If you ask an organizational leader to articulate his/her company’s talent strategy, the answers probably will sound more like a list of talent processes, programs, and practices versus a talent strategy. While these elements enable a talent strategy, by themselves, they are not a talent strategy. A talent strategy is a road map for how an organization plans to achieve 3-5 talent-based outcomes (usually over a three-year period) deemed critical to executing the company’s business strategy. Although the specific outcomes of a talent strategy vary, they often stem from the broader talent outcome of ensuring the organization has the right people, with the right skills, when and where it needs them. A firm’s talent strategy not only includes the talent outcomes to be achieved, but also the tactics for achieving them, key stakeholders, time frame for execution, and the measures for evaluating impact. In this article, I outline four steps and supporting tactics for developing a firm’s talent strategy: 1) Develop a clear understanding of the business strategy, 2) Identify organizational capabilities, 3) Determine talent implications 4) Develop a talent strategy. The steps outlined provide insights for HR practitioners to consider as they help their organizations develop and execute talent strategies that reflect the unique business strategy and capabilities of their firm. In doing so, HR practitioners can add significant value to the organization and serve as a strategic partner to the business leaders they support.
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