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Creating an Integrated Talent Management Practice

Talent can just happen….people join the organization, some get promoted, others leave and are replaced,  they get rewarded, and things just happen….Or it can be Managed as a Strategic asset.


Talent management is a relatively  new discipline with no more than 15 years, also there are many definitions of what talent management is and even what refers to as talent within an organization, thus. I propose the following definitions.

Talent Management is a set of mission-critical processes that ensure organizations have the quantity and quality of people in place to meet their current and future business priorities.

As for Talent (as individuals), I believe we all have talents and can develop them, it’s just a matter of putting individuals with the right talent in roles and environments where talent can flourish and develop.

So, when referring to talent, I refer to everyone in the organization.  

Creating a practice

To create an integrated Talent Management practice, there are inputs to consider, a series of steps to follow, definitions and choices to be made, and tools and processes to enable it.

Let’s start with the Inputs: Strategy and Culture.

The business needs and growth strategy are the key elements, a talent practice is put in place to support the organization achieve its strategic objectives. However, the talent practices and choices made to define them will shape the culture, so a second key input to consider is the desired culture. Talent practices create culture.

Talent Management Practice: About
Talent Management Practice: Image

First step: Talent Philosophy

A talent philosophy is a foundation for every talent practice in the organization.

It details the company’s point of view on performance, behaviours, accountability, transparency, and differentiation. 

That clear point of view means that managers can easily explain the outcomes of talent processes and employees know that talent decisions are made using a consistently and equitably applied approach.

Key definitions of a Talent Philosophy

  1. Performance: How do we manage performance? Does high differentiation or fairness prevail? Incentives, Individual vs Teams?

  2. Differentiation: Do we differentiate talent? Hi, potentials? If so how do we determine who is a HP, how do we compensate, develop and communicate to the individual and the organization?

  3. Behaviours: What are the expected Leadership behaviours? What makes a Leaderleader successful? How do they shape the culture?

  4. Transparency: How transparent should we be with employees about their career potential in our organization?

  5. Accountability: How accountable are managers today for increasing their team’s engagement?

  6. Talent Architecture: Do we build from within (Build), Hire (Buy) what's the right mix?

  7. Ownership and Roles. Who owns the talent, and what are the Managers, employees and company roles in talent development?

Second Step: Talent Strategy

The Talent Strategy is the output of what we do: Build the Capabilities needed to achieve business results

A talent strategy identifies the key success factor of a Business Strategy.

Translates it into Critical Capabilities (people + processes + systems + organization) the organization needs to develop to achieve the business strategy, and

Creates a roadmap to build those capabilities using six levers:

  • Acquiring Talent

  • Developing Talent

  • Designing Organizational models

  • Crafting Reward mechanism

  • Building Leadership Capabilities

  • Enhancing Functional skills

Third Step: Talent Model

An integrated Talent Management model includes all the elements of managing people which lets the organization rapidly and effectively respond to business needs

Defining a Talent Model upfront helps integrate all elements: Processes, tools and systems of Talent Management to achieve the desired outcome. (The Talent Strategy)

Third Step: Talent Processes

For each process there are a series of definitions or key questions that must be addressed, being consistent with all the previous elements: The Business Growth and Desired culture, the Talent Philosophy and Strategy.

Acquisitions of Talent

When do we hire (buy), and when do we develop (build)?

What is our Employee value proposition, and how do we communicate it as an attractive Employer Brand?

How do we manage the Attraction /Recruitment/Selection/On BoardingOn-Boarding process?


What is the purpose of our performance management processes?

  • Performance Evaluation: measuring what happened in the past

  • Performance Management: managing performance through the year

  • Performance Acceleration: make sure objectives and performance are at best

What is the appropriate timing: Yearly/ Semi-Annual /Quarterly?

Should we have ratings or not?

How do we structure the Feedback and conversations?

Should it be linked to Pay, if yes, how?


How should we Identify Strengths, Opportunities and Gaps?

Should we have Career Conversations and Development plans, how frequent

What is our career proposition? Who owns the career?

What should our approach to Learning be, should we leverage the 70/20/10 framework

How do we provide development through Critical experiences, how can we map them and develop a journey?


How and how frequently do we measure it?

Who is accountable for creating an engaging work environment?

What should our Survey/Review/Communicating Results/Action planning process be


How can we have a Talent Inventory to understand what Talent we have and what gaps need to be filled.

Should we segment Talent? How? (Hi potentials/ Hi Performers /Critical Professionals) How do we calibrate Talent, should we use Assessments?

How should we differentiate roles? Critical and Developmental roles?

Fourth Step: Systems.

Most importantly all these processes should be enabled by appropriate systems and robust data, to serve the organization, the employees and managers to be more effective in Managing Talent.

Talent Management Practice: Text
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