Talent Management: HRM Definitions

The four main perspectives used to conceptualize and contextualize talent management are the result of different definitions of talent management that can be found in HRM literature, as presented by Dries [1, p. 274], as follows in Table 1.

However, according to Dries [1], most of the authors fail to provide a definition of what is “talent” or what type of practices are under the talent management label.

Table 1 Definitions of talent management in the HRM literature


Definition of talent management

Sloan et al. [33, p. 236]

“Managing leadership talent strategically, to put the right person in the right place at the right time”

Pascal [43, p. 9]

“Talent management encompasses managing the supply, demand, and flow of talent through the human capital engine”

Ashton and Morton [2, p. 30]

“TM is a strategic and holistic approach to both HR and business planning or a new route to organizational effectiveness. This improves the performance and the potential of people—the talent —who can make a measurable difference to the organization now and in future. And it aspires to yield enhanced performance among all levels in the workforce, thus allowing everyone to reach his/her potential, no matter what that might be”

Duttagupta [44, p. 2]

“In the broadest possible terms, TM is the strategic management of the flow of talent through an organization. Its purpose is to assure that a supply of talent is available to align the right people with the right jobs at the right time based on strategic business objectives”

Warren [45, p. 26]

“In its broadest sense, the term can be seen as the identification, development, engagement, retention and deployment of talent, although it is often used more narrowly to describe the short- and longer-term resourcing of senior executives and high performers”

Jerusalim and Hausdorf [46, p. 934]

“High potential identification and development (also known as talent management) refers to the process by which an organization identifies and develops employees who are potentially able to move into leadership roles sometime in the future”

Capelli [8, p. 1]

“At its heart, talent management is simply a matter of anticipating the need for human capital and setting out a plan to meet it”

Collings and Mellahi

[9, p. 2]

“We define strategic talent management as activities and processes that involve the systematic identification of key positions which differentially contribute to the organization’s sustainable competitive advantage, the development of a talent pool of high potentials and high-performing incumbents to fill these roles, and the development of a differentiated human resource architecture to facilitate filling these positions with competent incumbents and to ensure their continued commitment to the organization”

Silzer and Dowell [36, p. 18]

“Talent management is an integrated set of processes, programs, and cultural norms in an organization designed and implemented to attract, develop, deploy, and retain talent to achieve strategic objectives and meet future business needs” (p. 18)

Source Dries [1, p. 274]

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