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Talented employees with special qualifications and skills are in high demand on the labor market. The shortage of skilled workers in recent years has shown how important it is to retain, promote and find talent in the long term. Human resources management attributes therefore great importance to strategic talent management.

Table of content:

  1. Talent management definition
  2. Why is talent management important?
  3. Talent management model
  4. 5 talent management methods in the spotlight
  5. Two essential strategies in talent management
  6. Digital Talent Management Systems

Talent management definition

Talent management describes strategies, measures and methods used in companies to ensure that employees’ key positions or, more generally, qualifications are filled. Measures include planning, discovering, attracting, developing and retaining talent.

What a talent is, usually always corresponds to the definitions of organizations. Certain talents are often referred to as high potentials. High potentials are employees who, due to their special qualifications and personal characteristics, make a valuable contribution to the company’s value creation.

The following survey shows how differently talents can be defined and managed in organizations.

chart definition of talent management

How talent management is implemented depends on the company conditions and the strategy selection. Among other things, factors such as industry, corporate structure or the employees’ areas of responsibility determine how talent management is structured.

Info: Difference between Talent Management vs. Skill Management Although the two terms have seemingly similar meanings, there are clear differences. Talent Management deals with a holistic process that discovers, nurtures and wins talent, while skill management is primarily concerned with discovering talent.

Why is talent management important?

The goal of talent management is to possess, retain and promote qualified employees for the organization, both in the present and in the future, in order to ensure needed skill resources and manage fitting successions.

For this purpose, it is necessary to clarify which qualifications employees need to have to succeed with organizational goals. Job profiles or definitions of roles as part of career planning are therefore part of the prerequisites of talent management.

Making any competence gaps measurable in the form of skill-gap analyses or through other key figures, is necessary for strategic talent management and its HR controlling.

Talent management model

A talent management system can be represented in the form of a cycle. This cycle can omit individual steps, but as a whole, it illustrates the interaction of different personnel development measures.

talent management process circle

5 talent management methods in the spotlight

  • Succession planning
    Key positions are filled, promoted, and retained both internally and externally. Defining key competencies and creating a skill-gap analysis is necessary. Read more about succession planning here.
  • Career planning
    Defining job profiles and career steps to enable employees to pursue a career within the company and to retain more successful employees. More information on career planning can be found here.
  • Skill Management
    Identifying skills, finding employees with specific competencies and identifying training interests and skills gaps is one of the key features of skills management. Read more here.
  • Employer Branding
    Strengthening the employer brand e.g. on social media or communicating special features of the corporate culture on the company website, these are only two of many possibilities to strengthen the employer brand.
  • Further development
    Internal as well as external further education and training ensures that the increase in competences does not diminish and that talents are promoted. You can find out more about the training planning here.

Two essential strategies in talent management

Essentially, a distinction can be made between two approaches to talent management strategy.

High potential talent management strategy

This strategy aims to identify, promote and retain almost exclusively talented employees. Talent development is therefore primarily limited to a small group of people. This group of people usually corresponds to executives and key specialists with special skills, who are in high demand on the labor market and are indispensable for the fulfillment of corporate goals. Personnel development measures are therefore primarily geared to the needs of this group of people and often neglect to promote and develop other employees.

Holistic talent management strategy

The holistic talent management strategy does not deal with a focused group of people like the high potential strategy, but with all employees equally. The focus of this strategy is on the talents of individual employees and their individual development. In this context, talent is understood to mean that employees achieve above-average performance in individual disciplines. These talents are then considered and utilized in various work projects. Employees are often personally involved in this talent management strategy (employee engagement), for example through surveys in employee appraisals. The holistic talent management approach is often applied in agile structured organizations.

Digital talent management systems

Talent Management can be digitized in many HR processes and phases. It is important to find the right software for talent management. Since talent development can have different focuses as well as strategies depending on the organization, it is often a challenge to find the right talent management software.

The following, 4 criteria for the right talent management software.

  • Does my talent management strategy fit the software?
    Whether high potential, holistic, or any other talent management strategy, a strategy approach must be chosen before acquiring HR software that will be used for talent development. Often, that choice of talent management strategy is shaped by the existing or planned corporate culture.
  • Which processes or phases of talent management can I already map?
    As shown in the talent management model, there are different phases and processes that can be gone through. Often, some of them are already covered in HR development before a new HR system is purchased. Therefore, it is important to go through all phases of talent management and document which processes are already supported to find the appropriate complement.
  • What interfaces are needed?
    Since talent management is a process put together individually by the company and may require different personnel development measures, it is necessary to think about which data should be linked and where any interfaces are required.
  • How can the administrative burden be reduced?
    Developing talent also means fostering interpersonal relationships. After all, only employees who are satisfied with their work situation and prospects will remain loyal to the company. Interpersonal relationships, including those between HR managers and employees, are necessary to improve or adapt work situations and perspectives. In order to have time for this, it is necessary to keep the administrative effort of systems to a minimum. In order to have time for this, it is necessary to keep the administrative effort of systems to a minimum.

Talent management can be that easy.
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