Talent Management is not Recruiting

During a recent conversation with a finance executive, the topic of Talent Management surfaced in relation to the role of human resources. His instant reaction to the term Talent Management  was that it was analogous with Recruiting. This got me thinking about some of the various terms used in the HR field and how their lack of distinction only helps in making parts of the HR work seem vague for many.

Like most functions, HR has specialties and sub-specialties that make up the field. The same way that one would not expect any finance professional to be able to effectively operate simultaneously in a tax, accounting, or treasury role, HR professionals are not necessarily interchangeable.

Organizational Health Check and Triage

Whereas Recruiting is a long-standing and well-known area in its own right, Talent Management has emerged more recently as the combination of activities that encompass: talent reviews, high potential identification, talent development, succession planning, and employee retention. It assesses the organizational health from a talent perspective and it determines future actions to take when certain areas of the organization are deemed to have talent gaps.  For instance, employees can be moved around to positions for which they are better suited, or as a strategy to help them develop a particular skill, or to gain experience in a specific area. Additionally, the area manages the development plan process, and partners with managers on ways to support the career growth of high potential employees.

How Recruiting Supports Talent Management

Certainly, talent is more successfully managed when people with the right skills and fit are hired.  When the wrong talent is brought into the organization, it is often up to the Talent Management folks to identify the problem and come up with a solution. In this way, making recruiting, which is also known as Talent Acquisition, part of Talent Management may be fitting, but not necessary. Other areas of HR such as Compensation and Training also support the objectives of Talent Management. Similarly, Talent Acquisition and Talent Management work in partnership, but their metrics are different. Thus, many companies keep the two functions apart.

Yet, perhaps due the need to leverage resources, a new trend has emerged in some companies to combine Talent Acquisition, and at times Training, with Talent Management. Once again, while these areas are complimentary, the skills and experience needed in each are different. Additionally, if there’s a true commitment to talent in general, caution must be heeded to avoid spreading the focus too thin.

HR leaders must pay close attention to this trend to ensure that while appropriate economies of scale are targeted, there’s no adverse impact to the quality of people strategies.

This entry was posted on Sunday, April 4th, 2010 at 1:43 pm and is filed under Talent Management. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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