The Talent Management Handbook

Creating a Sustainable Competitive Advantage by Selecting, Developing & Promoting the Best People

THE TALENT MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK has been recognized as the most authoritative and bestselling reference book in its category. The book’s success has been the result of its capacity to

  • Identify the most significant talent management issues impacting organizations now or in the future.
  • Provide straightforward, comprehensive, and understandable solutions to deal with significant talent management issues.
  • Provide the best historical and current tools, methods, and diagnostics necessary for human resources professionals and operating managers to implement talent management programs.
  • Present the thoughts, research, and approaches of respected and prestigious leaders in the talent management field.
  • Offer unique, innovative, and comprehensive approaches.
  • Build on the strong foundation of past editions.
  • Reward and retain the best people.
  • Plan and realize a culture of organizational excellence.

          Each edition of the book has its own novel structure. The first edition focused on the evolution of historical and new talent management techniques and methodologies as they applied to the business and social context of the era. It also set forth a framework for talent management diagnostics. Most importantly, it structured prior and current approaches into a cohesive set of guiding principles that helped readers select a talent management methodology appropriate to their organization’s specific requirements.                    The second edition’s objective was to provide human resources professionals with improved and new approaches that could help them better address a dramatically changing set of human capital issues. These included:

  • Adapting to a volatile business, social, and regulatory environment.
  • Addressing the retirement of the baby boomers, the greatest talent management issue of the twenty-first century.
  • Responding to a multicultural, multigenerational workforce.
  • Gaining competitive advantage from the globalization of human capital.

          The third edition of The Talent Management Handbook is differentiated from prior editions. It is based on a new approach to talent management, and it has new or revised reorganized into new sections. It will guide human resources professionals in ways to use talent management programs to help their organizations achieve a sustainable competitive advantage by addressing a new set of key human capital issues:

  • Employing novel ways to win the battle to acquire high-quality talent that includes data analytics, sourcing, recruitment, attracting/branding, focused selection, and onboarding.
  • Using “big data” to make better and faster talent management decisions that lead to sustainable business success.
  • Developing and implementing talent management programs that help a workforce transform itself in response to rapidly changing business scenarios.
  • Enhancing the qualifications of human resources professionals involved in one or more aspects of talent management.
  • Creating and maintaining a culture of innovation, engagement, leadership, and performance.​
Acknowledgments and Dedication

Thanks to the 77 professionals of which 38 are new participants who contributed their expertise to this book.The third edition is dedicated to the children and grandchildren of the editors: Adam and Alejandra Gimenez Berger; Craig and Alexandra Block Berger; Nancy Berger; and Cheryl, Steven, Hailey Rose, and Ryan James McGuire.​


Successful organizations systematically design, integrate, and proactively implement programs that build and sustain a high-performance workforce. These programs typically focus on the acquisition, cultivation, positioning, and rewarding of employees who can best achieve their goals while remaining true to their stated values. When their approach to building a high-performing workforce is fully integrated and codified it is labeled talent management. Based on our research, consulting assignments, and the input of this book’s preeminent contributors, we conclude that the core talent management framework required for creating a high-performance workforce consists of three elements. They are:

  1. A blueprint that articulates the principles that guide the organization’s strategic and tactical talent management processes. It consists of a talent management creed and strategy. A creed is composed of a widely publicized set of core principles, values, and mutual expectations that guide the behavior of an organization and its people. Collectively, the stated principles depict the type of culture an organization strives to create to achieve its unique portrait for success. The principles of the creed are embedded into its talent management strategy, building blocks and programs through incorporating its doctrines into selection criteria, competency definitions, performance criteria, internal selection and development processes, and all other relevant human resources policies and programs. A talent strategy makes explicit the types of people in whom the organization will invest. The biggest investments will be made in people who are currently contributing the most to organizational success and to those seen as having the potential for making strong contributions in the future.
  2. A set of building blocks that translate a talent creed and strategy into assessment tools that classify employees based on their current and potential contribution to the organization. These classifications are necessary to implement a talent management strategy. There are three building blocks: competency evaluation, performance appraisals, and potential assessment.
  3. A talent management system that incorporates building blocks into talent management implementation programs. The individual programs are integrated into a unified approach for making decisions regarding the people who exemplify the culture expressed in the creed, who are currently contributing the most to organizational success, and who are seen as making strong contributions in the future.

This book is organized into eight parts. They are arranged to provide readers with a way for creating their own talent management approach using the core talent manage- ment framework described above. The structure of The Talent Management Handbook is outlined below.

