What Is Talent Management?
Talent management is the process of attracting, hiring, retaining, and developing skilled individuals for an organization. It involves identifying and nurturing the abilities and potential of each employee to ensure their optimal development and growth—for the well-being of every employee and for the company’s bottom line. Talent management includes activities such as recruitment, training, performance evaluation, career development, and succession planning.
The core components of talent management
The core components of talent management can be broken down into three primary areas: identifying and hiring qualified candidates (talent acquisition or recruitment), developing talent to increase the skills and competency of the company’s workforce (talent development), and retaining talent by optimizing employee engagement (talent retention).
Talent managers and human resources departments manage every aspect of their talent management strategy and workforce planning with the help of talent management software—from talent acquisition and recruitment software to leadership development and employee satisfaction surveys.
Modern intranets integrate with each unique software system, turning what used to be a long, difficult process into one streamlined solution that spans the entire employee lifecycle.
Talent acquisition management
Talent acquisition management is the strategic process of recruiting and selecting high-quality candidates for the company. A strong talent acquisition strategy will identify talent gaps, then source, screen, interview, and ultimately hire individuals with the necessary skills, industry experience, and potential to fill those skills gaps and contribute to the company’s success.
The process of talent acquisition management
Talent acquisition managers use specialized talent acquisition software to organize and manage the talent pipeline, from nurturing the talent pool to improving the candidate experience at every step of the recruitment process.
Identifying the talent resource needs of the workforce. Talent acquisition specialists use human resources management software to track “human capital” and open positions, raising key roles or even critical roles to the top of the hiring list.
Developing job descriptions. Talent acquisition management software helps outline the responsibilities, qualifications, and key competencies needed for each role and identifies industry-standard salary ranges.
Attracting potential candidates. Job boards, social media platforms, professional networks, and recruitment agencies all feed applications directly into the company’s talent acquisition software.
Screening resumes and applications. Applicant tracking systems can save a talent acquisition specialist hours of time by weeding out applicants who don’t yet have the necessary skills or experience for a specific position.
Selecting top candidates. Talent acquisition managers narrow down the pool of applicants to a small set of top choices based on education, skills, experience, and expected salary range.
Conducting interviews. Shortlisted candidates are invited for in-person or video interviews to evaluate their interpersonal skills, technical knowledge, and fit with the company culture. A good talent strategy ensures that interviews are a positive candidate experience, giving companies their pick of qualified candidates.
Conducting skill assessments. Depending on the nature of the job, talent management solutions may also use technical assessments or skill tests to evaluate candidate abilities.
Checking references and conducting background checks. Talent acquisition software organizes references and background checks to help talent management teams conduct due diligence in their hiring practices.
Extending job offers. Once the ideal candidate is chosen, human capital management software tracks formal job offers, capturing the details of salaries, benefits, and start dates.
Talent development management
Talent development is a systematic and strategic approach to enhancing and growing employees’ abilities, skills, and potential. As part of the talent management process, businesses provide opportunities for learning, training, and mentorship to nurture and maximize the talents and capabilities of the workforce.
Businesses also use talent development to enhance internal mobility—the ability of employees to advance within the business—raising employee retention and minimizing turnover.
As companies grow and the workforce scales from dozens to hundreds to thousands and even hundreds of thousands, every aspect of business administration becomes more complicated. Career development can be especially challenging as each employee arrives with a unique set of skills and knowledge — the training they need varies by education, experience, department, position, and region.
Today’s enterprise organizations use modern intranet software to manage the process, leveraging the power of AI to deliver the best opportunities for each employee on a personalized basis.
The need for regular employee training and development
The need for employee training begins the moment talent managers successfully complete a new hire. In that moment, a candidate becomes a current employee, requiring an entirely new suite of services. When it comes to the active workforce, the talent management process is concerned with things like employee performance, career paths, and employee development.
Five key reasons why training and development are vital for successful organizations
1. Keeping up with industry trends and best practices
Programs for regular training and development ensure that employees are fully conversant with the latest knowledge and skills relevant to their roles. This makes sure the company doesn’t fall behind as new industry trends develop and new technologies emerge.
