Talent identification and location: A configurational approach to talent pools

Maria Carmen De La Calle-Duran, Maria de la Luz Fernandez-Alles, Ramon Valle-Cabrera


Purpose: Talent management (TM) has become a strategic priority for companies that try to identify employees with outstanding performance and potential to hold strategic positions in future. In fact, talent is considered an intangible capital that adds value to the organization. However, literature does not provide a clear definition of talent, nor how to identify the talent in the company to be able to develop it. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to provide a definition of talent and proposing configurational approach as a theoretical framework to identify the different configurations of talent or “talent pools” to initiate TM process in firms.

Design/methodology/approach: Case study methodology research based on four companies that have implemented talent management program in Spain.

Findings: This paper provides a complete definition of what is understood as talent and potential. It also highlights that talent means people, that companies focus their TM on talent that can be developed and that talent pools can be found throughout an organisation, in management and non-management positions, and the relevant theoretical contribution of the configurational approach to explaining that a company's future competitive advantage is based on the different talent pools existing in its organisation. Under this theoretical framework, conceptual bases are established to enable progress in TM and the design of practices to identify, develop and retain talent that are different for each type of talent pools identified.

Practical implications: The need to design and implement different TM practices for each talent pools allow companies to develop talent at different points in time to achieve their future strategic objectives.

Originality/value: The proposal of a theoretical TM framework and an empirical field study dominated by theoretical contributions especially in a Spanish context, where there have been very few publications to date.


Talent, talent management, talent pool, configurational approach

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3926/ic.1440

Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Intangible Capital, 2004-2023

Online ISSN: 1697-9818; Print ISSN: 2014-3214; DL: B-33375-2004

Publisher: OmniaScience