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Getting a Talent Management Program Ready

HR: Human Resources

Getting a Talent Management Program Ready

You may think that you’re protecting yourself by not grooming talent for future takeover, but that’s not the case.


While it might feel a bit like planning your funeral before you have died, a solid talent management program makes everything much easier for the people that are left behind. But far more importantly, it makes life much easier for you.

There are many reasons for this.

For one, if you are a leader exiting the organisation because of better prospects, leaving without a good talent management plan in place would be bad for your track record. If you’re a senior professional, the way you leave speaks volumes about your work ethic, and if you’re in sales or marketing – well, the results will speak for themselves.


The thing is, as a business practice, talent management is relatively young and rapidly growing. Aspects of talent management have existed in organisations for years, but it is only really since the end of the last millennium that we have brought thoughts about recruiting, retention, engagement, succession planning, and leadership development together and discussed them in terms of talent management.

It’s gained a lot of traction in the business marketplace; organisationally, having a strong grasp of talent in the organisation and being able to use talents appropriately will differentiate strong companies from their competitors. It also means that the organisation is committed to growing and being sustainable beyond the reach of leadership that is currently in place.

Organisations recognise that they do better business when their people are engaged, motivated, and yes, talented. Having the right people in place at the right time is a key aspect to continued growth, success, or even just stability.

Boards and companies that fail to assign high priority to succession planning and talent management will see a steady attrition in leadership candidates or may retain people with outdated skill sets. Successful companies, in terms of talent management, don’t just make a commitment to a process; they embed it in their strategic plan.

Think about Apple as a prime example. When they let go of Jobs the first time, a plan was not in place. While they trotted along, they weren’t doing too great either. But years later, when news came of Jobs’ illness, a talent development program was quickly put in place – several key personnel were identified and the process of preparing them began – even if only one was to be selected when the time came.

Today, Tim Cook has been successful in keeping Apple in the higher tiers as industry players, although the Jobs magic may not be there – but no one is really expecting him to replace Jobs, only that he keeps the results coming.

And that’s the thing.

“From the board of directors downward, talent management programs are integrated so that senior executives, middle managers, and front line supervisors are all involved. These key people are ALWAYS evaluated specifically for their contributions to organisation-wide efforts.”

In your own organization, the best way to understand this is to think in terms of risk management, where the issues surrounding talent management are amplified in terms of loss. When the head or senior managers of your company are lost, then the stability of your company falters.

If that doesn’t convince you, consider that since the late 1990s, the focus on employee management has changed. The high cost of turnover combined with poor engagement, competition for skilled labor, and succession planning has led to a greater interest in managing talent in almost all industries.

What this means to you is that your competitor is already investing in talent management while you’re still simply replacing your people as they leave – at a huge cost to you in the long run.

So what’s the solution?

The first step is to recognise the four stages to talent management – the need to:

  1. Assess: Determine what your company needs and the skills employees need to have.
  2. Recruit: Search for and recruit the right employees for the organisation
  3. Develop: Train and develop employees to promote and stay long-term.
  4. Coordinate:  Align the goals of the employees with the goals of the company.

The types of talent that is needed needs to be identified, and the kind of skill sets and knowledge required that would fit is suitably matched – all this must work well together, as it defines the success of the talent management program.

The right people must be placed in the right positions, of course – but even that is not enough; proper frameworks must be put in place for recruitment, retention, and benefits.

Finding a winning strategy is critical – each organisation will have its own winning strategy.

It’s only then that performance management, employee motivation, talent reviews and so on come into the picture. Retention is only possible after all of this is addressed, and the strength of the organisation is amplified by how well you ensure your organisation works on the talent management program.


T Sanmuga will be conducting a public training on the 24th & 25th of September 2018 in Kuala Lumpur. To find out more, please contact smeassist . net 1 @ gmail . com  . (when emailing, remove all spaces in between)


is an Author, Trainer and Consultant in the areas of Entrepreneurship, Communication, Organizational Development and Project Management. Some of his past successes include restructuring a private University to enable an increase in student numbers, and serving the Malaysian government as a Communications Consultant as part of its profile building efforts. He is now focused on success building of individuals and organizations.

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