This factsheet was last updated in August 2012.
What is talent management?
Wide variations exist in how the term ‘talent’ is defined across differing sectors, and organisations may prefer to adopt their own interpretations rather than accepting universal or prescribed definitions. That said, it is helpful to start with a broad definition and, from our research, we have developed a working definition for both ‘talent’ and ‘talent management’:
Talent consists of those individuals who can make a difference to organisational performance either through their immediate contribution or, in the longer-term, by demonstrating the highest levels of potential.
Talent management is the systematic attraction, identification, development, engagement, retention and deployment of those individuals who are of particular value to an organisation, either in view of their ‘high potential’ for the future or because they are fulfilling business/operation-critical roles.
These interpretations underline the importance of recognising that it is not sufficient simply to attract individuals with high potential. Developing, managing and retaining those individuals as part of a planned strategy for talent is equally important, as well as adopting systems to measure the return on this investment
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