2. Improving job performance and productivity
Training programs help employees enhance their skills and knowledge, which can improve job performance and increase productivity. By continuously developing their abilities, employees can excel at their jobs and contribute to the overall business performance of the organization.
3. Boosting employee satisfaction, motivation, and engagement
As long as training is tied to direct paths for career advancement, investing in employee training and development is a clear signal that the organization values its employees and is committed to their professional growth. This can significantly boost employee morale and motivation, as individuals feel they have room to grow and achieve their full potential.
4. Fostering innovation and adaptability
Continuous employee training and development can foster a culture of innovation within the organization. New knowledge, skills, and ideas can spark creativity throughout the organization, helping employees adapt to new situations and contribute innovative ideas that can drive the organization forward.
5. Enhance employee retention and loyalty
By giving employees transparent career paths, employee development improves employee satisfaction and loyalty, reducing turnover rates and retaining top talent within the organization.
Talent retention management
Talent retention management is the process of extending the employee lifecycle, keeping individual employees and especially top talent within the organization for as long as possible. This helps companies maintain a skilled and knowledgeable workforce, leading to increased productivity, innovation, and growth.
When talented employees stay with a company, they can develop expertise and contribute to the organization’s success over the long term. Additionally, retaining talent saves time and resources that would otherwise be spent on finding qualified candidates externally.
Studies have shown that high employee retention rates reduce costs and can even boost morale and create a positive work culture.
Common strategies for employee retention
1. Competitive compensation and benefits: Fair salaries, annual salary adjustments for cost of living, attractive benefits, and perks such as wellness programs, employee discounts, or performance-based bonuses
2. Career advancement and development: Promotions, training programs, and mentorship opportunities that provide upward mobility
3. Positive company culture: Supportive environments that encourage teamwork, recognize achievements, foster open communication, and nurture diversity, equity, and inclusion
4. Good work-life balance: Flexible work schedules, remote work options, paid time off, and similar initiatives that help reduce the likelihood of burnout
5. Regular feedback and performance evaluations: Constructive performance appraisal, recognition for employee accomplishments, and clear paths for personal development and corporate advancement
6. A sense of purpose and meaning: aligning employees’ work with the company’s mission and values for enhanced job satisfaction and employee engagement
7. Employee involvement and empowerment: Involving employees in decision-making processes and empowering them to take ownership of their work
Implementing talent management strategies
Enterprise organizations put a lot of time and effort into developing, executing, and continuously improving talent management strategies. Attracting and maintaining top talent is one of the key pillars of high-growth organizational success.
Role of HR in talent management
Human resources departments often oversee just about every aspect of a successful talent strategy—recruitment, onboarding, training, retention, succession planning, and more. The eight steps below cover the essential steps of talent management, each of which takes a significant amount of ongoing time and effort.
Eight essential steps for successful talent management
1. Talent identification
HR teams start by identifying key roles and positions within the organization and cataloging the specialized education and skills required to perform each role. In an enterprise organization, there might be hundreds or even thousands of job openings at any given time. HR teams also have to analyze and ensure salary parity across all job openings according to role and region, ensuring that pay structures adhere to principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
2. Recruitment and selection
HR teams are responsible for building robust recruitment processes to attract and select top talent for the organization. This includes creating targeted job descriptions, integrating with various job posting channels, scanning applications for candidate qualifications, and performing background checks. Specialized talent acquisition software helps manage this process, screening and managing thousands of applicants across the organization while ensuring adherence to DEI in the organization’s hiring practices.
3. Onboarding and orientation
Once talent is hired, HR provides a comprehensive onboarding process that familiarizes new hires with the organization’s culture, values, and expectations. This ensures a smooth transition and integration into the company. For enterprise organizations, new hires can span the globe and every level of the company from the leadership team to line workers. HR teams need to onboard them all, providing individualized onboarding experiences at scale.
