The A&O of Talent Management

Carolina Heinke 12/28/2022

We show you what matters in talent management and what you need to consider.

Table of contents
  1. What is talent management?
  2. What is the employee life cycle?
  3. Why is talent management important?
  4. Who is responsible for talent management?
  5. How does talent management work?
  6. There are four levels of talent management:
  7. and
  8. Fazit

The yield of a field does not only depend on how good the seed is. Successful crop yields depend on other factors:How well was the field prepared, how did the care go, was enough water added, did the seed receive enough sun? Does the lack of rain need to be compensated for or does the crop burn in the sun, what to do when there is no sun? You see, a yield is complex and then again so simple. It's the mix and the quantity that counts, just like with talent management. Our guest author Carolina Heinke explains everything you need to know about talent management in this article.


What is talent management?

Talent management encourages and demands the human being as a business strategy. Talent management is the process of acquiring, identifying, binding and developing qualified employees. As talent, junior staff with above-average abilities as well as high-performance employees with high potential and development possibilities are usually defined.

Talent management is often used as an Anglicism for personnel development and is equated with personnel development. And yet that is not so.

Personnel development usually only starts from the start of a new talent. Talent management, on the other hand, encompasses the entire employee life cycle. Talent management includes recruiting, making it a holistic approach.

All aspects of talent management, such as recruitment, selection and development, are represented in the employee life cycle.

What is the employee life cycle?

The employee life cycle is used to identify and express the different and most important phases that employees go through when they work in its company. There are six different phases: Attraction, Recruitment, Onboarding, Development, Retention and Offboarding. Employees go through each phase in chronological order.

The goal of the holistic business strategy is to fill the positions in the company that are relevant to business success in a timely, long-term manner and with the right people.

The Employee-Life-Cylce (1).png


Why is talent management important?

Talent Motivation & Talent Relationship Management

Only those who promote their employees will be able to retain them in the long term. The task here is to identify the needs of the employees and to link them with the future requirements of the company. Intrapreneurship programs are increasingly being implemented, which have a huge effect on employee motivation. Talents are enabled to become entrepreneurs in Intrapreneurship programs.

Talent Relationship Managementfocuses on actively building a long-term relationship with talents and not only within, but also outside the company. Building a relationship with potential talents, i.e. maintaining contacts, knowing what a talent is open to and keeping this preference up to date, gives the opportunity to offer suitable positions directly and to fill them quickly.

Support of the strategic corporate goals

Talent management goes hand in hand with organizational development. Constant development and change are the key to success.

Knowledge advantage = competitiveness

A company is only as good as its team. All ideas, successes and co. are developed and driven forward by people - without talents, no success.

The better a team is positioned, the better a company is positioned.

Continuous further development of a team through coaching, further education or new challenges not only make the individual talents better, but the entire company.

Who is responsible for talent management?

Clear HR! BUT, not alone.

Talent management is teamwork. Good talent management is characterized by employees, management, superiors and HR developing, designing and implementing the process together.

How does talent management work?

Strategic talent management creates supporting processes, policies and mechanisms for employees. It is important to take into account the experiences of the employees in the planning.

Before a talent management can be set up, goals have to be defined. You don't need to start running if you don't know where.

  • How and what are the corporate goals?

  • What do we want to pursue with these goals?

  • How should the company develop in the future?

  • Which talents do we need for this?

To identify the key positions, the requirements must be clearly defined. For this, classic job descriptions with a clear requirement profile are usually recorded. The clearer the profile, the better talents can be found. More on this in a moment.

Based on the Employee Life Cycle, the following points for the talent management result:

1. Attraction:

Only through Employer Branding, personnel marketing and corporate influencer the interest of talents is aroused. It is no longer enough to just be there. As a company, I have to actively make myself visible as an employer. An innovative talent management process can be used perfectly to attract new talents with the knowledge that employees in this company are developed and promoted.

In order to analyze how a company's employer brand is perceived, rating platforms such as Glassdoor or Kununu help. Here you can get an insight into the strengths and weaknesses of a company's employee offer and an overview of compensation compared to the overall market. Regular employee surveys also help to get feedback about the company. A tool for this is for example Leapsome. This gives companies an overview of the resources and skills they already have, and gaps can be uncovered.

2. Recruitment:

There are two possibilities: the recruitment process optimization within or outside of the company.

In the company, I can already have the right person for the position. With employee discussions or skill and competence management, I can identify this talent. Skill and competence management provides a detailed view of the skills profile and shows me who brings which skills. From these results, the suitable employees can be promoted and promoted.

Outside the company, it is often no longer enough to just write a job description, but I have to actively go into the market and contact suitable talents. Qualified talents are often only won through active sourcing and Social Recruiting. Here, point 1 Attraction is even more important. The messages that are shared in job descriptions and on social media about a company provide an insight into the company's values. Company values are beliefs, values and norms that are lived in a company and are therefore the benchmark in exchange with applicants, employees, customers and partners. The communication of the corporate culture and the existing mechanisms helps to understand what is necessary to fit into the corporate environment and to be successful in the company. This communication helps a talent to find out if the company is the right employer.

During the selection process, it is recommended to use potential analyses and aptitude diagnostics to identify the right talents. A well-organized recruiting process ensures internal efficiency. It is, however, equally important that it provides a clear message to the talents about what it could be like to work in your company, so this can be a further indicator for a talent's decision.

