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| Thought Leadership: Talent matters – but who is responsible for it? | Part 2 of 2 |

Embedding talent management therefore requires that it can be shown to impact the business positively. Only then will managers begin to see the value of involving themselves fully with it. Key to achieving this is the effective measurement of talent management, because, as the management mantra goes, what is not measured isn’t managed. While endless statistics may serve to alienate managers, talent management simply cannot be done without data.

Many organisations, however, struggle to know what to measure. Whether HR focuses on the performance of leaders, the robustness of the talent pipeline, how successful the business is at keeping high performers, or on employee engagement more generally, the key is to create a compelling story that helps managers understand the positive impact of talent management on business performance.

HR must therefore be very selective in its use of measures. This leads to several questions. What data is collected and, more importantly, why? Is there a clear rationale behind data collection or has it simply evolved? Is it possible to build a talent map of the business from the data, highlighting areas of expertise and talent deficits?

It may also be necessary for HR to work closely with managers to overcome a common reluctance to categorise people by performance and to change divisional thinking, which keeps talented people in silos when they should be experiencing secondments, job rotation, and be perceived to be part of an organisation wide talent pool.

As the cost of recruiting and training an executive can be as much as twice that person’s annual salary, nurturing talent from within becomes ever more important. HR therefore must lead the way in identifying talent in the business and defining how it should be measured and managed, while building credibility for itself and the process of talent management companywide.

How do you think HR should address talent management? How can it embed talent management in the business? What does HR need to do that it currently does not?