Talent Management – time for a name change?

June 21, 2018

Talent Management as a business process is at a crossroads. Maybe calling it “Talent Management” is partly the issue. When something is managed usually it means that it is being controlled and most will agree controlling the workforce is exactly what Talent Management is not about. It is about giving the workforce what they need to help themselves and the organization succeed.

Talent processes today need to be about assessing employees and their skills and abilities, recognizing their contributions and developing them so they have what is needed to meet the organization’s goals and objectives.

The focal performance review process was in great measure developed by the Talent Management software vendors who found an underserved market, as HR was looking for tools to help them become more strategic. However, these processes were developed 18 years ago from a mindset that did not have the information about how people communicate today. The goal of the Talent Management application suite was to automate a cumbersome manual paper process. There was no text messaging, Facebook, Twitter etc. 18 years ago and no one knew how quickly instant feedback would be adopted in the workplace, let alone the proliferation of digital technology.

New processes and technology are needed for the new way of working and communicating.   

The challenge faced by every HR Leader is how to blend the worker expectations and organizational needs to deliver a process that works for both with supporting technology. The new talent review process must:

  • Provide in the moment feedback that coaches employees to success
  • Set goals that are meaningful both personally and professionally
  • Define skills needed in an organization and assess employees against these
  • Make the performance conversation forward looking and development focused

To meet the expectations and new ways of working, it is up to Human Resources to design a new set of talent strategies and processes. Frequent communication between employees and their managers, establishing meaningful goals and the development of skills and competencies must be at the core of these new processes. Technology will need to be mobile, provide direct access to managers and employees and allow unencumbered access to all information needed to guide, coach and develop employees.

And maybe, we need to just stop calling it “Talent Management” and start calling it “Talent Planning and Development”.

Jacqueline Kuhn

About Jacqueline Kuhn

Jacqueline Kuhn, HRIP is an HR Professional with over 25 years of experience in strategic planning, systems management, project management, services delivery, and general human resources. In her role at HRchitect, she oversees our HCM strategic consulting group which encompasses HRchitect’s HCM systems strategic planning and evaluation and selection practices.