Corporate Talent Management – What’s Next?

Now focus is on “People.” Engagement, empowerment, and environment are now the real issues companies face.

For the last ten years businesses and human resources departments have been heavily focused on building talent management strategies, helping manage people from “pre-hire to retire’’ and educating CEOs and business leaders about the importance of talent.

Your ability to attract talent is now one of the biggest differentiating factors in business.

Do today’s “talent management” programs, as defined, work?

The answer is simple: “Talent management” strategies we conceived in the last ten years are rapidly becoming out of date. A focus on “pre-hire to retire” is becoming less relevant, stack ranking and performance management is being totally revamped, corporate training is undergoing a total transformation, and the concepts of “staffing and assessment” are being replaced by a focus on corporate culture, engagement, work environment, and empowerment.


The original idea, shown above, was to “bring together” each of these standalone programs into an end-to-end process. Originally people called it “pre-hire to retire” (a dated, now that people change jobs so much), and it set of a big set of strategies and software vendors to try to not only optimize each step, but bring all the steps together.

The term was coined: “Integrated Talent Management” – and a set of software vendors started to build “Integrated Talent Management Suites.” We called them “suites” because they were kind of cute and novel, not really a standard software package yet.


The goals of integrated talent management were lofty: give companies an integrated view of capabilities, leadership gaps, succession pools, and even talent needs for the future. Even today this is a tough thing to do, but we have built an industry around this whole idea.

You define learning and capability management, competency management, planning, and business alignment as “uber processes” which play everywhere in the organization, and you can also see that performance management, succession, career, and leadership development make up the core.


Look at what talent management was all about, pulling together all the practices and processes to consider in an integrated talent strategy.


As the framework illustrates, these processes worked together and documented many of the process steps to link each together. Today such an integrated framework may be common in most HR departments like yours.

Today The World Has Changed: Integrated Talent Management Is less a Problem

In fact today, whether we like it or not, everything in HR is connected. Since those early days we now have ubiquitious social networking, total connectivity across all people and systems, and a porous talent system that leaks and collects data from the outside world like never before. Our recruitment, employment brand, and even employee engagement is extended into the public internet, so our internal systems and data no longer stand alone.

Today, while core talent programs must still work together, you need to consider the whole “ecosystem” of talent issues in our strategies, programs, and systems.

If you are interested to win the war for Talent, come to Pathfinders. We work with clients on challenges they face in this context.


Suresh Shah, M.D., Pathfinders Enterprise

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