Resource Centre Life At Work What is Talent Management and How it Differs from HR

What is Talent Management and How it Differs from HR

difference talent management hr

Most people use HR and talent management interchangeably. However, they are not entirely similar. While they both deal with employees, they don’t serve the same functions. The tangible difference between HR and talent management lies in their objectives and goals. 

difference talent management hr

The Difference Between HR and Talent Management


Human Resource Management is mainly about effective attraction, hiring and retaining employees based on organisational needs. The employees, in this case, are the company’s resources, hence Human resource. 

Talent management, on the other hand, aims to identify and recognize talent in employees, nurture it and reinvent it to something better. This is about nurturing employee talents with the aim of tapping into their deepest potential. Ultimately, talent management brings out the best in every employee, sometimes even talents they were not aware existed. 

difference hr talent management


HR has a more operational and administrative approach that thrives in routine policies and procedures. Talent management is more strategic and personalized to the individual in question. It targets identified employees on a personal level to coach, train and mentor to assist in rediscovery and nurturing of talent. Hence, talent management is more complex.

The Who

HR is concerned with attracting candidates outside the organization, hiring great talent and managing employees to attain set objectives. Talent management, on the other hand, looks inward and is more strategic. It is founded on succession planning and equips existing employees for greater, better roles within the organization.

Interactions with Other Business Functions

While HR operates independently, talent management, despite being a function of HR functions by involving managers and their departments to recognize and nurture talent in individuals. It thrives on already existing relationships to identify latent talent and potential in individuals and encourage them to  burst out of their cocoons.


HR strives to fulfill set goals like productivity, job descriptions, motivation and training. These procedures are applied across the company or organization in a one-size-fits-all manner. Talent management looks at the individual to nurture hidden talent and potential in order to better them. While HR asks, “how can we help you to help us”, talent management asks “how can we help you to be better for you”. While there is the fear of benefiting the employee and them leaving, it is hoped that the individual will be motivated to remain.

So Which is Better? HR or Talent Management

talent management hr

At the end of the day, both HR and talent management are equally important for business. HR is essential in recruiting, salary and benefits determination, training and development and safety procedures. Talent management on the other hand ensures that the employees a company has invested so much in find a reason to stay longer and be of greater value to the company. Therefore, you have a highly-talented, motivated employee who is giving their best to your company while you manage all other facets of HR.

Do You Want To Learn More?

The African Talent Company (TATC) has organised Talking Talent Workshop to bring together top HR professionals, business leaders, and talent gurus who understand the challenges facing companies today and have solved them. These experts will be discussing approaches and sharing techniques that they have successfully applied to solve these HR and business challenges. 

The first event happened in Lagos on the 30th of July 2019 and was well received by top HR leaders from key industries.  You can visit here to view our coverage of the event.

The second event will happen in Nairobi, Kenya on the 12th of September 2019, at the Norfolk Hotel, from 8 am to 4 pm, all expenses paid.  There are few available slots, reserve yours today!

Doreen Mueke
Doreen is the Senior Content Marketer at Ringier One Africa Media.
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