Effective Talent Management:A cutting edge advantage

Talent management ensures that the organizations have the quantity and quality of people to meet their business priorities

Organizations know that they must employ the best talent in order to succeed in this hyper-competitive and increasingly complex global business economy. Along with the understanding of the need to hire, develop and retain talented people, organizations are aware that they must manage talent as a critical resource to achieve the best possible result. Gaps exist at the top of the organization, in the first-to-middle level leadership ranks and at the front lines. Talent is an increasingly scarce resource which needs to be managed to the fullest extent. The idea of managing talent is not new. Few decades ago, it was viewed as a peripheral responsibility relegated to the Personnel Department. Now, talent management is an organizational function and it is taken very seriously. CEOs are accepting that their firms’ performance is likely to suffer due to insufficient leadership talent. Thus emphasis is laid on talent management and the companies now spend over one third of their revenues on employee wage and benefits as well as time for nurturing talent from selection process till the candidate is made to take the leadership position. Replicating a high-quality, highly engaged workforce is a very challenging subject. The ability to effectively hire, retain, deploy and engage talent – at all levels – is really the true competitive advantage for an organization.

Talent management is a mission critical process that ensures organizations have the quantity and quality of people in place to meet their current and future business priorities. The process covers all key aspects of an employee’s life cycle – selection, development, succession and performance management.


1. A clear understanding of the organization’s current and future business strategies.

2. Identification of key gaps between the talent in place and the talent required to drive the business success.

3. A sound talent management plan design to close the talent gaps.  It should also be integrated with strategic and business plans.

4. Accurate hiring and promotion decisions.

5. Connection of individual and team goals to corporate goals and providing clear expectations and feedback to manage performance.

6. Development of talent to enhance performance in current positions as well as readiness for transition to the next level.

7. A focus not just on the talent strategy itself, but the elements required for successful execution.

8. Business impact and workforce effectiveness measurement during and after the implementation.


1. There is a demonstrated relationship between better talent and better business performance.

2. Talent is a rapidly increasing source of value creation.

3. The context in which a business is done is very complex and dynamic.

4. Boards and financial markets are expecting more.

5. Employee expectations are also changing.

6. Workforce demographics are evolving.  Organizations wage a new “war for talent” these days.

Therefore, it is imperative that talent management development deserves to be treated as a key result area (KRA) to have cutting edge advantage in the current business scenario. To have a strong foundation of talent management, the following may be considered:

1.Start with the end in mind – talent strategy must be tightly aligned with business strategy.

2. Talent management professionals need to move from a seat at the table to setting the table.

3. You must know what you are looking for – the role of success profiles.

4. The talent pipe line is only as strong as its weakest link.

5. Talent management is not a democracy.

6. Potential, performance and readiness are not the same thing.

7. Talent management is all about putting the right people in the right jobs.

8. Talent management is more about the “hows” than the “whats”.

9. Software does not equal talent management.

Talent management has never been more of an immediate concern than it is right now. But in the rush to fill perceived talent management void, organizations must be careful not to rush into implementing initiatives and programs that are more about taking action than about implementing well drafted solutions.

Careful planning, culminating in a sound talent strategy that is tightly connected to the organization’s overall business strategies and business needs is required for talent management to become ingrained in an organization’s culture and practices. Only when this happens, it is possible for talent management to be both effective and sustainable.


R N Misra

The writer is a visiting faculty to many B-Schools. He is a professional trainer in many PSUs and private sector industries. Email: rnmisra@tatasteel.com

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