Apr 272011

Talent Management: Learning’s Critical Role in Integrated Talent Management

Talent Management: |EXECUTIVE SUMMARY|

Most organizations can improve in the critical area of integrated talent management, or ITM. Despite the importance that today’s leaders attach to this issue, this new ASTD study finds that many organizations report significant challenges implementing and sustaining TM principles and practices. There is a great deal that organizations—and especially learning professionals—can do to help create excellent talent  management systems that will generate competitive advantages, for their organization, in the years to come.

This report, Learning’s Critical Role in Integrated Talent Management (hereafter, the Study), builds on the ASTD report, Talent Management Practices and Opportunities. In that study, the research team found that “integrating talent management components more effectively” is a major opportunity for organizations. But it also found companies were typically lacking in coordinated approaches that effectively integrate the components that comprise talent management.

This Study is intended to help address this lack of coordination, with an emphasis on investigating the role of learning professionals and learning practices in improving integrated talent management. As in the previous report, ASTD partnered with the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) to help determine what distinguishes high performers from low performers in the area of talent management.

Specifically, we investigated a number of crucial issues, including:

• how the primary components of integrated talent management fit together

• what distinguishes high performers from low performers in terms of how they integrate their talent management systems

• who has responsibility for the various components of integrated talent management

• the specific roles that learning professionals play in all the key ITM components

• how learning professionals design and deliver learning so that it supports excellent ITM

• the strategies of learning professionals in areas such as leadership development and high potential programs

• how learning connects with performance management, which is one of the keystones of high performance integrated talent management systems

• which specific ITM practices are most common and which are most strongly related to high performance

• the primary barriers to successful ITM

• the future of integrated talent management.

Not only is this Study based on an analysis of responses from 1,690 business and learning professionals, it includes interviews and case studies of high-performing integrated talent management organizations.

Aspects of integrated talent management that are  elucidated by this Study include that high-performing organizations tend to integrate talent management components more than low-performing organizations. Meanwhile, low performers are more likely to say they

do not integrate certain components at all. Another major finding is that, even where learning executives do not “own” a major ITM component, such as recruitment or succession planning, they do play critical roles such as “partner” and “facilitator.” Additionally, many of

the most effective practices in the area of ITM are not widely used in today’s organizations. By understanding the nature of these practices, organizations can gain real advantages in today’s market place.


VOLUME 2 • NO. 8


Related Talent Management Information:










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talent management,McDonald Sales and Marketing, LLC