By Susan M. Heathfield. Human Resources Expert
Susan Heathfield is a Human Resources expert. She is a management and organization development consultant who specializes in human resources issues and in management development to create forward thinking workplaces. Susan is also a professional facilitator, speaker, trainer, and writer.
Susan is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Susan contributes regularly to professional publications including a book chapter for ASTD and a recent article in the American Society for Quality 's Journal for Quality and Participation. This Web site is recommended as a resource by many colleges and universities including the ILR School Catherwood Library at Cornell University.
Susan has covered Human Resources for About.com since 2000.
You can read more about Susan's current and past work on her Google Profile: Susan Heathfield .
Talent management is just another one of those pesky Human Resources terms. Right? Wrong. Talent management is an organization's commitment to recruit, retain, and develop the most talented and superior employees available in the job market.
So, talent management is a useful term when it describes an organization's commitment to hire, manage and retain talented employees. It comprises all of the work processes and systems that are related to retaining and developing a superior workforce.
What appears to differentiate talent management focused practitioners and organizations from organizations that use terminology such
as human capital management or performance management. is their focus on the manager's role, as opposed to reliance on Human Resources, for the life cycle of an employee within an organization.
Practitioners of the other two employee development and retention strategies would argue that, for example, performance management has the same set of best practices. It is just called by a different name.
Talent management does give managers a significant role and responsibility in the recruitment process and in the ongoing development of and retention of superior employees. In some organizations, only top potential employees are included in the talent management system. In other companies, every employee is included in the process.
Talent management is a business strategy and must be fully integrated within all of the employee related processes of the organization. Attracting and retain talented employees, in a talent management system, is the job of every member of the organization, but especially managers who have reporting staff (talent).
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An effective strategy also involves the sharing of information about talented employees and their potential career paths across the organization. This enables various departments to identify available talent when opportunities are made or arise.
In larger organizations, talent management requires Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) that track the career paths of employees and manage available opportunities for talented employees.
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