4. Performance management
HR teams implement performance management systems that include setting clear goals for performance, conducting performance evaluations, and providing regular feedback and coaching. Here, too, HR teams are responsible for ensuring that evaluations and feedback are free of personal bias, adhering to principles of DEI in providing a fair, unbiased review system and equal opportunities for advancement.
5. Learning and development
Continuous learning and development opportunities can enhance employees’ skills and competencies. This can include training programs, workshops, mentoring, and opportunities for professional growth. Across a workforce of hundreds or thousands, the right training needs to be delivered to the right employees with the right timing across multiple channels to accommodate a wide variety of learning styles.
6. Succession planning
Succession plans are designed to identify potential future leaders and create a pipeline of talent within the organization. This ensures a smooth transition when key positions become vacant. Enterprise HR teams face significant challenges in identifying future leaders across thousands or hundreds of thousands of employees while ensuring that potential bias is removed from the process for promotional practices that adhere to DEI standards.
7. Employee engagement
HR teams work hard to foster a positive and engaging work environment in order to attract, motivate, and retain top talent. By creating a supportive environment, providing opportunities for career advancement, implementing employee recognition systems for both individuals and teams, and conducting regular employee surveys to gauge employee sentiment, HR departments play a key role in maintaining and improving employee engagement.
8. Talent retention and recognition
Strategies to retain high-performing employees include many HR responsibilities and policies, such as offering competitive compensation and benefits, providing a supportive work culture, and recognizing and rewarding exceptional performance. When the responsibility spans an enterprise organization, managing these initiatives would be all but impossible without the aid of modern technology.
How talent management influences employee retention
Through all of the steps listed above, talent management influences employee retention by ensuring a positive employee experience at every stage of the employee lifecycle. Identifying and recruiting talent whose skills and personality match the company’s current needs and corporate culture helps ensure the potential longevity of the hire.
A clear, organized onboarding experience sets the relationship off on the right foot, assuring employees that they made a good decision in accepting the offer. When paired with strong mentoring and career development programs, talent management helps employees see a bright future at the company, encouraging longevity.
Employee engagement is another key factor—when employees care about what they do, seeing that their own personal values are aligned with the company’s vision and strategy, they are far more likely to stay with the company and give their work their very best efforts.
Impact of effective talent management on employee retention
The impact of effective talent management on employee retention is significant—even surprising. According to a recent McKinsey & Company study, individuals who enjoy a positive employee experience within an organization are 16 times more engaged than individuals with a negative experience—and 8 times more inclined to stay with the company.
In other words, talent management experiences can have a strong effect on minimizing employee turnover from the hiring and onboarding experience through training, performance management, and career development.
Actionable talent management techniques for employee retention
The single most important key to a strong talent management strategy is to recognize and manage the changes in modern talent management technology. Thanks to internet-based job posting boards and social media, today’s talent managers face hundreds or thousands of applicants for each job opening—far more than any individual could hope to sift through. And competitors, of course, are striving constantly to poach the best candidates from among every other company’s current workforce.
In such a competitive environment, talent management strategies need to employ the best that modern technology has to offer.
Key tools for talent management and employee retention
1. Applicant tracking systems: ATS software helps streamline and automate the recruitment process, including job posting, resume screening, and candidate management.
2. Talent analytics tools: These specialized tools provide data-driven insights into workforce trends, helping organizations make informed decisions about talent acquisition, retention, and development strategies.
3. Onboarding software: Onboarding tools automate and streamline the new employee onboarding process, ensuring a smooth and efficient transition for new hires.
4. Employee self-service portals: These portals let employees access and update their personal information, request time off, view pay stubs, and participate in performance evaluations, enhancing employee engagement and reducing administrative tasks.
5. Performance management systems: These systems enable organizations to set goals, conduct performance evaluations, provide feedback, and track employee performance, helping to align individual goals with organizational objectives.
6. Learning management systems: LMS platforms offer online training and development programs, allowing organizations to efficiently manage and track employee learning and skill development.
7. Employee engagement platforms: These platforms provide a range of features to enhance employee engagement, such as surveys, recognition programs, and communication tools, fostering a supportive work environment and improving employee satisfaction.
