What is Talent Management?

Talent management is a continuous process that involves attracting, nurturing, developing, and training high-potential talent to optimize their performance and skills business. It’s a mission that demands involvement from multiple levels in the organization. Team managers help identify potential and nature on an everyday basis. They also identify skills gaps or training needed to help their talent thrive in the organization. HR helps organize those training and coaching sessions. The top management helps make learning and growing culture in itself.

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The importance of Talent management

Employees are the key asset of any company. Talent management helps in keeping them at their professional best and creates an environment that maximizes or optimizes their performance. There are ample reasons why talent management is game-changing, here are a few:

1. It enables employees to achieve their potential best

Talent management not only identifies hidden potential but it paves the way for that potential to be tapped, nurtured and maximized in a way that mutually benefits the employee and the organization. It identifies who your employees can be if they are given the right organizational superpowers. For some, it could be training on new technology, for others, an internal move, leadership coaching, etc.

2. It optimizes the available resources for business goals

Through talent management, you can identify untapped potential across the different teams in your organization, provide the necessary coaching or training and maximize the average potential of your employees. When employee potential is maximized, business goals become easier to achieve. The productivity curve remains at its best.

3. It provides a platform for innovation

If you can help the right people find the right skills, knowledge, technology, and team at the right time, innovation just becomes inevitable. Talent management enables organizations to orchestrate this.

4. It favors retention

A study by Payscale reveals that 27% of people leave organizations because they don’t find work meaningful. Talent management ensures that your workforce is motivated, challenged, and assigned the right kind of work. As a consequence, your employees experience high morale and growth in their roles which in turn leads to higher retention rates.

5. It helps build a truly robust employer brand

Sense of purpose is a key differentiator when it comes to attracting the cream of the crop. Candidates are attracted to companies where they can learn, experiment, thrive, and contribute. The kind of training programs you run, the technology you adopt, and the learning benefits you offer, etc will all speak for themselves in the job market.

6. It creates an aura of inspiration

When you take efforts to motivate and inspire your employees, they motivate and inspire each other. Iron does sharpen iron. Collectively it creates an atmosphere of positive professional energy where exceptional work happens.

7. It becomes the backbone for career and succession planning

Talent management enables you to envision who’s been doing what, where and how long in the organization. It helps your plan career progressions for your employees and as you do it, you can also start your succession planning for strategic roles. This ensures that you have experienced and capable employees who can fill in critical roles as and when they become available.

How does Talent management differ from HR?

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Talent management is essentially one of the important responsibilities of the HR team. It does not encompass all the functions of the HR. It exists alongside HR Administration, service delivery, and Workforce management.

Talent management deals with hiring, onboarding, retention, and termination of employees. It is their responsibility to ensure that the right talent is hired, employ tactics to motivate and retain employees, have a contingency plan ready in case of unplanned employee resignation, and help access the future workforce requirement. 

Businesses have come to realise that their success is entirely in the hands of the employees they hire. As a result, the focus on talent management has increased in recent times. With a dearth of skilled employees, having a well-defined talent management strategy will give a competitive advantage.

The Talent management model

Talent management is not a one-time event. It is a systematic process with elaborate assessment, planning, and implementation. To break it down further, it involves five major steps;

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In the planning phase, your organization engages in aggressive planning - 1) assesses existing talent and what’s working or not working for you 2) identifies skill gaps 3) aligns hiring plans to business goals.


In this phase, your organization strives to attract the right talent with the right skills and experience. These efforts are usually two dimensional - one, understanding who you want to hire, two, crafting the right messaging or story to attract them.


The development phase allows you to create an atmosphere where your employees can thrive within the organization. This can mean adding skills and certifications to their profile, moving them to more appropriate roles, planning out their career within the organization, giving them time-worthy challenges to solve and finding new ways to keep their spirits high at work.


A study by SHRM suggests that the cost of replacing an employee is about 6-9 months salary on average. After you have invested hours and years in an employee, why let them go for nothing? One of the top goals of talent management is to retain valuable talent by giving them meaningful work, the right roles or teams, competitive compensation and benefits and, opportunities to learn and grow.


In this phase, you focus on helping your employees progress in the organization. Your objective is to retain their expertise within the organization while also providing them a place to keep growing, This can be achieved through various means such as internal promotions, team changes, role changes, location changes, etc. More importantly, if the best employees leave the organization, you need to identify why and make course corrections.

Talent management Process

Talent management process is about managing your human resources, right from the process of identifying talent, sourcing and hiring them, onboarding and employee training, resignation, termination and so on. Essentially, it involves 7 major steps.

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#1 Identify and define business goals and the equivalent HR goals

Talk to your leaders to understand the business goals clearly. Accommodate new projects, expansions, or any other change which might affect hiring. The next step is to define the skills and abilities you will require in the organization to achieve the business goals. Once that’s defined, you can start raising requisitions for the newly open roles.

