Talent management - what is it? The future of talent management

Talent management - what is it? The future of talent management
  1. Talent management in practice
  2. Reasons for focusing
  3. Advantages and disadvantages of a talent management system

Basically, talent management is about winning, identifying, retaining and developing talented employees. Talent management means all activities of personnel marketing and personnel retention and employee development. However, there is no general definition for talent management.

Most talent management definitions are aimed at the following:

Talent management comprises the internally and externally directed strategies, methods and measures that ensure for companies that the positions that are important for the company's success are permanently filled with the right employees. The decisive criterion for this is the question of whether the employee has the necessary potential for the key function in the company. Managers play a crucial role in talent management. But also the HR department, which acts as a driver, innovator and coordinator for processes and tools.

Talent management is therefore the discipline that deals with the employee, his skills and also his commitment. Good talent management increases productivity in the company because the employees work with passion and energy on the right things. Therefore, companies and especially HR have the task of creating the work environment in which employees are motivated as much as possible to make their contribution to the company's success.

Talent management therefore begins even before an employee is hired in the company. Because already in employer branding, the most important employee groups are considered applicant groups. After recruiting, the other tasks in Talent Management can be summarized in these areas:

- Performance Management,

- Compensation Management / Compensation,

- Skill and Competence Management / Personnel Development

- Career and Succession Planning

- Talent Relationship Management (contact to keep employees who leave the company).

Talent management in practice

In practice, talent management means that companies use employees in such a way that their skills and knowledge contribute to the company's success in the best possible way. If employees are involved, they can develop their talents and bring the greatest benefit to the company. This is also where the future of talent management lies: employees need to be more involved in corporate processes. Many companies bind e.g. the team in the recruiting process. So it's not just about automating an existing process and making it more efficient. Rather, it is about companies doing everything they can to implement effective talent management that makes a noticeable contribution to increasing productivity.

Because the pure process optimization that many providers of talent management solutions propagate usually falls short. Talent management only works if everyone involved, i.e. employees, supervisors and the HR department, are joint designers of the process. This is also in the tradition of the management thought leader Peter F. Drucker, who sees many talent management processes as the responsibility of the employee himself. Involving the employees should enable the best fit between the needs of the employees, the organization and the respective situation.

Reasons for focusing

The focus on talents (high potentials) turns out to be useful and expedient due to several circumstances:

1. Binding factor

The focus and transparent communication within the framework of a talent management system lead to the fact that the talented employees receive increased attention and thus appreciation from the company. Attention to this group of employees can be seen as an important binding factor - employees who know that their potential is seen and that career and development opportunities are shown to them.

2. Productivity

Talented employees or high performers generate twice as much sales and productivity as average employees and thus make an incomparably higher contribution to the

3. Budgeting

As a very pragmatic justification for this view, in times of shrinking budgets and stronger business management of personnel work and development, there is often the need to focus activities. Here it makes sense to concentrate on a certain group of employees (the talents).

4. Succession

With regard to demographic development in particular, it can be seen that the filling of key positions should be ensured by the best internal resources (“A-People to A-Positions”). Only through a clear identification (and, if necessary, subsequent support) of internal talent will it be possible to fill vacant (key) positions with well-trained internal candidates instead of substantial ones.

Advantages and disadvantages of a talent management system

When discussing the benefits of talent management systems, legitimate objections are repeatedly raised that can be seen as challenges when introducing such a system. The following table provides an exemplary overview of pros and cons in a discussion about talent management.


• Competitive advantages in promoting more powerful / productive employees

• Long-term retention of potentials and top performers, who are given greater esteem

• Less dependence on difficult recruitment conditions (war for talents, demographic change etc.)

• Increased employer attractiveness, especially for ambitious employees

• continuous use and further development of the skills of the employee

• Focus on a generally smaller group of employees and therefore through cost savings

• Cost reduction through demand-oriented personnel development measures


• When selected as talent: risk of emigration due to increasing awareness of one's own market value

• Greater effort due to qualification requirements for managers (e.g. for talent identification)

• Coordination effort through cross-departmental responsibilities, for example in talent identification

• Building up expectations of nominated talents that may not be satisfied

• Frustration of unselected employees

The challenges listed cannot be denied, but the benefits mostly outweigh them. Some of the challenges only describe the effort that arises, particularly in the initial phase after the introduction of a talent management system. Others only relate to partial aspects of talent management and can often be absorbed by the other facets of the system. For example, the risk of migrating the identified talents can be reduced by increasing employer attractiveness and the opportunities that talent management offers for individuals. Furthermore, care must of course be taken to ensure that expectations are not disappointed - or as rarely as possible. This can be ensured through a transparent process and comprehensible appointment decisions.

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