Brian Christie asked Doris Sims, 3/25/2016 12:43:06 PM
  • Unclassified

Is there any distinction between "talent management" and "talent benchstrength"?

Hi Doris. Thanks for participating in the AMA. Do you see any distinction between "talent management" and "talent benchstrength?" If so, is it an important difference? 
1 Answer, 0 Replies
3/25/2016 1:09:12 PM,
Doris Sims replied:

I use the phrase "talent benchstrength" to specify the proactive functions we use inside organizations to continously review and to develop the organization's current talent, just as a sports team focuses on ensuring an ongoing strong bench for both current and future team success.  

The sports world does an excellent job of focusing on talent benchstrength, because when a player is needed on the field, they certainly do not have time to conduct a job search--they need the talent ASAP on the field.  And so developing a strong bench of talent is one of the most critical job functions of a sports coach.  I think we can look at this as an example of the risks we take when we don't develop a strong bench of talent--it's all fun and games until we lose a key player, leaving a gaping hole in our organization and an advantage to our competitor.

I think it is important to have a specific term for functions such as succession planning/talent risk management planning, talent review meetings, and for successor and leadership development actions, because the phrase "talent management" is used in many different ways.  Sometimes it seems that the phrase "talent management" refers to a variety of HR functions, and so it lacks clarity for both HR professionals and for business leaders.  

Talent benchstrength strategy, tools and processes are HR functions which are still maturing in many organizations, and so having a phrase that refers specifically to reviewing, planning, retaining and developing internal talent is important to clarify and to focus on this vital HR function.

Doris Sims, SPHR, The Succession Consultant