Original Research

Talent measurement: A holistic model and routes forward

Gregory J. Lee
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 16 | a990 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v16i0.990 | © 2018 Gregory J. Lee | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 August 2017 | Published: 16 July 2018

About the author(s)

Gregory J. Lee, Wits Business School, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa


Orientation: Talent measurement is a critical input to talent management (TM). Involving the application of measurement methodologies in order to determine the current and longer-term potential, competencies and contribution of employees and their roles, talent measurement is a growing field of interest in human resources.

Research purpose: This article reviews and integrates the practice of talent measurement, including developing a model of talent measurement, rooting the practice in theory and suggesting several relatively unexplored aspects of talent measurement that may have potential for improvement or controversy.

Motivation for the study: Talent measurement has not been adequately discussed and critiqued.

Research approach/design and method: A theory review and development approach is taken in this article.

Main findings: A holistic model for talent measurement is presented, including elements that have not received much prior attention such as theoretical foundations, the practicalities of including a role element, the advisability of using talent pools, the question of whether talent measures or status should be revealed to employees, the integration of talent pools with diversity or transformation imperatives, and others.

Practical/managerial implications: Managers who employ TM should benefit from this review and set of challenges regarding the practice of talent measurement.

Contribution/value-add: Although TM has been extensively discussed, the specific measurement options involved have been less well examined. Development of a holistic model and identification of outstanding controversies within it provide value to practitioners and to the evolution of TM.


talent management; human resource metrics; human capital; measurement


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