7 Big Basics of Talent Management

talent management, 7 Big Basics of Talent ManagementTalent Management for Everybody

Talent Management remains a paradigm for the dedicated HR professional.

Pulled in some 75 other directions, you always—still—need to keep your best people in place. In some real, revolving door industries, they’re going to walk sooner or later, and keeping more of them, longer, makes its own kind of sense.

But in lots of other, truly competitive industries, the smart good people are simply too vital to doing business to keep losing them.

Whether you’re an old hand or a newby, keep these seven vital points in mind for keeping your vital people in place.

1 – Transparency

Lots of the articles we publish here include some kind of appeal for workplace transparency. While workplace transparency really can’t be overemphasized, it’s still a long term goal and not something that can get implemented and rolled out like a new software platform. But a lack of open, ongoing communication between any organization and its constituent members, employees, talent, etc. is always a recipe for failure. If you’re not a front organization, laundering money for organized crime, then there is no good excuse for increasing your transparency. If you don’t work towards more transparency then you will be perceived as a a front organization, laundering money for organized crime —by at least some of your people. There are simply those two choices. Perception really is everything.

2 – C-Suite Support

Hopefully this doesn’t mean a room filled with cigar-smoke behind a battered back-alley door. But it should mean some careful consideration of exactly how you are regularly presenting the steps of your plan. You’re not meeting with the mafia, even if it sometimes seems that way. Forget the way HR people talk and focus on performance goals, specific talents and numbers. Starting out might mean everything is about the cost of turnover and continually training new hires. Strategy and deliverable results depend on the numbers you can get your hands on, so get them and understand them.

3 – Results

Results should be clearly understood before you go into the C-Suite – or you start banging on that steel door from the alley. Understanding clearly what, exactly, the business is gaining is vital. It needs to be clearly connected with the strategy you’re proposing. This is where fooz-ball tables and pizza parties really fall flat. Forget about them. Everything else, below, is about strategy, so implementation, documenting costs and benefits and a realistic time frame for implementing strategy are the results you’re suggesting here.

4 – Ongoing Feedback

This should be an automated, big, and essential part of your strategy. It’s also, frequently, a thrill for your star talent. Believe it or not. Performance reviews are ok, but they’re often too infrequent, too formal and too threatening. From this point on, HR is a facilitator of conversations between juniors and seniors about how BOTH are doing. There are enough tools available that you can, and should, make these things automatic, ongoing and continual. And don’t fake the fun. Star performers can call your bluff, and they will.

5 – Put Culture on the Table

There’s not enough space here to really elaborate “workplace culture.” It’s a big, soft word and most of what HR and coaching and talent people say about it is wrong. But put it on the table. Again, if you’re not a mafia-front, then it’s already a real thing. Think about it. Think about what kind of people you have, what they like and what they do. Remember, some tremendous part of culture is also “aspirational” —funny enough, just like your best people.

6 – Stars!  (not Talents)

As you should know, performance is everything. Talent may very well be something that neither you nor even an immediate supervisor really understands. How’s your Django? PostgreSQL+? PostGIS / Mysql? Forget about it. Those are individual skills. Are they working for the supervisor? Are they in-line with the department level goals? Discussions start with the team leaders. These early discussions revolve around performance. How to recognize it, encourage it and how to identify those who perform. The attributes of those star performers—and even some attributes not directly connected with performance—are what we’re looking at.

7 – Include the (Entire) Future

 In your communications, in your conversations and in your strategy.

Counter-intuitive though it may seem, looking at where your employees WANT TO GO is as important as looking at where they are. And continually focusing on where we’re at is just not what star performers are going to want to do. Career ladders, opportunities and networking communities are all part of managing the best people. They’re also part of turning lackluster performers into stars. Don’t neglect the aspirations of anyone you’re interested in keeping in your organization.

If there’s an essential we really left out, just point it out in the comments section below.

Photo this page:                     

Esperales © Creative Commons Lic. by Don Genaro on Flickr

Karin Jakovljevic

About the author

Karin Jakovljevic

Karin Jakovljevic is the head of marketing at Ximble, a powerful, cloud-based workforce management system, simplifying employee scheduling and time tracking for retailers, restaurants and small businesses.

Success Stories


It was hard to keep Menchie’s young and mostly part-time staff informed about shift changes, until Menchie’s discovered Ximble’s easy-to-use smartphone app.

Fast Fix

Ximble’s easy-to-use scheduling tool allows Fast Fix employees to remotely access shift information, and integrates with their Point of Sale and Payroll systems.

