Talent management is a HR role that involves functions such as recruitment, competency management, learning and development, performance management, compensation and career and succession planning. For companies that take the term talent management seriously and want to apply consistent and visible measures to enhance it, automation of talent management functions is usually considered the way to go. (Anderson, 2010).
Human Resource Management place in the process of talent management involves both transaction and transformation efforts. However transformation efforts are more important as they are strategic in nature.
First and foremost, the HR function should prove itself by taking on more proactive steps of managing talent. Strategic decisions such as developing the competencies and skills and respective personnel that will be needed in the future; developing the culture, structure and the values to support the overall business strategy, and comparing best practices elsewhere and aligning them with the current business strategies (Hiltrop, 1996). With the new Psychological contract, the role of the HR fraternity in corporate will have to be reconstructed. Blass and April (2008) assert that there is more to the role than “managing the right people in the right way.”
Cappelli (2008) supports the idea that HR practitioners should be strategic partners in talent management as decisions on human capital are entirely based on the needs of the organisation, which are tied to the overall business strategy. Cappelli (2008) compares the role of talent managers to that of economists, where HR practitioners now have to forecast talent needs, while capitalising on the effective and efficient means of acquiring talent, where an economist may forecast product demands and supply. Usually a strategy would be broken down in to achievable departmental goals, for example a company strategy that states Company’s excellence in everything it does, may as well look towards a sales department that will know what is best for the customer. In this case the Human Resource Management role would be to identify and develop those A players with competencies related to customer satisfaction. The basis of the role of HR in effectively managing human capital, is to be able to” link people with profits”, and then after “translate business goals in to workforce needs” With this role HR could have played a strategic role and it would receive credibility from the organisational leadership and other organisational functions (Farley, 2005). Further Human Resource Management would normally interpret the company strategies, in the form human capital needs, which will be interpreted in the form of competencies to drive the business. HR would have to carry out a competency audit, to assess if those competencies exist in the organistaion, if not HR could plan on developing or attracting and retaining talent accordingly (Farley, 2005).