What Is Talent Development?

What Is Talent Development?

Talent development helps companies align individual employee growth with the organization’s mission. Learn how.

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As employers and their HR leaders assess their talent needs, many are finding themselves challenged to fill certain roles—and concerned about emerging needs that will require new skills and competencies. To address these gaps many employers are investing more in talent development to upskill and reskill employees. 

Talent development definition

Talent development is the process of identifying and nurturing employees’ skills, abilities, and knowledge to align their career advancement with the company’s strategic needs, to enhance employee performance, and prepare them for future roles and higher-level responsibilities.

Why is talent development important?

An effective talent development program ensures that employees remain competent and up-to-date in their areas of expertise, making them more productive and engaged. Talent development also helps prepare employees to take on new roles and assignments, and to move into higher-level positions that benefit both their careers and the company’s mission. 

Today’s employees are very interested in professional growth. As such, having a strong talent development program can also help attract and retain talent. 

How should organizations approach talent development?

Organizations should approach talent development strategically. Talent development efforts should align with business goals and strategies and address specific skills gaps or talent needs. 

Taking a skills-based approach to talent development can help companies make the right investments in talent—both by reskilling and upskilling existing talent, and by seeking external talent to fill key gaps. 

How does technology come into play in talent development?

While many companies use learning management systems (LMS) to help them manage and assess their talent development activities, using people analytics and HR metrics can provide more in-depth insights into the effectiveness of these efforts and their impact on productivity, retention, and engagement. 

Companies can measure the effectiveness of their talent development efforts by using people analytics to understand the impact of talent development on performance, engagement and satisfaction, succession planning, and retention.  

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