ways depending on the organization´s strategic goals, the nature of work, and the skills required.

Some common ways to subdivide can be:

  • By Role or Function

Roles or functions within the organization can include divisions like sales, marketing, operations, finance, human resources, and IT.

  • By Skill Level

Talents can be grouped according to their skill levels, such as entry-level, mid-level, and senior level expertise.

  • By Leadership Potential

Fur further development of the company they may create groups like high-potential employees (HiPos), who are considered to have the capability to take on senior strategic roles in the future.

  • By Criticality of Role

Some roles are critical for the business operations. They may form a separate talent group. These roles typically have a significant impact on the organization´s performance or continuity.

  • By Project or Team

In project-driven environments, talent groups may be formed based on the project or team they are assigned to. This allows for agile and flexible grouping based on changing business needs and project goals.

  • By Career Path

Also, this division focuses on further company development. Different paths that choose or are steered towards technical, managerial, or executive tracks.

  • By Location or Region

Especially in multinational organizations, talent can be grouped geographically. This helps address local business needs, cultural differences, and compliancy requirements.

  • By innovation and Creativity Levels

Especially in industries like technology, design, and R&D some organizations identify according to the capabilities of innovation and creativity.


To subdivide talent into groups helps in managing talent more effectively by enabling targeted development programs, creating more personalized career pathways, and aligning individual capabilities with organizational needs.

Why do we focus on Talent Management in this article if talent, people are the base of every company? Isn´t this a redundant topic for a company and leadership?

Besides situations that require a newly implemented debate about talent, the awareness and strategically useful planning of talent management may get lost over operations and within a global and fast changing world or work and society.

Talent Management may be neglected which can lead to major problems short-term, mid-term, or long-term.

What does Talent Management mean and what are the situations in which it is particularly needed?

It refers to the systematic approach that an organization applies to attract, develop, manage, and retain individuals who are able to make significant contributions to the organization´s success. Talent Management in a broad definition should embrace all employees, from the warehouse worker to the C-suite. Talent Management is one factor in forming and maintaining a functioning and positive company culture.

Talent Management is particularly important in different situations in a company as:

  1. Rapid Growth

Expanding quickly effective talent management ensures that a company can scale operations while maintaining quality and productivity. It helps in aligning the growing workforce with the strategic goals of the company.

  1. Highly Competitive Industries

In industries where competition for skilled talent is fierce, such as technology or finance, talent management becomes crucial for attracting and retaining the necessary human resources to keep a competitive edge.

  1. Organizational Change

Whether due to mergers, acquisitions, or strategic pivots, changes can disrupt organizational structures and employee roles. Talent management helps navigate these changes smoothly by ensuring the that the right people are in the right positions and are well-supported.

  1. Innovation-Driven Fields

Industries that rely heavily on innovation, such as pharmaceuticals or software development, need continual new input, expertise, and ideas. Talent Management in these contexts focuses on acquiring and developing individuals who can drive innovation.

  1. Succession Planning

Organizations need to plan and prepare for the future by identifying and developing internal candidates for critical leadership positions. There must not be a vacuum when transitions occur.

  1. Global Workforce Environment

Managing talent across multiple countries involves dealing with different cultures, languages, laws, and compliance. Talent Management helps standardize practices and customize approaches where possible and individually deal with them where necessary.

  1. Skill Shortages

Some sectors may experience shortages of critical skills, which may negatively interfere with operations. Talent Management can identify these gaps and develop internal pathways to equip the workforce ahead with needed skills.

  1. Employee Engagement and Retention

High employee turnover is disruptive and costly. Talent Management creates pathways for career development and growth, leading to job satisfaction and loyalty among employees, reducing turnover, and enhancing engagement and retention.

Talent Management not only identifies and prevents challenging situations but aligns long-term strategic planning with dynamic workforce development.


Talent Management and what it includes

The following functions define and are part of Talent Management:

Talent Acquisition

Talent development

Performance Management

Succession Planning

Career Pathing

Retention Strategies

Workforce Planning

Talent Analytics


Talent Acquisition means identifying, attracting, and recruiting the right people with the necessary skills and potential to help the organization succeed. Talent acquisition includes sourcing, recruiting, interviewing, and hiring employees.

Talent Development means to onboard talent. Developing their skills and competencies is crucial. This can involve training, mentoring, coaching, and providing continuous learning opportunities to help employees grow professionally and personally.

Performance Management is the process of ensuring that employees are meeting their work objectives and contributing to their team and organization´s goals. Setting employee goals, providing regular feedback, conducting performance reviews, and managing underperformance are part of Performance Management.

Succession Planning means to identify and develop future leaders within the organization to ensure a smooth transition when senior leaders leave or retire. This is important to maintain stability and continuous growth of the company.

Career Pathing To help employees to navigate their career options within the organization will lead to higher job satisfaction and better retention rates. Understand their aspirations, strengths, and potential career moves.

Retention strategies are as important as the hiring process itself. What motivates your employees, intrinsic or extrinsic motivational factors? Recognize when motivation is changing, foster a positive work environment, and a good work-life balance.

Workforce Planning is a process of analysing the status quo of workforce capabilities, determining future needs based on business goals and getting ready for the future. This can refer to skills as well as to optimizing the balance between workforce and workload.

Talent Analytics means to use data analytics to make informed decisions about talent management practices. Identify trends, forecast needs, and measure the effectiveness of talent management strategies.

Talent Management manages and optimizes current workforce contribution and predicts future needs and requirements in a strategic way. It aligns the growth of an organization with the personal development of employees. Mutual benefit and success are to be reached.

The Talent Management strategy has to be determined after a detailed analysis. Company goals on both sides, business and ESG have to be considered as well as skills and the actual and future workforce.

Every strategy must be tailored to the organization, the actual business and social situation.

 A Talent Management strategy – example Google

Google is known for its exceptional Talent Management. The company has managed to attract and retain some of the brightest minds in the industry. Innovative products and services through innovative people and an aligned company culture. Think of the first Google Doodle. Artists were inspired and Google has hired several artists to work on different projects. Google maintains its position as a leader in the tech world.

They attract top talent already on campuses, create a “campus-like” work environment, which has also been criticized. However, it is efficient and effective.

Google has a rigorous and data-driven hiring process on one side, and on the other side it emphasises on continuous learning and professional development of their employees. Employees are encouraged to spend 20% of their time on projects they are enthusiastic about and that are not related to their primary work function, to participate in hackathons and innovation challenges. The outstanding “20%-time program” has led to innovation and new products like Gmail and Google News.

Google also employs a performance management based on regular peer reviews and feedback instead of top-down annual reviews. The Career Guru program pairs employees with experienced mentors to help them navigate their career paths within the company.

Without further going into details, Google has a different Talent Management approach, a tailored approach meeting the need of great brains fostering innovation.


A Talent Management strategy has different layers and many aspects to consider. A careful analysis is the base of established goals and determined means to reach them. The combination and expression of tools can vary.

Every successful Talent Strategy is individual and tailored to the particular organization.

Morgan Philips – making success stories happen.

Written by Gabriele Kamps, Content, Communication, Coaching.



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