Sometimes, in order to advance technologically, it’s helpful to look at an old-school approach. Talent management systems are essential for your organization, but you should first ensure that it’s right for you and your team. While there are many free resources available online, (such as Solutions Review’s best practices articles, solutions directories, and buyer’s guides), doing things the old-fashioned way can be beneficial. Solutions Review has taken the liberty of doing the research for you, having reviewed a multitude of books. We’ve carefully selected the best talent management books based on relevance, popularity, review ratings, publish date, and ability to add business value. Here they are in no particular order.

Global Talent Management (Global HRM)

By Hugh Scullion, Paula M. Caligiuri, and David G. Collings

“Drawing on contributions from the leading global contributors to talent management research, the book is structured around three key sections. Section one provides a contextual overview of talent management. The second section explores in depth some of the core areas of GTM practice which includes the meaning of talent in the global context, internal talent identification, developing leadership talent, employee turnover, employer branding and the role of the corporate HR function in GTM. The final section considers three key contemporary issues in GTM, namely, data analytics in GTM, managing virtual talent and managing globally diverse talent.”

Managing to Make a Difference: How to Engage, Retain, and Develop Talent for Maximum Performance

By Larry Sternberg and Kim Turnage

“Most organizations direct the majority of their development resources to the C-suite, but still expect their mid-level managers to attract, engage, retain, and develop talent; but successfully juggling everyday duties while maintaining team performance and leading around roadblocks leaves little room for management planning. Managing to Make a Difference offers the solution in the form of tools, techniques, and practical strategy for a high performing team.”

The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age

By Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, and Chris Yeh

“Coauthored by the founder of LinkedIn, this bold but practical guide for managers and executives will give you the tools you need to recruit, manage, and retain the kind of employees who will make your company thrive in today’s world of constant innovation and fast-paced change.”

The Problem Isn’t Their Paycheck: How to Attract Top Talent and Build a Thriving Company Culture

By Grant Botma

“If you’re an entrepreneur who’s spending too much time working in your business, this book will allow you to finally start working on your business. Grant Botma shows you how to transform your hiring and management practices to build a thriving team of top performers that will handle the day-to-day tasks so you can have freedom and deliver value to the business in ways nobody else can.”

The Talent Manifesto: How Disrupting People Strategies Maximizes Business Results

By RJ Heckman

“The Talent Manifesto reveals proven talent strategies and innovative recruiting and retainment methods gleaned from nearly three decades of consulting with the world’s leading organizations. Heckman identifies the most common pitfalls in HR today and delivers an actionable program for avoiding them. He shows how to generate reliable data and use it to make the best decisions. He reveals all the game-changing HR strategies at your disposal and how to use them to drive superior business performance.”

Talent Generation: How Visionary Organizations are Redefining Work and Achieving Greater Success

By Sarah Sladek

“Drawing from documented workforce and talent-development research, as well as her own ongoing study of generational impacts, Sarah Sladek cites numerous examples of organizations that have been capable of engaging employees in this era of disruption what they did, why it worked, and how it’s made a difference to the organizations outlook and bottom line.”

Human Resource Management: People, Data, and Analytics

By Tayla Bauer, Berrin Erdogan, David E. Caughlin, and Donald M. Truxillo

“Human Resource Management: People, Data, and Analytics by Talya Bauer, Berrin Erdogan, David Caughlin, and Donald Truxillo introduces students to the fundamentals of talent management with integrated coverage of data analytics and how they can be used to inform and support decisions about people in an organization. Features tied to SHRM competencies and data exercises give readers hands-on opportunities to practice the analytical and decision-making skills they need to excel in today’s job market. Engaging examples illustrate key HRM concepts and theories, which brings many traditional HRM topics concepts to life. Whether your students are future managers or future HR professionals, they will learn best practices for managing talent across the lifecycle in the changing workplace.”

The Talent Management Handbook, Third Edition: Making Culture a Competitive Advantage by Acquiring, Identifying, Developing, and Promoting the Best People

By Lance Berger and Dorothy Berger

“The Talent Management Handbook is the established go-to guide for HR professionals, managers, and leaders looking for the best ways to use talent management programs to develop a culture of excellence. This third edition features new and updated chapters based on fresh approaches and material for identifying, recruiting, positioning, and developing highly qualified, motivated people to meet current and future business requirements. Filled with expert advice, the book offers a roadmap for developing a comprehensive approach to talent management that will guide professionals in the coming years.”

One Page Talent Management with a New Introduction: Eliminating Complexity, Adding Value

By Marc Effron and Miriam Ort

“Effron and Ort introduce a simple, powerful, scientifically proven approach to increase your ability to develop better leaders faster: One Page Talent Management (OPTM). Using the straightforward, easy-to-follow process described in this book, you will eliminate frustrating complexity, focus only on those components that add real value, and build transparency and accountability into every practice.”

Talent Magnet: How to Attract and Keep the Best People (The High Performance Series)

By Mark Miller

“More than vision, strategy, creativity, marketing, finance, or even technology, it is ultimately people that determine organizational success. That’s why virtually every organization wants more top talent. But do you know what they’re looking for? It might not be what you think! Talent Magnet will show you how to attract and keep great people.”

Bet on Talent: How to Create a Remarkable Culture That Wins the Hearts of Customers

By Dee Ann Turner

“When it comes to running a business, the most important decisions a leader makes are not about products or locations–they’re about people. For the past 33 years, Dee Ann Turner has been recruiting, training, and retaining some of the best employees in the restaurant business. Now she’s ready to share her secrets on how to build, sustain, and grow an organizational culture that attracts world-class talent and consistently delights customers, no matter what your industry.”

