The Best Talent Management Practices

Manage Your Talent Better for a Superior Workforce

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Think of talent management as a business strategy that will help you retain exceptional employees. For effective talent management, every aspect of recruiting, hiring, and developing employees is affected positively. The goal of talent management is a superior workforce.

What Talent Management Involves

Talent management, when handled strategically, flows from the organization's mission, vision, values, and goals. This enables every employee to see where they fit within the organization. This, in turn, enables employees to participate in the overall direction of the company. From a strategic perspective, an effective talent management system helps crucial employees feel as if they are part of something bigger than their current job.

Talent management includes the following activities and work processes:

  • Develop clear job descriptions, so you know the skills, abilities, and experience needed from a new employee.
  • Select appropriate employees who have superior potential and fit your organization's culture, with an appropriate selection process.
  • Negotiate requirements and accomplishment-based performance standards, outcomes, and measures within a performance development planning system.
  • Provide effective employee onboarding and ongoing training and development opportunities that reflect both the employee's and the organization's needs.
  • Provide on-going coaching, mentoring, and feedback, so the employee feels valued and important.
  • Conduct quarterly performance development planning discussions that focus on the employee's interests for career development.
  • Design effective compensation and recognition systems that reward people for their contributions. Even if all of the rest of your employment processes are employee-oriented, people still work for money. Employers of choice aim to pay above market for talented employees.
  • Provide promotional and career development opportunities for employees within a system that includes career paths, succession planning, and on-the-job training opportunities.
  • Hold exit interviews to understand why a valued employee decided to leave the organization. If the reasons provide information about company systems that you can improve, make the changes that will better retain talented employees.

Research Supports Using Talent Management Strategies

In a study by the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) in partnership with The Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), the following practices were identified for their positive impact on successful talent management:

  • Obtaining support for talent management from top management
  • Standardizing talent review and feedback processes
  • Appointing a single functional owner of talent management internally
  • Developing an organizational culture that supports talent management
  • Assuring consistency among the talent management activities
  • Increase the visibility of talent management initiatives

The ASTD study identified these findings (verbatim):

  • High performing organizations tend to integrate talent management components more than low performing organizations.
  • Learning executives play critical roles in major integrated talent management components.
  • Many of the most effective integrated talent management practices are not widely used.
  • Impediments to effective integrated talent management efforts include conflicting priorities, limited resources, non-supportive corporate cultures, incompatible organizational processes, and senior leaders who undervalue integrated talent management.

Summary of Talent Management Best Practices

The workplace processes and systems that must effectively work together to produce a talent management strategy that will provide results for an organization have been highlighted. Further, an ASTD/i4cp study identified factors that are present more of the time in organizations that have a successful talent management strategy operating.

The most intriguing idea that emerged in the review of talent management was the success of implementing talent management review meetings. By talking about talented employees and making their knowledge, skills, and potential known to other managers in different parts of the organization, the potential use and development of internal talent are magnified for both the organization and the talented employees.