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Talent Management - What is it?

Dive into Talent Management and Grow Your Business

Talent Management - What is it?

Talent management is a recent, practitioner-generated term covering a range of long-standing practices that aim at getting the right person in the right job at the right time. It can be defined as the process through which organizations anticipate and meet their needs for talent in strategic jobs.

Four main focus of talent management:

1. Workforce Planning: Ensure the company will have the right number of people, who have the right mix of skills, knowledge and experience to help reach the corporate goals.

2. Succession Planning: Identify important positions in the company and create a talent pipeline by preparing employees to fill vacancies in the company as others retire or move on.

3. Employee Development: Further develop employees’ existing competencies and skills and develop newer ones to support the corporate goals.

4. Career Management: Ensure that the career development of employees is in line with the needs of the company while taking employees’ personal career goals into account.

Talent Management Approaches

There are commonly two different approaches to talent management, which are differentiated by the resource allocation process.

Inclusive approach: Talent management should apply to all workers. All employees of an organization are seen as possessing strengths that can potentially create added value for the organization.

  • Advantages: Create a more pleasant, fair and collegial working environment, help employers to explore more latent talents
  • Disadvantages: Costly, pressure is put on HR practitioners to design proper courses for different job roles

Exclusive approach: See a subset of employees or jobs as creating disproportionate value, disproportionately investments of scarce resources are seen to generate greater aggregate returns, disproportionately invest scarce resources.

  • Advantages: Generate higher returns including productivity and profit which stem from achievements of high performers, may encourage low performers to quit or to implement better, create “continuous tournament”
  • Disadvantages: Create a discriminatory environment in which employees feel a loss of morale and engagement with companies, impair the organization’s culture, aggravate loyal employees and drive resentment among peers

Talent Management Under Uncertainty: Just-In-Time Staffing

Together with the advancement of technology, the world’s pace is getting faster and faster with dozens of changes happening within hours. After experiencing the pandemic and the unsettling it caused, many of us realize that things we thought to be certain are no longer inevitable. Under such a world with multiple uncertainties, it is difficult to predict both the skills or competencies needed by companies in the future and employees turnover rate. Therefore, instead of the traditional model of growing talent from within, many companies changed to the Just-In-Time Staffing approach. 

Just-in-time staffing is a lean and quick approach to recruitment, in which companies rely on agencies to provide them with the right amount of temporary labour to meet their current staffing needs. The idea is to supply labour only when the process requires it. This is often a more flexible and cost-effective alternative to hiring a new, long-term employee, which avoids burdening the company with more labour than it needs.

Benefits Of Just-In-Time Staffing

1. Efficiency

Just-In-Time Staffing means that new labour is only pulled into the team when there is a demand for them. It lets companies fill the gaps for a specific task or project without producing organizational excess. From a business perspective, this helps companies become more agile, taking a more efficient approach to how they work and simultaneously lowering labour costs.

2. Time-Saving

Companies applying just-in-time staffing will find agencies to help recruit talent for them. Thus companies can avoid delegating the task to the HR department, which has plenty of other obligations. It is common for agencies to be able to source, contact, screen candidates and submit the most suitable ones to the company within 24-48 hours. If a sudden need arises, companies can rely on a just-in-time agency to quickly get someone at the door.

3. Risk Reduction

Despite many efforts being put into a traditional hiring process, sometimes a new hire can be a poor fit for the company. Replacing an employee, however, is costly. Recruiting a new candidate takes time and money, and unfilled positions result in lost productivity. Meanwhile, just-in-time workers are easy to replace. Agencies handle it for companies and the stakes in bringing a new person on the team are lowered, making recruitment a less risky endeavour.

4. Agility

With just-in-time agencies, the company can bring on development professionals whenever there’s a need, and release them when that work is completed. It’s a dynamic staffing approach for times that fit with the dynamic solutions that modern technology companies are trying to provide.


It is important to understand that, when it comes to talent management, no single perspective or approach is objectively better than another. Talent management is not a matter of best practices, but rather, a matter of best fit. Each company has different strategic objectives, organizational culture, HR practices and organizational capacity. The best-fit talent management approach can only be found after considering all the unique differences of the company.

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