#2 Broadcast your jobs and get ready for sourcing

This might include posting on multiple job boards, sharing via social media, email campaigns, LinkedIn campaigns and so on. Sourcing from multiple places can be tiring but with an ATS software, you can manage multiple sourcing platforms from a single place. An ATS also helps you manage the whole recruiting process, that’s right from sourcing on a single software.

Don’t forget passive candidates. Most often the best talent is employed elsewhere and may not even be actively looking for a job. Events, employee referrals, and networking can be very fruitful when it comes to attracting passive candidates.

#3 Screen and interview your candidate base

Once the candidates start flowing in, you can start screening, interviewing and selecting the talent you want to rope in. The criteria you use while screening, the objectives of your interviewers while selecting or deselecting candidates and the overall candidate experience through the process are key to bringing in bright people. It’s important that all stakeholders are aligned with your talent acquisition and management goals.

#4 Employee engagement

Your employees' first few weeks or months set the tone for the rest of their stay in your organization. A good onboarding process is essential to connect with them and engage them.

Apart from onboarding, there are 4 factors that influence employee engagement:

1) Meaningful work, which includes autonomy, job fit, empowered teams
2) Scope for growth which is a result of training, talent mobility, on the job learning
3) Trust in the leadership’s vision, their methods, which comes as a result of investing in employees and being transparent with employees 
4) A positive work atmosphere is a result of good working conditions, values, inclusiveness, etc

#5 Promotions and performance appraisals

Clear paths for growth and on-time recognition can go a long way in an employer-employee relationship. Be transparent about your goals, offer the necessary coaching and make standards for promotions clear to all.

#6 Succession planning

Understanding and identifying upcoming strategic roles and developing or investing in your people so they can fill those roles is called succession planning. It’s proactive and intentional.

#7 Measuring the success of talent management

Track and measure your talent management effort and how it impacts your business and revenue goals. The business-critical metrics include time to hire, ROI on training, Exit interview metrics, talent mobility, high performing talent and so on. We have covered these metrics in detail later.

Talent management strategies

With an effective talent management strategy in place, you set realistic hiring goals for your company. Here are 6 steps to get started with designing a talent management strategy.

1. Attract the right people

You ought to bring in the best talent before you can manage them. One of the first steps to attracting the right people is putting out an honest and clear job description. A good job description will have the following qualities:

- Has a clear title and location, one that’s generic enough to be compared to similar jobs
- It’s simple and self-explanatory, needs no decoding
- Highlights the company’s mission and values
- It’s free of gender biases and open to all
- Explains the responsibilities and duties of the job without exaggerating the role
- Provides information on salary and benefits so candidates make informed decisions

2. Build a thriving talent pipeline

Always be recruiting, in and out of season. When you meet exceptional candidates add them to your talent pool and start networking with them. When you see appropriate roles opening up, invite them to pursue a career with you. The health of your talent pipelines determines how quickly you can fill open positions with quality candidates and keep work moving forward in your teams.

3. Design career paths within the organization

When your employees see a future with you, they grow loyal to you. They value their growth and so should you. Here are some of the things you can do:

- Establish a fair, realistic and consistently administered promotion policy
- Coach your employees through the year for progress
- Help managers clearly define selection criteria
- Offer newly promoted employees everything they need for a smooth transition
- Continue to mentor and strengthen the skills of those who don't make it to timely promotions
- Engage in career mapping sessions with employees and help them to strategically think about their scope in the organization

When there is room for talent to grow, talent stays.

4. Create a productive workplace

Productivity in the workplace is a function of people, resources, communication channels, employee morale, and infrastructure.

- Give your employees the best resources, processes, and tools to accomplish their goals. Involve them while you make decisions over which processes to use or what tools to buy.
- Communication channels are vital to sustaining healthy productivity levels. A healthy communication network promotes knowledge sharing and facilitates team building.
- Workplace temperature, lighting, seats, and desks impact your employee’s 8-9 hours workday like nothing else.

5. Ensure your people are given equal opportunities

Do not discriminate against employees in the workplace based on gender, age, race, nationality, etc. Ensure they have equal opportunities to challenging projects or roles, rights to speak up, bring to your notice when there is a grievance and most important of all have a written policy that the company uses as a point of reference.

6. Recognize and reward excellence

Go beyond the usual compensation and benefits to acknowledge performance and contributions. Think of creative ways to thank your employees in a way that matters to them. You can make use of employee satisfaction surveys to understand what would really benefit them.


Talent management metrics

Merely having a talent management strategy is not enough. You need to stay on top of the game to know what is working and what isn’t and optimize your strategy accordingly. To help you with that, here 9 talent management metrics that can help you keep track of the progress of your talent management strategy.

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