3. Onboarding:

Wood boarding process starts with recruitment. A smooth and integrative onboarding process lays the foundation for good and long-term cooperation. An effective onboarding facilitates integration into the team and company. It gives the talent the opportunity to get a foot in the door faster and minimizes the familiarization time. For example, the following questions should be considered:What conditions need to be created so that a talent is ready for action?What does a talent need when working in the office, and how does that change when working remotely?

  • What is expected of managers?
  • How, when and to what extent are expectations clarified?
  • It is expensive to recruit, hire and train new talents. Therefore, it is crucial to minimize fluctuation to consider everything that needs to happen to give new talents a good start.
  • The onboarding process can be easily digitized with tools like

. This way, each department knows who is responsible for what, when and how, before and during the onboarding of the new talents.

4. Development:The main focus is naturally on the development and

system of performance management

of talents. By promoting talents, they are enabled to take on higher functions and their tasks. It is crucial that the developments and measures are aligned with the career goals of the talents and in line with the company goals and the corresponding requirements.5. Binding:Binding talents is not as easy in today's world. Talent Relationship Management is crucial here, because an attractive compensation is long no longer enough to make talents feel well cared for in a company.

Open communication, a appreciative leadership and corporate culture and a pleasant working environment are the basis. In addition to the value systems, the personal goals must also have a large intersection with the company goals. It helps:

Regular check-ins:

Every employee, including talents, needs regular exchange with their superiors. These meetings allow, in addition to individual goals for the position, also a personal exchange. It is a good opportunity to inform about the well-being of the talent and to ensure that it feels appreciated and supported.

  • Formal annual talks: In addition to regular check-ins, a formal annual appraisal process (feedback discussion) is required, which requires more planning and structure. Each year, an overall impression should be shared with the employees of their performance and any changes in relation to the position, the career within the company or the expectations should be discussed. The remuneration should also be re-evaluated to ensure that it is competitive and fair and that it keeps pace with inflation.
  • 6. Succession planning Succession planning is not represented in the employee life cycle, but is an essential part of talent management.

Succession planning allows companies to react to personnel changes in a timely manner and to make a solid risk assessment of how likely it is that a position will become vacant.  

Regular exchange with the talents about their career plans and a planning of the common development enables the companies to build up a talent pool, as well as to understand what makes certain talents successful in their work and what holds them back. For example, does a certain mix of experiences, education, skills or communication styles work well in your environment?

With the creation of a talent pool, gaps can be quickly closed.

7. Offboarding:

Talent offboarding or talent exit is often forgotten and ignored in the talent management process. Every strategically thinking company should see talent offboarding as the big opportunity.

It is in the best interest of the employer to ensure that the offboarding of a talent, for whatever reason, goes as well as possible for all involved.

It is completely normal for paths to separate, not every employee will always stay in the company. It is important in offboarding to put yourself in the position of the employee. It should try to understand how the decision came about, what happened, and whether a party could have done something differently. How and in what way can the employee be supported to start the next section?

Every talent that goes can, firstly, come back and, secondly, is the best testimonial. The world is small and talents often know each other. Imagine you have a talent in the recruitment process. This talent contacts your retired talent and asks about the position, your corporate culture and why the company was left. The answers of the retired talent depend heavily on the offboarding.

Furthermore, the way the company deals with offboarding affects the relationship with other employees. Employees often watch the offboarding process from the outside and form their opinion, which has an impact on their behavior.

Proper and humane offboarding provides insights into the reasons why employees leave, which can support and improve other areas of talent management such as personnel procurement, performance and employee retention.

What levels of talent management are there?

You often don't start at zero, but have already implemented some or another approach of talent management.

There are four levels of talent management:

1. Reactive talent management:

Is used solely to fill vacant positions. Talents are searched or developed as needed. Here, one also speaks of the luck principle. I, as a talent, am developed when luck is on my side. HR acts on behalf of the executive or level.

2. Point talent management:

Individual talents receive development measures. There is no all-embracing talent management, only individual measures. Talents are often promoted who have been identified as high performers and who are to take on a leadership position in the future.

3. Systematic talent management:

The talent management is aligned with the corporate strategy. Tools and measures for talent management are derived from strategic tasks. Talents receive measures and tools, adapted to their development goal.

4. Internalized talent management:

Talent management is anchored in the corporate culture. Talent management is lived. Employees identify their potentials in line with the company and promote them in order to meet future challenges.

Source: Talent Management - Do PE and Culture Fit? Anja Beenen & Maximiliane vom Stein (managerSeminare, August 2019)

Which Talent Management Software's provide good support?

There are few good tools that map the entire employee life cycle. Good digital solutions are provided by


. is a great digital performance management solution. For recruitment management systems, there are some:


, , and .With all the tools, it depends on what you are looking for yourself, how big the company is and what a tool should be able to do.Conclusion

Talent management can contribute fundamentally to the long-term success of a company. A talent management process that has been successfully implemented can be the showcase as an employer. This showcase is unique and provides a clear competitive advantage.


Talent-Management kann fundamental zum langfristigen Erfolg eines Unternehmens beitragen. Ein Talent-Management-Prozess, der erfolgreich implementiert wurde, kann DAS Aushängeschild als Arbeitgeber sein. Dieses Aushängeschild ist einzigartig und verschafft einen klaren Wettbewerbsvorteil. 

Carolina Heinke
Carolina Heinke

Caro ist seit 2015 im Bereich People & Culture tätig. In dieser Zeit hat sie von Start-up bis Konzern in den verschiedensten HR-Bereichen gearbeitet. Die Arbeits- und Organisationspsychologin liebt es, Menschen miteinander zu verbinden. Erfolg für sie bedeutet, Mehrwerte zu schaffen.

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