Talent Management, sometimes called human capital management, refers to the process of developing and integrating new workers, developing and keeping current workers and attracting highly skilled workers to work for your company. Talent managers, who are expected to build and retain world class sourcing talent, need to resolve, recognize, recruit, retain, and retire talent as part of their job function.
Talent managers need to start by resolving a working definition of talent for their company. Definitionally speaking, talent is a special or natural ability or aptitude and a capacity for achievement, but this does not help much when it comes to the identification of supply chain talent. And even though a better definition of talent is the right combination of IQ, EQ, Knowledge, Skills, and Motivation, this is still not a very useful definition to a hiring manager. Thus, a talent management professional needs to start by identifying the skills, experience, and knowledge that define a talented supply chain professional with respect to the needs and goals of the organization.
Once talent is resolved, talent managers need to determine how they are going to recognized talent when they see it. For example, if two key components of the organization's definition of procurement talent are analytics capabilities and negotiating skills, how will they be able to recognize these traits in the individuals. Prior successes? Problem solving questions in an interview? Identification of the tools and methodologies used in a previous position?
Once talent has been identified, and the mechanisms for recognizing talent defined, a talent manager has to recruit talent. There are two primary methods for recruiting talent: attraction and solicitation. A company can can focus on trying to make itself an attractive place to work for a potential candidate or attempt to lure qualified professionals away from its competition with an offer of a superior financial compensation package.
Once talent has been recruited, and hired, a talent manager needs to focus on retaining that talent over time so that the talent doesn't get board and leave or defect to a competitor who might be trying to lure the talent away.
Finally, when it is time for the talent to move up the ladder, or retire, the talent manager needs to manage the transition and insure that the knowledge acquired by the talent is captured and maintained by the organization.
For an in-depth discussion of talent management, see the wiki-paper on how to build and retain world class sourcing talent and the following blog posts.