published October 15, 2019

Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, & Human Resources: What You Don’t Know and Should

Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, & Human Resources: What You Don’t Know and Should
  • Human Resources is transforming and expanding. Its traditional tasks are being seen as more than merely tactical. They are becoming more strategic.
  • Talent Acquisition and Management are about more than day-to-day operations—they are about how to resource and develop hires for roles in organizations for both today and tomorrow.
  • As an organization’s talent pool is often understood to be the competitive factor between companies—your employees often define your organization’s character and quality. Because of this, HR, Talent Management and Acquisition have become crucial to an organization’s identity and future.

HR vs. Talent: The short answers

“Human resource management is about thinking of employees as a resource.”


“Talent management is an organization-wide, holistic strategy for hiring, training, and retaining top-performing employees.”

Between the two, Talent Management takes a more specialized and modern approach. You know this because it uses words like “holisitic.” The difference between the two can be the difference between tactical (HR) and the strategic (TM).

Talent Management is like the aging celebrity who’s had “work done.” The face is more or less the same but now there’s less expressive range. Its attention is directed more on future work. Because Human Resource Development is often tasked with the more mundane and operational duties, Talent Management is sexier—it’s forward-looking and more aspirational. Talent Management is also about engagement for the long-term: it’s not about dating; it’s about getting them to the altar.

Now, the details:

What Is Human Resource Development?

Human Resources will be responsible for hiring, training, and retention. HR is more focused on day-to-day administration, clerical duties, and handles functions like pay, personal time off, compensation, employee benefits, background checks, and complaints.

HR is where the employee manual is conceived and written. Your HR team will make sure everyone has sensitivity training, and they’ll be to ones you seek out for health insurance plan questions and company policies. HR establishes an environment in the workplace where people can be their most productive for the benefit of the organization.

In a Human Resource Management context, they’re the world builders of your work environment. Their mission is to construct a platform where staff can be their most productive and in turn better serve the needs of the organization most effectively.

What Is Talent Management?

Talent Management also includes some of the above but is more aspirational. Its attention is often more directed toward those in the organization that are highly specialized and skilled. Since those employees are the organization’s asset and value, TM looks for ways to engage them with the objective of retaining them for the long term.

Talent Management will take a more strategic approach toward hiring, training, retention and beyond—and their focus will be directed particularly toward top-performing employees. Their focus will be in aiding and improving the top talent in the organization. In a company, whereas Resources may be about obtaining clients and fulfilling obligations to them, Talent is where one corporation stands apart from another. An approach that is more Talent Management oriented will use many of the more traditional and progressive HR duties but split into their own departments or committees and spread them across the company. HR may be more about tracking attendance where TM is more about professional development: the here-and-now vs. the path ahead.

With capable Talent Management, your company can:
  • Focus on involving those closest to employees–their immediate supervisors
  • Target enterprise goals: Talent Management tools can take your top performers and prepare them for strategic, leadership positions as well as succession planning
  • Put special emphasis on trainings, personal development, coaching, and stay interviews rather than token employee appreciation gestures and exit interviews
  • Talent Management software: This can provide solutions for competent decision support for your supervisors to improve retention, engagement, and productivity
  • Talent Management shifts the focus from simply what can you get your talent to do today to how you can engage and retain an employee so that they’ll stay long-term

Talent Management can be folded into or be a subset of Human Resource Development. Traditionally, the relationship of Human Resources with most staff has been through paperwork; in Talent Management, by working with their immediate supervisors, organizations can reach staff in a way that’s more informed and intimate. Their knowledge, therefore, becomes integral: hiring becomes defined as more than simply whether a candidate is a good fit for the specific position today, but how they’ll be a fit for the position and the organization as it evolves into the future.

Talent management is about both the microscope and the telescope.

What Is Talent Acquisition?

Getting back to the idea of the aspirational, Talent Acquisition is about building a process in order to attract and hire the best talent that will not only fulfill your organization’s needs for winning today, but will stack your bench with the kind of players that’ll get you into the playoffs.

To do this, an organization will need to:
  • Build strong employment branding for attracting the right candidates
  • Aggressively build a platform for talent pipelining for meeting both current and future business needs
  • Build and maintain relationships with past candidates for future opportunities
  • Understand that diversity in potential hires is more than the right thing to do, it also offers strategic advantages

Resourcing the best talent doesn’t do much good if your organization can’t retain them; an important objective of Talent Management is to help companies engage employees to prevent turnover. A successful Talent Management Team will:
  • Resource external as well as internal candidates for key positions
  • Develop employee career-pathing as a means to increase retention rates
  • Keep employees motivated through boosting morale
  • Provide coaching as a means for employees to achieve their full potential

Why is Talent Acquisition important?

It’s important because highly-skilled talent is the key to building successful organizations.

With good Talent Acquisition strategies and a Talent Acquisition Team in place, a company can:
  • Transform their recruiting from reactive to proactive; as any good chess player knows, being moves ahead is a better strategy
  • Have candidate pipelines already in place for future staffing needs
  • Implement a program for sourcing and recruiting diverse employees from various backgrounds
  • Hire the kind of people that’ll be able to grow beyond their role

Creating a Talent Management Team

Talent Management teams develop skills, not just for new employees but also for current ones. This talent management strategy also makes certain these skills align with their company’s organizational structure, company culture, and overall goals.

What a Talent Management team does:
  • They’ll onboard new hires by scheduling first-day tasks and check-ins
  • Assess skills and gaps and schedule training programs
  • Design an organizational structure and define responsibilities for each position
  • Prepare succession planning for future hiring needs

With a talent acquisition strategy, you’re able to identify, attract, and hire high-potential candidates. With this you can:
  • Work with hiring managers and executives to forecast staffing needs
  • Improve the recruitment process by conducting candidate experience surveys
  • Host or participate in recruitment events to grow their network for sourcing talent
  • Fill their talent pipelines through social media and Boolean searches using Google or other methods

While an effective HR Department already does many of the things a Talent Management team would do, Talent Management’s primary mission is about building a dynamic platform for optimizing top talent and decreasing their turnover rates. HR and Talent Management teams can work together in training and development to become a part of a holistic and integrated approach. As top talent becomes your organization’s brand, your employees are an investment worth protecting. It can also provide the means for both management and employees, through engagement, to achieve even bigger goals.

Talent Management is also performance management—your goals need to go beyond managing employees, they need to manage employee performances. By using your team most effectively, you’re able to identify needs and create responses and eventually, using key HR management data through performance reviews, employee relations, and exit interviews, you’ll be able to anticipate needs. You’ll be able to provide organizational development in tandem with Talent Management to help employees develop both personally and professionally. Their integration will be your success.

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