· Features

Should HR rebrand to talent management?

With talent management, attraction and retention becoming such important aspects of an HR role, should the function rebrand itself to reflect this focus? HR experts from a variety of industries share their views.

“I’m tired of this constant journey of redefining and restating our existence. Maybe it’s insecurity that comes from being more of a paper-pushing function years ago. But we’re far from that now. The case is made for the fact we make a strategic contribution and have a high impact on the business. So I don’t wake up in the morning thinking ‘why do I exist? What am I going to do to earn my pay check? How will I rebrand myself?’ I think this navel gazing has to stop.”

Ben Bengougam, EMEA VP of HR at Hilton Worldwide 

“What’s important is that the organisation has a clear idea of what its HR function aims to achieve, whatever it calls itself. I think one of the biggest risks companies face is blindly copying others. What you’re doing in terms of setting up your talent management systems has to be driven by the business strategy of the organisation. Otherwise it’s doomed to failure.”

David Collings, professor of HRM at Dublin City University

“This rebadging of HR to talent management is part of the confusion. We need to stop kidding ourselves that everybody’s talent; that’s just not the case. There are plenty of other options for people who want to use more positive language. I know someone who doesn’t like using the words ‘human resources’ and so says ‘I’m here to look after human beings’.”

Keith Robson, ex-senior director of learning and organisational development at eBay 

“The danger of rebadging to talent management is others then don’t take enough ownership of talent management themselves. My job is to provide guidance. It’s the manager who is actually responsible for talent. Nobody goes along to Finance at the end of the year and says ‘we didn’t make a profit, it’s your fault’, so I never understand why people go to HR and say ‘we haven’t got enough talent, it’s your fault’.”

Danielle Harmer, chief people officer at Metro Bank

Do you think the function should rebrand? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @hrmagazine

Further reading

What do we mean when we talk about talent? 

Talent management at Metro Bank