The Structure of The Talent Management Handbook

Part I establishes the talent management framework. It describes how the different elements of a human resources blueprint, building blocks of employee classification, and talent management programs are integrated into a unified approach that creates and sustains workforce excellence.

Part II defines the building blocks that represent assessment tools rooted in the organization’s creed. The building blocks are competency evaluation, performance appraisals, and potential assessment. Talent management building blocks enable the organization to classify its employees based on their actual and potential contribution to organizational success and suggest the types of investment needed to enhance individual contribution.

Part III covers the deployment of the integrative system necessary to implement a talent management strategy based on building blocks. This system consists of four core human resources programs: positioning, enhancement, mobility, and compensation.

Part IV links talent management, culture, and business excellence. It describes how organization philosophies, beliefs, and values establish the parameters that govern the selection, development, and advancement of the people who shape the culture for success that drives business excellence. They include elements such as: ethics, engagement, innovation, and creativity.

Part V covers ways to use global talent management techniques to promote organization- wide leadership.

Part VI presents ways that professionals can use talent analytics, big data, and technology to make better and faster talent management decisions.

Part VII covers talent management competencies required by professionals and leaders. They have been carefully developed by The Society for Human Resource Management, Association for Talent Development, and the Organization Development Network.

Part VIII highlights significant trends that will affect talent management practices in the future.

Click here to preview Chapter 1




Acknowledgements and Dedication






​Part I

​Using Talent Management to Build a High-Performance Workplace

  1. ​​Using Talent Management to Build a High-Performance Workforce Lance A. Berger and Dorothy R. Berger
  2. From Blueprint to Action: Signals and Guidance for Successful Talent Management Programs
    Anne Davis Gotte and Kevin D. Wilde
  3. Creating an Employer Brand that Attracts, Grows, and Retains the Right People
    William A. Schiemann, PhD





Part II

Talent Management Building Blocks
Building Block 1: Competency Assessment

  • 4. Formulating Competencies Murray M. Dalziel, PhD

  • 5. Driving Expertise and Innovation Through Competency Development 
    Kim E. Ruyle, PhD

  • 6. Competencies for the Future Workforce
    Laci Loew

Building Block 2: Performance Appraisals

  • 7. Understanding How to Use Performance Management for Organization Success 
    Charles H. Fay, PhD

  • 8. Using Performance Appraisals to Drive Organization Success

  • 9. Big Five Performance Management: A Quantum Leap in Employee Performance Appraisal Roger Ferguson

  • 10
    . Analytics-Based Enterprise and Corporate PerformanceManagement (EPM/CPM)
    Gary Cokins

Building Block 3: Potential Forecasting

  • 11. Forecasting Employee Potential for Growth
    Murray M. Dalziel, PhD
  • 12. Measuring Up for the Skills Revolution: Talent Assessment in the Human Age
    Thomas Henriksen​











Part III

Talent Management Programs
Program 1: Talent Positioning: Succession and Career Planning and Outplacement

  • 13. Integrating Succession Planning and Career Planning 
    William J. Rothwell, PhD, and Aileen G. Zaballero
  • 14. Succession Planning Challenges and Solutions
    Doris Sims Spies
  • 15. CEO Succession Planning: A Process for Leading an Effective Management Transition
    Marshall Goldsmith, PhD
  • 16. Building a Development Culture: Everyone Is a Stakeholder 
    Beverly Kaye, EdD, and Beverly Crowell
  • 17. How Workforce Trends Affect Outplacement Programs
    Melvin J. Scales, Katherine E. Ponds, and Deborah L. Orostin

Program 2: Talent Enhancement: Coaching, Training, Education, and Development

  • 18. How Line Managers Can Foster Organization PerformanceThrough Talent Enhancement
    Rick Lash, PhD, and Tom McMullen
  • 19. Developing Leadership Potential Through 360-Degree Feedbackand Coaching
    John W. Fleenor, PhD, and Sylvester Taylor
  • 20. Developing Your Workforce: Measurement Makes a Difference Jack J. Phillips, PhD, and Patti P. Phillips, PhD
  • 21. Enriching Executive Development: The Essential Partnership Between Human Resources Professionals and Executive Coaches
    Karol M. Wasylyshyn, PsyD
  • 22. Change and Compassion: The Essence of Effective Coaching Gareth Craze
  • 23. The Role of the Manager in Talent Management
    Bruce Tulgan

