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The ICAEW guide to training and development: talent management

Archived content

This page has been archived because it is no longer current information but is still relevant, or it is current but over 12 months old
  • Publish date: 03 November 2014
  • Archived on: 20 July 2018

Ever since McKinsey and Company published their report on The War for Talent in 1997, talent management has become an increasingly popular concept. With the economy growing and the working population on the decline, many organisations have been looking to identify, attract, manage, develop and retain individuals as part of a planned strategy for talent. Whereas ‘talent’ is often used to describe to a small group of high performers, the benefits of viewing all employees as talent is increasingly being recognised. The following looks at some of the areas that play a role in successful talent management.

Identifying and attracting talent

In order to be effective in identifying and attracting talent, businesses need to be clear about what they are looking for. In the Special Report: Managing Talent, Rita McGee discusses the best ways of identifying high potential employees in order to meet current and future business needs. The article includes checklists to help attract the best talent and provides general guidance in developing and executing a successful policy on talent management.

For more information on attracting talent see the resources on Recruitment.

Managing employees effectively

Most employees will be highly productive if they feel enthusiastic and motivated. It is important to try and understand what motivates each individual however, as employees may be driven by different factors. The guide Motivating employees discusses ways of encouraging employees to work to the best of their potential and aligning their goals with those of the business.

Effective incentives are one way of motivating individuals, as explained in the guide Incentive pay. The Employee ownership model, where employees own a significant stake in the company they work for, is growing in popularity and can also encourage greater levels of engagement amongst staff.

Successful team working can increase productivity as well as employees’ motivation and loyalty to the business. Richard McBain provides advice on effectively using teams in What can go wrong in teams – and what to do about it. With an increasing number of organisations operating internationally, managing talent can also be hindered by cultural differences and the problems inherent in working virtually. Managing cross-cultural and virtual teams provides an overview of these challenges, with tips on managing geographically dispersed teams effectively.

For more on how to get the best from teams, see the resources on Managing teams.

Developing potential

Organisations can risk losing talented employees if they are underused, frustrated or bored. It is important to talk regularly to employees about their training and development and consider activities which benefit both the individual and the business. More information on Training and development is available from the Library.

Giving employees the chance to shoulder more responsibility can increase their sense of involvement and loyalty. Identifying and developing key talent with leadership potential is also important for ensuring long-term business success. In the Special Report on Leadership, Mark Wilcox discusses how to manage talent successfully to ensure organisations have the right people in place for leadership positions. For more help with leadership development see the resources on Leadership.

Retaining talent

For smaller companies, who may not be able to compete with larger organisations on pay and incentives, employee retention can be difficult. In the Special Report: Managing Talent, David Hakala discusses how SMEs can retain talented employees through strategies such as social events and respecting work life balance.

Other factors important for building loyalty include good communication. Giving employees the opportunity to raise concerns and contribute to the development of the business can help prevent problems escalating and inspire a greater sense of personal investment and loyalty.

The ICAEW Library & Information Service offers a range of helpful resources on Talent management for members working in business, including:

  • Books on talent management
  • Articles on the latest developments in talent management
  • Useful links

The information contained in this article is for general guidance only and does not constitute advice. You should always seek professional advice for your personal circumstances. Please read the full disclaimer.