talent acquisition: loop 1 of 6 in talent management

The 6 Loops in Talent Management Lifecycle

The Greeks maintained that the “rope of one’s life” was defined by three fates, who spun the thread of life, measured it, and then cut it.

Now imagine that your career can be described using a 10’ long piece of rope. If you dropped the rope at your feet it would look like several messy loops. Most of us choose to believe that we have some impact on the “rope of our careers.

Now further imagine that you have a work team of 5 people. If they each had a 10’ long piece of rope and dropped those ropes at your feet, then how would you describe that messy image?

Talent management is a cyclical model frequently described with three loops: attraction, development and retention. Business leaders glibly talk about the “hire to retire” or “cradle to grave” sequence, although there is little evidence remaining of that model in the U.S. economy. Instead, the process is shortened to a “hire to fire” process.   Some of those key metrics include efficiency, effectiveness and outcomes.   A tremendous resource for talent managers who want to demonstrate accountability, like any CFO or business leader, is at

The ultimate goal of talent management should be to retain desired employees, not all employees. (That would be a spurious, and expensive goal. There are plenty of good reasons to fire employees or not invest in them. And there are plenty of measures of accountability.)

There are actually 6 loops in talent management.

Think of your process as 6 inter-related loops that include: talent acquisition, learning and development, leadership development, performance, total rewards, and succession planning. Here is a definition of each, plus some comments.

  1. Talent acquisition” is a strategic approach to identifying, attracting, and onboarding talent to efficiently and effectively meet dynamic business needs. Aspects of talent acquisition typically include sourcing, candidate pools, assessment, employer brand, recruiting, selection, diversity planning, critical role identification, onboarding, and talent mobility.

Sadly, 60% of HR expenses focus on talent acquisition, instead of developing and retaining desired employees. Note that the remaining 5 buckets in the talent management lifecycle focus on developing and retaining desired employees.

My question: Why would your business line leaders, CHRO or CFO focus only on talent acquisition?

You may choose to believe in those three Greek fates who define the “rope of your life.”

Contact us today if you want to improve the “rope of your career” with assessments or talent management consulting.