Program 3: Talent Mobility: Acquisition, and Onboarding

  • ​24. Novel Ways to Win the Battle for Great Talent
    Aaron Sorensen, PhD, and Aneysha Pearce
  • 25. Leading Practices in Building a Successful Approach to Talent Acquisition
    Simon Parkin
  • 26. Social Recruiting: Pick Up the Pace or Be Left Behind
    Tony Restell
  • 27. Increasing Your Odds of Success in Picking the Right CEO
    RJ Heckman, PhD, and Dennis Carey, PhD
  • 28. Onboarding as a Critical Component of a Talent AcquisitionStrategy
    Erika Lamont and Brenda A. Hampel
  • 29. Using Storytelling to Make Onboarding More Inspiring and Effective
    David Lee

Program 4: Compensation

  • ​30. Using the Right Rewards Program to Help Your Talent Management Program Fuel Transformation
    Juan Pablo González
  • 31. Using a Total Rewards Strategy to Support Your TalentManagement Program
    Steven E. Gross and Mandy Leigh Rook
  • 32. Aligning Total Compensation Programs with Organization Values, Strategy, and Talent Management Processes 
    Thomas B. Wilson
  • 33. Using Compensation to Win the Talent Wars
    Deborah Rees
  • 34. Developing an Effective Compensation Philosophy that Attracts, Motivates, Retains, and Develops Top Talent 
    James F. Reda, Molly A. Kyle, and David D. Rowlee, PhD
























Part IV


  • 35. Driving Competitive Advantage Through NontraditionalApproaches to Engagement Surveys 
    Denise Fairhurst, PhD, and Allison Yost, PhD
  • 36. Using Diagnostic Assessment for Creative and Innovative Talent Management
    Fredricka Reisman, PhD, and Helene A. Maliko-Abraham, EdD
  • 37. Characteristics of Innovative Individuals and Organizations
    Ron Garonzik, PhD, and Mark Royal, PhD
  • 38. Creating and Maintaining a Culture of Innovation, Engagement, Leadership, and Performance
    Kaye Thorne
  • 39. Reframing Creativity as a Martial Art
    Rick Kantor
  • 40. Reimagining the Twenty-First-Century Employment Relationship: Aligning Human Resources and Corporate Social Responsibility Through Employment Policies and Practices
    Lauren Aydinliyim and Jeana Wirtenberg, PhD
  • 41. Making Ethics an Integral Component of Your Talent Management System
    Stephen F. Hallam, PhD, and Teresa A. Hallam, PhD
  • 42. Building a Reservoir of Women Super Keepers
    Nila G. Betof, PhD, and Molly Dickinson Shepard










Part V

Global Talent Management 

  • 43. Acquiring and Retaining Expatriate Talent
    Yvonne McNulty, PhD
  • 44. Developing Global Leadership Competencies 
    Derrick Kon, DBA




Part VI

Big Data

  • 45. Talent Development Reporting Principles (TDRp): Standards for the Measurement, Reporting, and Management of Human Capital David Vance, PhD
  • 46. The Internal Labor Market Paradigm: A Model for Using Analytics to Evaluate and Interpret Workforce and Business Performance Data
    Haig R. Nalbantian
  • 47. The Role of HR Technology in Talent Management
    Steven T. Hunt, PhD
  • 48. Effective Talent Management Systems
    Craig M. Berger
  • 49. Realizing the Value of Big Data for Talent Management
    Lance A. Berger







Part VII

Talent Management Competencies for Leaders and Professionals 

  • 50. A Competency-Driven Approach to Talent Management Optimization 
    Joseph A. Jones, PhD, Shonna D. Waters, PhD, and Alexander Alonso, PhD
  • 51. Developing the Talent Developers
    Tony Bingham
  • 52. Evolving Organization Development for the Future Deborah Peters





Part VIII 

Significant Trends Affecting Talent Management Practices

  • 53. Balancing Talent and Organization Culture: A Winning Combination
    Dave Ulrich, PhD, and Mike Ulrich, PhD
  • 54. HR Levers that Drive Business Results 
    David C. Forman
  • 55. Eight Trends Shaping the Future of Talent Management Programs 
    Jacob Morgan








Helene A. Maliko-Abraham, EdD, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Chapter 36).

Alexander Alonso, PhD, SHRM-SCP, Senior Vice President, Knowledge Development and Certification, Society for Human Resources Management, Alexandria, Virginia (Chapter 50).

Lauren Aydinliyim, PhD Candidate, Rutgers University Business School Department of Management & Global Business, Newark and New Brunswick, New Jersey (Chapter 40).

Craig M. Berger, Liaison for Development and Curricula Support, Fashion Institute of Technology and Principal, Craig Berger Management Consulting, New York, New York and Voohrees, New Jersey (Chapter 48).

Dorothy R. Berger, Partner, Lance A. Berger & Associates, Ltd., Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania (Chapter 1).

