Talent management seeks to attract, identify, develop, engage, retain and deploy individuals who are considered particularly valuable to an organisation. By managing talent strategically, organisations can build a high performance workplace, encourage a learning organisation, add value to their branding agenda, and contribute to diversity management. For these reasons, HR professionals widely consider talent management to be among their key priorities.

This factsheet looks at the changing context of 'talent' and 'talent management' and the strong business case for addressing it. It outlines the features of a talent management strategy, including corporate strategy alignment, inclusive versus exclusive approaches, involving the right people, and the talent management loop. The factsheet also touches on implementing an effective strategy and the talent strategies needed to meet future challenges and opportunities.

CIPD viewpoint

What is talent management?

The business case for talent management

Features of a talent management strategy

Focusing on the talent management loop

There are four main areas of the talent management loop: attracting, developing, managing and evaluating talent.

Attracting talent

The ability to attract external talent depends upon how potential applicants view the organisation, the industry or sector in which it operates and whether they share the values of that organisation. The creation of an attractive employer brand is an important factor in recruiting external talent. See more in our employer branding factsheet.

Developing talent

Talent development should be linked to other learning and development initiatives including both informal as well as formal learning interventions. See more about developing a strategy that reflects business objectives in our learning and development strategy factsheet.

Participants on talent management programmes tend to value coaching, mentoring and networking particularly highly, especially according to our research, the opportunity to meet senior people in the organisation. Read our coaching and mentoring factsheet.

Managing talent

Investment in management and leadership development will positively impact on talent retention. The process of succession planning in particular helps many organisations in identifying and preparing future potential leaders to fill key positions, while secondments may also play a useful role. See more in our factsheets on succession planning and secondment.

Tracking and evaluating talent management

Evaluation of talent management is difficult, requiring both quantitative and qualitative data that is valid, reliable and robust, but necessary to ensure that the investment is meeting organisational needs. One method could involve the collation of employee turnover and retention data for key groups such as senior management postholders or those who have participated in talent programmes - see our factsheet on employee turnover and retention.

Find out more on how employers can measure the value of human capital in our factsheets on human capital and HR analytics. Our report Managing the value of your talent: a new framework for human capital measurement, part of the Valuing your Talent research programme, offers a diagnostic tool for business professionals to use to assess how they measure human capital in their organisation.

Ultimately, organisational success is the most effective evaluation of talent management.

Implementing an effective talent management strategy

Future talent strategies


Further reading

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