Talent Management: New Year and New Direction Opportunities for 2013

It’s a New Year! Like most people this time of year puts me into a mood for reflection on the coming opportunities. I like to look at every new year as a bundle of unopened opportunities that could change the way I think and live my life. It’s no different for a community or even an entire industry, reflection allows us to think about the possibilities.  The Talent Management industry is definitely in need of a little reflection time.

Talent Management is still a term that confuses the business market. It means something different in each organization and it hasn’t truly solidified yet as a business function or even as a technology solution. This is part of why the market has seen a lot of changes in the last few years from mergers and acquisitions to major shifts in industry thought leadership.

For some it has become the intersection of their HR, Learning, and Operations functions – helping them to manage talent effectively across the entire organization with a multitude of systems and processes. For others it is a laser focused effort on senior leadership and critical talent – merging both processes and systems to optimize roles. Yet, for others it is no more than a belief in continuous employee development. None of these approaches are wrong. If we’ve learned anything about talent management in 2012, we’ve learned that one size doesn’t fit everyone.

Talent Management practices need to be contextualized to the goals, culture, and infrastructure of an organization. This year we will see more soul searching from both solution providers as well as practitioners on how to best meet executive management’s high expectations for the talent management function. The industry as a whole will be looking for a new direction this year, and here are the top issues we believe will have an impact on this new direction:

  • Talent Retention takes first prize. It’s hard to run a great company if your talent is continuously revolving and you spend more time on your talent challenges than on your company goals.
  • Aptitude becomes the new skill.  The labor market is not currently experiencing a talent crunch, but is experiencing a skills shortage and the two have significant differences.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions. Not surprisingly we will continue to see mergers and acquisitions across the market, but the flavors and scope may surprise you.
  • Market Share Wars. Last year’s merger and acquisition activity left room for some interesting shake ups.
  • Marketing Big Data meets HR Big Data. As our talent pools widen and our customers require more engagement with all brands, our need to gain deeper connections with all of our audiences will continue to grow.
  • Changing Leadership Models.  This year we will start to see the first steps toward realizing that our ideas about leadership are outdated and the real issue isn’t as much about building better development programs but about changing the definition of leadership roles.


If you’d like to learn more about how these issues might impact your year of opportunities and possibilities, feel free to join me for our first webinar and open discussion of the year –New Year, New Directions: 2013 Predictions, where we’ll be sharing some in-depth research and insights on issues that should factor into your own new year planning. All registered attendee’s will also have access to our newest Research Brief 2013: New Year and New Directions as well.

Looking forward to seeing everyone and hearing about your own thoughts on the possibilities and opportunities for 2013!

Stacey Harris

Brandon Hall Group

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