Lance A. Berger, Managing Partner, Lance A. Berger & Associates, Ltd., Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania (Chapters 1 and 49).

Nila G. Betof, PhD, Chief Operating Officer, The Leader’s Edge/Leaders By Design, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania (Chapter 42).

Tony Bingham, President and CEO, Association for Talent Development (ATD), Alexandria, Virginia (Chapter 51).

Dennis Carey, PhD, Vice Chairman, Korn Ferry, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Chapter 27).

Gary Cokins, CPIM, Founder and President, Analytics-Based Performance Management LLC, Cary, North Carolina (Chapter 10).

Gareth Craze, Doctoral Student, Case Western Reserve University, Weatherhead School of Management, Department of Organizational Behavior, Cleveland, Ohio (Chapter 22).

Beverly Crowell, Principal Consultant, Crowell Consulting, Merritt Island, Florida (Chapter 16).

Murray M. Dalziel, PhD, Dean, University of Baltimore, Merrick School of Business, Baltimore, Maryland (Chapters 4 and 11).

Denise Fairhurst, PhD, Senior Consultant, CEB, London, England (Chapter 35).

Charles H. Fay, PhD, CCP, Professor of Human Resource Management, Rutgers University, HRM Department, School of Management and Labor Relations, Piscataway, New Jersey (Chapter 7).

Roger Ferguson, GPHR, Principal and Strategic Business Partner, iSi Human Resources Consulting, Houston, Texas (Chapter 9).

John W. Fleenor, PhD, Senior Researcher, Center for Creative Leadership, Greensboro, North Carolina (Chapter 19).

David C. Forman, Author and CLO Emeritus, The Human Capital Institute, San Diego, California (Chapter 54).

Ron Garonzik, PhD, Senior Partner, Korn Ferry Hay Group, Boston, Massachusetts (Chapter 37).

Marshall Goldsmith, PhD, Speaker and Executive Coach, Marshall Goldsmith, Inc., Santa Fe, New Mexico (Chapter 15).

Juan Pablo González, Partner, Axiom Consulting Partners, McLean, Virginia (Chapter 30).

Anne Davis Gotte, Vice President of Global Talent, Ecolab, Inc., St. Paul, Minnesota (Chapter 2).

Steven E. Gross, Senior Partner, Mercer, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Chapter 31).

Dick Grote, President, Grote Consulting Corporation, Dallas, Texas (Chapter 8).

Stephen F. Hallam, PhD, Professor, University of Akron, Akron, Ohio (Chapter 41).

Teresa A. Hallam, PhD, Retired, University of Akron, Akron, Ohio (Chapter 41).

Brenda A. Hampel, Managing Director, Connect the Dots Consulting, Columbus, Ohio and Denver, Colorado (Chapter 28).

RJ Heckman, PhD, Vice Chairman, Korn Ferry, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Chapter 27).

Thomas Henriksen, Director of Talent Assessment Solutions Europe, Right Management, Norway (Chapter 12).

Steven T. Hunt, PhD, SPHR, Senior Vice President, Human Capital Management Research, SAP Success Factors, San Francisco, California (Chapter 47).

Joseph A. Jones, PhD, SHRM-SCP, Director, HR Competencies and Resources Research, Society for Human Resources Management, Alexandria, Virginia (Chapter 50).

Rick Kantor, Chief Provocateur, Samurai Creativity, Pennsgrove, California (Chapter 39).

Beverly Kaye, EdD, Founder, Career Systems International, Scranton, Pennsylvania (Chapter 16).

Derrick Kon, DBA, SHRM-SCP, Director, Associate Services, The Conference Board, Singapore (Chapter 44).

Molly A. Kyle, Manager, Business Development and Marketing, Executive Compensation, Arthur J. Gallagher & Company Human Resources & Compensation Consulting, New York, New York (Chapter 34).

Erika Lamont, Managing Director, Connect the Dots Consulting, Columbus, Ohio and Denver, Colorado (Chapter 28).

Rick Lash, PhD, Senior Client Partner, Korn Ferry Hay Group, Toronto, Canada (Chapter 18).

David Lee, Principal, HumanNature@Work, Saco, Maine (Chapter 29).

Laci Loew, Founder and Principal, Laci Loew & Company LLC, Las Vegas, Nevada (Chapter 6).

Tom McMullen, Global Leader Reward Solutions Development, Korn Ferry Hay Group, Chicago, Illinois (Chapter 18).

Yvonne McNulty, PhD, Senior Lecturer, School of Human Development and Social Services, Singapore University of Social Sciences, Singapore (Chapter 43).