Demystifying Talent Management: Unleash People’s Potential to Deliver Superior Results

By Kimberly Janson

“Demystifying Talent Management offers practical advice for all managers, HR professionals, senior leaders, and other employees on how to work together to build a talented and motivated workforce. The book addresses performance, development, coaching, feedback, compensation, and other elements of people management. Using simple, straightforward language, Kim Janson tells you how you can avoid confusion and conflicts when engaging in talent management.”

Inclusive Talent Management: How Business Can Thrive in an Age of Diversity

By Stephen Frost and Danny Kalman

“Featuring case studies from internationally recognised brands such as Goldman Sachs, Unilever, KPMG, Hitachi, Oxfam and the NHS, Inclusive Talent Management shows that to achieve business objectives and gain the competitive advantage, it is imperative that organizations take an inclusive approach to talent management. It puts forward a compelling and innovative case, raising questions not only for the HR community but also to those in senior management positions, providing the practical steps, global examples and models for incorporating diversity and inclusion activities into talent management strategy.”

Aha Moments in Talent Management: A Business Fable with Practical Exercises

By Mark Allen

“Most executives would say that people are their most valuable asset; but even with the best intentions of putting employees first, companies can be held back by outdated policies. This business fable highlights 13 talent management principles, illustrating them in action at a fictional company with a charismatic and passionate Chief People Officer.”

The Essential HR Handbook, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Quick and Handy Resource for Any Manager or HR Professional

By Sharon Armstrong and Barbara Mitchell

“Whether you’re a small business owner, a manager in a business without an HR department, or even a seasoned HR professional, The Essential HR Handbook will help you handle any personnel problem–from onboarding to outplacement–quickly and easily. This fully updated 10th anniversary edition is packed with information, tools, checklists, sample forms, and timely tips to guide you through the maze of personnel issues in today’s complex business environment.”

Tess Hanna

Tess Hanna is an editor and writer at Solutions Review covering Backup and Disaster Recovery. She has a degree in English and Textual Studies from Syracuse University. You can contact her at

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Admit it. You can't stand preparing and delivering employee reviews. This process offers many benefits and takes the pain out of the process for everyone.

By Marla Tabaka@MarlaTabaka Source Inc

Have you ever met a manager or an employee who looks forward to the annual review process? It's not likely. This SHRM study found that as many as 72% of companies still conduct yearly reviews even though 87% of both managers and employees find them ineffective. And, an Adobe study found that 41% of employees would go so far as to change jobs to avoid this grueling process. 

Why annual reviews are ineffective.

Have you ever been asked by a medical professional to rate your pain on a scale of zero to 10? It's nearly impossible to label it with an absolute number. "Oh, it's about a four-and-a-half," you might say. Or, "Somewhere between five and eight." 

Standard annual reviews ask managers to assign a numeric value to their employees' performance, which is impossible. Performance and value are subjective, depending on the circumstances at any given moment. Employees are humans, not numbers; no one wants to be graded and labeled.

Companies like Adobe, General Electric, and Cigna have ousted the annual review process in favor of frequent, individualized feedback. They have indicated a greater sense of inclusiveness and camaraderie, which are core to a thriving company culture.

This is how annual reviews usually play out. 

If you perform annual reviews for your employees, you probably approach it like most of my clients have done in the past. You begin pressuring yourself to get the review done about two weeks before the due date. You dread the process and wonder where you're going to find the time. As you're driving to work, you might think about the employee and try to remember their mistakes and achievements over the past 12 months. Lastly, you stay up all night to work on the review and deliver it to a very uncomfortable employee the next day. Frequently, months past the anniversary date. 

Is a review beneficial enough to merit all of this agony and stress? 

Let's look at the benefits.

One-to-one time with your employee--everyone wants the boss's attention.An opportunity to let them know how much value they bring to the company and how much you appreciate them.Feedback to facilitate growth.Goal setting for the next year.The reward of giving and receiving a raise or bonus.An opportunity for the employee to voice their desires for the future, and other feedback and questions. A means to have a record about the employee's performance on file.

In reviewing this list of benefits, here's the first thing I notice: Each one of them should be a part of an ongoing process all year round, except for raises, of course. A Gallup study revealed that employees whose managers regularly communicate with them are nearly three times more engaged than those with managers who don't communicate regularly. The benefits related to frequent feedback, goal setting, and growth opportunities far outweigh the value of an annual review. The entrepreneurs I've worked with have observed improved morale and increased engagement and performance. In many cases, it's prevented potentially serious issues from cropping up.

There are potential pitfalls even to this more progressive and constructive approach. Here are a few tips on how to make your transition smoothe.

Take notes.

Doing away with annual reviews does not preclude the need for documentation. Keep ongoing notes on your discussions and the action steps that result from them. In the case of an underperforming employee, this is especially important.

Discuss reward and compensation.

Tell employees when and if they can expect a raise. The absence of an annual review could leave employees wondering about their financial future with the company.

Don't slack. 

It's great when you stop someone in the hallway to acknowledge an achievement, but a scheduled meeting still needs to take place. I have one client who meets with each of her five employees weekly, some of my clients hold meetings with employees monthly, and some quarterly. Determine your schedule by considering goals for your culture, the stage of growth the company is in, and how employees are performing. Avoid putting off a meeting with an employee for any reason; this sends the message that they don't come first.


These meetings aren't about you; they are about the employee. Your time together is the perfect opportunity to ask them questions about their ideas and vision. Ask them for feedback about your leadership and communication style and let them voice their general concerns should there be any. 

Whether you have one or 100 employees, these changes may benefit you greatly. Begin developing your new process slowly if it feels more comfortable to you. Over the next year, meet with employees individually to minimize the work and stress of your annual meeting. Measure your success by observing increased engagement, productivity, contribution, and happiness. 

PUBLISHED ON: NOV 30, 2019The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of

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