Integrating Talent Management: Beginning the Journey


Integrating Talent Management–Beginning the Journey

By Patricia Dammann

It’s hard to find anyone to disagree that for organizations to be successful in achieving their goals they need to “have the right people, in the right seats, at the right time, and ready to deliver on achieving business objectives”.  Building an integrated Talent Management Strategy is key for creating a competitive brand and winning the war on talent over the competition.  Creating a game-changing strategy requires designing an innovative talent strategy framework, gaining the buy-in, commitment and support of leaders at all levels, and involving key stakeholders in executing the plan.

The first step in developing an integrated talent management strategy is to build a business case for talent management that is compelling, succinct and clearly aligns with the organization’s business strategy.  Talent Management should link to the other business initiatives.  For example, if the company decides that it wants to increase sales by 25% in all business sectors, one of the TM activities will be to conduct a workforce analysis to determine where the talent gaps are in relationship to accomplishing that business objective and developing a plan to close those gaps.

Hence, the TM strategy is linked to key organizational priorities. Most TM executives and vendors can cite big business results from certain Talent Management interventions. That might justify their purchases, and they are probably good business decisions. But that doesn’t mean they align with the organization’s bigger picture.  What might such an alignment look like?

  • If an organization’s information is largely in people’s heads, so that turnover would be a problem, it should embrace retention efforts, especially among its knowledge workers.
  • If an organization is in growth mode, it would do well to have tools and/or training to help hiring managers to conduct good interviews.
  • If an organization is planning not for the next 3 years but for the next 30 years, it should invest in succession management program design.
  • If an organization is very flat and decentralized, so that upward mobility is unlikely, it should have individual development planning tools and training.
  • If an organization is trying to expand into new countries, it should consider diversity training, even for workers who will not be interacting directly with people in those markets. For example, the marketing team, who might never set foot in the new countries, should learn to understand and appreciate the local ways.
  • Research by IBM and the Human Capital Institute shows that:
  • Knowledge-intensive industries, such as telecommunications and professional services, which focus heavily on the intellectual capital delivered by their people, focus on motivating and developing talent at the individual level, as well as enabling people to network with one another. This is likely useful both from a retention point of view and an innovation point of view, in that it cultivates sharing of ideas and information.
  • Financial industries focus more on attracting talent and identifying high potential talent and having programs to retain them. The researchers suggest that the financial industry is driven more by individual contribution mentality, as opposed to teamwork, and compensation is viewed as a more important driver. They feel that selecting and retaining is more important than idea sharing and teamwork in an individual contribution environment.
  • Retailers are more likely to deliver a variety of solutions, largely because of the high percentage of employees who come into direct contact with customers.

Knowing your organization’s business strategies and impact upon talent today and into the future will help you to formulate a Business Case for a Talent Management Strategy that should include:

  1. Definition of the problem/opportunity
    2.     Detailed account of the organization’s current and future states
    3.     Identification of the organization’s constraints and gaps
    4.     Defined metrics
    5.     Objectives of the Talent Management Strategy
    6.     Explanation of the Talent Management Strategy’s scope
    7.     Projected benefits
    8.     Targeted populations
    9.     Details of Talent Management Program/ Key Initiatives
    10.  Required investments (people, time, budgets)
    11.  Project plan

By aligning talent management with the business plan and seeing the positive results of this exercise, Talent Management Strategists will be among the business leaders to contribute toward the growth of their organizations.  Let’s start the journey…

Patricia Dammann is the VP Programs & Operations and Faculty member at the Institute of OD, offering online certification programs for those interested in Organization Development, Talent Management, Leadership Development and Executive Coaching, and OD Advanced Skills courses for ongoing learning.  She can be reached at  For more information about our certification programs and short courses, visit our website

The Institute of Organization Development offers an online Talent Management Certification Program (TMCP) for those interested in advancing their careers in the field of Talent Management.  Participants learn how to help their organizations implement an aligned talent management strategy and receive the guidelines, tools and resources needed to be successful.

The Talent Management Certification Program (TMCP) is offered online over 8 months, 3 hours per month to maximize your development as a Talent Management Strategist. Our expert faculty provide interactive discussions, activities, and examples to enrich your learning.


I work in Talent Management but have never had the training and exposure to Talent Management best practice strategies and processes until this program.

This program gave me the experience I needed to help my organization implement an aligned talent management strategy.

This program was great because every aspect of Talent Management is covered and helped me to see the big picture as well as the component parts.  



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