Jacob Morgan, Author, Speaker, Futurist, and Founder of The Future If Community, Alameda, California (Chapter 55).

Haig R. Nalbantian, Senior Partner, Mercer Workforce Sciences Institute, New York, New York (Chapter 46).

Deborah L. Orostin, Operations Manager, Meridian Resources, Inc., Greenville, South Carolina (Chapter 17).

Simon Parkin, SPHR, Senior Partner, The Talent Company, Toronto, Canada (Chapter 25).

Aneysha Pearce, Partner, Axiom Consulting Partners, Chicago, Illinois (Chapter 24).

Deborah Peters, CEO and Founder, Morgan McGuire Leadership LLC, St. Paul, Minnesota (Chapter 52).

Jack J. Phillips, PhD, Chairman, ROI Institute, Inc., Chelsea, Alabama (Chapter 20).Patti P. Phillips, PhD, President and CEO, ROI Institute, Inc., Chelsea, Alabama (Chapter 20).

Katherine E. Ponds, Vice President, Meridian Resources, Inc., Greenville, South Carolina (Chapter 17).

James F. Reda, Managing Director, Executive Compensation, Arthur J. Gallagher & Company Human Resources & Compensation Consulting, New York, New York (Chapter 34).

Deborah Rees, FCIPD, Director of Consulting, Innecto Reward Consulting, London and Wiltshire, England (Chapter 33).

Fredricka Reisman, PhD, Professor and Director, Drexel-Torrance Center for Creativity and Innovation, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Chapter 36).

Tony Restell, Founder,, United States and United Kingdom (Chapter 26).

Mandy Leigh Rook, Principal, Mercer, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Chapter 31).

William J. Rothwell, PhD, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, CPLP Fellow, Professor, Pennsylvania State University and President, Rothwell & Associates (Chapter 13).

David D. Rowlee, PhD, Managing Director and Practice Leader-Engagement Survey Division, Arthur J. Gallagher & Company, Human Resources & Compensation Consulting, Kansas City, Missouri (Chapter 34).

Mark Royal, PhD, Senior Director, Korn Ferry Hay Group, Chicago, Illinois (Chapter 37).

Kim E. Ruyle, PhD, President, Inventive Talent Consulting, Melbourne, Florida (Chapter 5).

Melvin J. Scales, Senior Vice President, Meridian Resources, Inc., Greenville, South Carolina (Chapter 17).

William A. Schiemann, PhD and GPHR, Principal and CEO, Metrus Group, Inc. Somerville, New Jersey (Chapter 3).

Molly Dickinson Shepard, Chief Executive Officer, The Leader’s Edge/Leaders By Design, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania (Chapter 42).

Aaron Sorenson, PhD, Partner, Axiom Consulting Partners, Chicago, Illinois (Chapter 24).

Doris Sims Spies, SPHR, President, Talent Benchstrength Solutions, LLC, Escondido, California (Chapter 14).

Sylvester Taylor, Senior Manager, Thought Leadership, Center for Creative Leadership, Greensboro, North Carolina (Chapter 19).

Kaye Thorne, Founder and Managing Partner, Talent Perspectives, Devon, United Kingdom (Chapter 38).

Bruce Tulgan, JD, Founder and CEO, Rainmaker Thinking, Inc., Whitneyville, Connecticut (Chapter 23).

Dave Ulrich, PhD, Rensis Likert Professor, Ross School of Business, and Partner, The RBL Group, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan (Chapter 53).

Mike Ulrich, PhD, Assistant Professor of Management, Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, Utah State University, Logan, Utah (Chapter 53).

David Vance, PhD, Executive Director, Center for Talent Reporting, Windsor, California (Chapter 45).

Karol M. Wasylyshyn, PsyD, President, Leadership Development Forum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Chapter 21).

Shonna D. Waters, PhD, ACC, Vice President, SHRM HR Innovations and Insights, Society for Human Resources Management, Alexandria, Virginia (Chapter 50).

Kevin D. Wilde, Executive Leadership Fellow, University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Chapter 2).

Thomas B. Wilson, CCP, President, Wilson Group, Concord, Massachusetts (Chapter 32).

Jeana Wirtenberg, PhD, Associate Professor, Professional Practice, Rutgers University, Business School, Department of Management & Global Business, Newark and New Brunswick, New Jersey (Chapter 40).

Allison Yost, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, CEB, Washington, DC (Chapter 35).

Aileen G. Zaballero, CPLP, Senior Partner, Rothwell & Associates and Pennsylvania State University, and State College, Pennsylvania (Chapter 13).