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Three Realities Facing Today’s Talent Managers

Integrated talent management is increasingly more important and more difficult to get right

Team Management Flowchart ProcessDespite HR functions working on integrating their talent management processes for the best part of a decade, many senior HR managers are not satisfied with the results.

As the head of talent management at a global pharma firm in our network said recently, “We started integrating the processes that support our leadership development and succession planning programs a couple years ago. It seemed like the right idea at the time, I’m just not sure we’re seeing the results we expected.”

The Silo Struggle

The problem is that, as efforts to integrate and improve talent management stutter and struggle, the need for better talent management grows ever stronger.

On top of this, many HR teams–both within and outside our networks–recognize and understand the flaws in a siloed talent management approach. Siloed activities, like failing to use information learned during the hiring process to inform onboarding or new hire development plans, cut HR’s effectiveness by up to 30%, and consume over 50% of the function’s administrative costs.

Most firms have responded by making significant investments in talent processes, systems, and structures, but only about a quarter of organizations (28%) have achieved even modest levels of success in trying to integrate their talent management activities. This is because talent managers face three new realities.

Three Realities

  1. Talent management is no longer the exclusive domain of HR: Almost everyone in a company manages talent nowadays. This means integration efforts to encourage efficiency and effectiveness must involve a wider range of stakeholders.

  2. Talent management must cut across business silos to be effective : In today’s interconnected, dispersed new work environment, where people increasingly work across silos, talent management must do the same and be operated from the enterprise level.  But striking a global/local balance with talent management is easier said than done.

  3. Talent needs are less stable and less predictable: The growing frequency and uncertainty of change makes organizations’ talent demands ever harder to manage. A program-based approach to talent management integration that relies heavily on structure and process is too rigid to ever successfully achieve most firm’s current targets.

The best organizations take a sustainable, yet flexible, approach that adjusts as the line’s most important interrelated talent needs evolve over time.


Check back on June 10th to learn three fundamental steps for better, more integrated talent management. And visit for benchmarks, best practices, and insights in world-class talent management.

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