8. Succession planning software: This tool helps organizations identify and develop potential future leaders, allowing them to create talent pipelines and ensure a smooth transition during leadership changes.
9. Modern intranet software: Modern intranet platforms integrate with the kinds of software listed above, giving HR teams a single dashboard for managing every aspect of talent management. In fact, intranets offer many of these same features—either filling in gaps or saving organizations time and money by sourcing these tools together in a single, fully integrated solution.
Topping employee retention with sound talent management practices
Employee retention is crucial for the success and stability of any organization. By implementing sound talent management practices, companies can improve their ability to recruit and hold onto top talent.
This involves creating a supportive company culture, offering competitive compensation and benefits, providing opportunities for growth and development, and fostering strong relationships between managers and employees. When employees feel valued, they’re more likely to stay for the long term, reducing turnover and ensuring continuity in the workforce.
Challenges and the future in talent management
As talent management technology continues to develop, companies need to leverage these new solutions or risk falling behind. With millennials solidly in the workforce and Gen Z following closely behind, today’s employees are more than technologically savvy—they expect technology to streamline and automate routine tasks.
Technology that assists with job applications, human resources management, onboarding, training, and more is vital for HR teams that want to attract and retain today’s technologically sophisticated workers.
The importance of talent management in organizations
As the line between technology and talent management blurs, talent management is becoming more and more important to organizational success. Today’s top talent has options—literally hundreds of options available at their fingertips.
Friends share jobs on LinkedIn. Job posting software offers options in social media feeds and by email to people who are not actively looking for a new position. Talent management teams need to hold onto their top talent more and more tightly or risk losing that talent to a competitive organization.
Future-proofing talent management
Today’s enterprise organizations are future-proofing talent management with technology—not just in the tools they use for talent management directly, but also in the tools the organization provides to employees to help them streamline their jobs and stay connected in a distributed workforce.
Messaging apps, video conferencing apps, project management apps, file sharing apps, and more serve to minimize work-based frustrations and keep talent feeling valued, recognized, connected, and engaged.
Tackling the skill gap
According to Harvard Business Review, these 5 innovative, technology-based tactics are helping modern companies address skill gaps within their organizations.
- Digital apprenticeships: Today’s digital tools are helping white-collar workers take on digital apprentices, filling skill gaps by offering hands-on learning to the next generation of software engineers, data scientists, and more.
- Tuition assistance and free education: Enterprise organizations are extending their tuition programs to frontline employees, even offering tuition-free training at various schools, colleges, and universities.
- Learning experience platforms: On the cutting edge of corporate training, learning management systems (LMS) are starting to be replaced by learning experience platforms (LXP) that offer skill assessments, suggestions of what to take next, and built-in social networking.
- Coaching for everyone: New digital platforms are helping just about anyone find and connect with the right coach to help them navigate personal and career development. Today’s enterprise organizations are using these services to offer coaching for their employees—and tracking its effectiveness with leadership rating benchmarks.
- Cohort-based courses: Digital learning platforms have made individualized training broadly available, but these platforms often have low completion rates. New platforms combine digital delivery with the old-school approach of small classrooms, providing instructor-led courses with homework and deadlines to small groups of employees—who are far more likely to finish each course successfully.
The role of technology in talent management
It is becoming more and more clear that talent managers need to leverage the latest innovations in talent management systems to compete in today’s employment marketplace. From recruiting and onboarding to engagement and retention, talent management software has become invaluable to a modern business strategy.
Trends shaping the future of talent management
With so many disparate technologies assisting talent managers across a broad spectrum of tasks and responsibilities, modern, AI-powered intranet platforms are rapidly becoming a must-have for enterprise talent managers.
These platforms integrate with hiring software, human resources management software, training software, communications software, and much more. They also offer native video, built-in newsletters and surveys, employee recognition and rewards programs, and a host of other tools for improving employee engagement and retention.
Visit our website to see how a modern intranet platform can bring multiple talent management tools into one unified platform.