Publication Date



Key Findings

  • The term talent management has escaped a standard definition, and nearly every article written on the topic conclude that the concept of talent management is lacking in terms of definition and theoretical development and there is a comparative lack of empirical evidence on the topic.
  • Perhaps the most salient criticism from researchers is that the use of the term talent management is often little more than a rebranding of a range of typical HR activities.
  • A notable feature of much of the existing literature on talent management is that it continues to focus on practices associated with lifetime careers in corporations, despite the fact that the most profound shift over the past 30-plus years in how organizations manage their workforces has been an increase in dismissals and external hiring at all organizational levels.
  • A definition that is consistent with traditional approaches and captures what academic researchers have been doing under the heading of talent management is as follows: the process through which organizations anticipate and meet their needs for talent in strategic jobs.


Recommended Citation
Keller, J. R. (2015, November). Can you use it in a sentence? Defining talent management (CAHRS ResearchLink No. 3). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, ILR School.