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trent rosen


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Talent Management. Is it an L&D or HR responsibility?


With much emphasis on talent management and retaining talented staff, are both L&D and HR responsible to develop the strategy? Please feel free to share your experiences and thoughts on this issue.

4 Responses

  1. Talent – HR or L&D responsibility

    Heither… its an operational responsibility….. with appropriate saaistance, planning ans interventions from both.

    When talent management is "owned" by HR or L&D then it is bound not not add the same value as it would if on the CEO’s agenda – along with her management team on a day to day basis. there are some things that should never be delegated – and this is one!


  2. Talent Management is a business responsibility

    Agree with Mike.  Talent strategy and the responsbility for operationalizing this must be with the business leadership. 

    HR have a role to play (including L&D) but this is likely to be thought leadership and expert contribution to the strategy, plans, systems, processes, measurement, tools etc plus the coaching and support of managers in deploying these.

    Learning has a place to play in retention but it is only one small part of a complex equation.

  3. Talent – a key business asset

    The talent of a business is a key asset and so should be managed, monitored, motivatied and directed by business leaders and managers. 

    L&D and HR can provide some excellent programmes of development which may focus on making key talent ready for managment and leadership roles and many of these programmes can and do have an impact on the retention of key talent.    

    Many of the best programmes I have been involved with have a high degree of ownership and participation by managers in the business who deliver key roles including: 

    The programme steering group – 4 or 5 senior stakeholders who will identify the business benefits, agree investment levels. The steering group will look at regular reports (Kirkpatrick style levels 1-4) throughout the programme and ask quesitons of L&D about the training materials and of HR about any retention packages that may be considered. Presentations by participants will take place so that the steering group can talk to them and ask questions about their progress and how they are translating their learning into action in the business.     

    Specific course sponsors – a single senior manager with an interest in a specific module of develoment in say leadership. They assist in teh development of the module and ensure that it delivers what it is supposed to in terms of knowledge and new skills.

    Line managers – provide ongoing coahcing which helps the particpants to reflect.

    Mentors – senior managers who are there to listen and share their experience with the participants, enabling access to new networks and making it possible for action learning groups to challenge the status quo.  

    Programmes are effective as they can have a ripple effect with the group just below the high performers who are usually chosen for such programme.

    Outside of programmes the best thing a business can do to retain its talent is insist on good management practices, regular one to ones, clearly expressed expectations of performance, regular, open and challenging feedback from the manager and a dynamic and progressive development plan.   

    Cheers, Nick           

  4. Talent Mgt, HR or L&D?


    Thank you for expressing your views. I agree with you in that the core responsibility of talent management needs to be at the heart of senior management level, which should also include the director of HR and director of training and development. However how often have you experienced whereby senior management are able to practically be involved once the strategy is implemented?
    A survey conducted by the ASTD in 2008 highlighted these findings:
    More than half (54 percent) of study participants said their HR leader was responsible to a high or very high extent for talent management; 48 percent said the same was true for the whole executive team, followed by CEOs (47 percent) and training/learning leaders (43 percent). The organizations that reported the most effective talent management programs were those that held their entire executive teams responsible for talent management. Furthermore it says that only about 12 percent said their companies had talent management metrics.
    Although there is only a 6% differ between HR leaders and executive teams, it can demonstrate that the clarity of responsibility for talent management ownership still remains subjective to most in the organisation.


    Please feel free to reply or add further to the discussion.


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trent rosen

learning and development consultant

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