Spry Health

When spreadsheets became too complicated, Spry Health sought simple, cost-effective timekeeping software so they could concentrate on growing their business.

Spirited Gifts

Since switching to Ximble, Spirited Gift no longer struggle with employees turning up at the wrong time, for the wrong shifts.

Re-bath of South Florida

Re-bath required timekeeping software that was simple, flexible, and that could grow with their business.


When they outgrew their own internal system, Vastrm chose Ximble to track their part-time and contracted employees, both in and out of the office.

Excellence Martial Arts

All that Excellence Martial Arts were looking for was basic employee timetracking, with payroll reporting. Ximble’s cost-effective software was the ideal solution.

Collab Inc

Manual timesheets were a poor fit for Collab, and with no easy to feed the data into Gusto they began looking for a viable solution to their scheduling and time tracking headaches.

Carolina Moves

Follow Carolina Moves’ journey as they transitioned from using an archaic time tracking and data entry methods to using something that could optimize their processes and integrate with Gusto.

Bearings Bike Shop

Read how inaccurate time keeping methods forced Bearing Bike Shop to approximate working hours leading to significant losses over the year, until implementing Ximble.

Mermaid Life Chameleon

Needing a simplistic solution to their scheduling and time tracking needs, Mermaid Life didn’t want a solution that would over deliver and overcharge for what they required.

Krein Knives

Outgrowing spreadsheets, Krein Knives now needed a time tracking solution that could accurately track irregular working hours and automate as much of the administrative process as possible.


Looking for automation and simplicity, Garmentory turned towards Ximble in hopes of resolving their time tracking woes.


With their eyes set on rapid growth, Novvia needed to implement a scheduling solution that could effectively scale as the business grew while integrating with the existing payroll system.


Discover how Story2 resolved their time tracking and payroll problems by implementing Ximble into their arsenal of tools and integrating it with their payroll platform, Gusto.

CareCentric Pty Ltd

Spreadsheets lacked the scalability and flexibility that CareCentric Pty Ltd needed as they grew and needed something that would be responsive to their changing needs.

Bou Cou Dancewear

Struggling with varying availability of staff, scheduling for multiple store fronts and managing payroll, Bou Cou Danceware needed a solution to their scheduling and time tracking needs.

Best Pets Veterinary Hospital

Constantly fighting wasted time from data entry errors, outdated methods of scheduling and time tracking were taking their toll. Discover how Ximble helps them overcome their challenges.

Hook SEO

Read how Ximble helped Hook SEO with their time tracking and scheduling problem when they noticed too much time was being wasted on data entry.

National Strategic

After a rapid increase of employees, National Strategic’s dependence on spreadsheets for time tracking was no longer viable. Find out how Ximble solved their problems.

miR Diagnostics

Find out how miR Diagnostics implemented Ximble’s time tracking features for their employees and how it improved their payroll operations through the Gusto integration.

Followell Fotography

Effective time tracking in and out of the office and Gusto integration was important for this photography company. Find out how Ximble stepped up to meet the challenge.


Ximble provided an inexpensive and user friendly solution to CARP’s time tracking and Gusto integration needs. Find what won them over and how it bettered their operations.


Discover how the time tracking and extensive feature of Ximble helped improve ILKB’s operations with the Gusto integrations and ximbleChat platform without breaking the bank.


A tech savvy company that integrates technology into your offices and homes. With their skill and knowledge, they turn your ideas into reality.

Wise Owl Animal Hospital

An animal hospital that combines traditional and modern medicine to provide superior animal care. They raise awareness and provide advice on excellent pet care.

Armstrong Property Management

A property management consulting that specializes in home real-estate. They offer an abundance of services to property owners.


A restaurant consulting company that helps you take your business to the next level. With the best advisors, they can help you expand your business.

Liquid Consulting

A consulting company that strives to become your food processing partner. Comprised of skilled technicians and employees to improve your business.

Alta Animal Hospital

Find out how Alta Animal Hospital do away with printed shift calendars and move to a 100% mobile platform.


Read how Ximble helps Montefiore eliminate the need for multiple spreadsheets and calendars.

Rudy’s Pub & Grill

By utilizing Ximble, Rudy’s Pub & Grill has seen a 60% decrease in missed shift from schedule confusion.


Learn how TouchSupport was able to manage employees at multiple locations with ease and save 8 hours a week by using Ximble.

Try Ximble for 14 days free

No credit card required. Cancel any time.