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The Power of Exclusive Talent Management

‘Exclusive Talent Management’ as an essential support to fast-paced changing organizations and HR priorities* in 2024.

by Anouk Van de Velde, General Manager at Lincoln Belgium

As revealed by Gartner’s 2024 HR priorities survey, organizations will need to place emphasis on their HR initiatives. The survey, which spanned over 500 HR leaders across 40 countries and various industries, sheds light on HR professionals’ priorities and challenges for the near future.

What’s missing here for us at Lincoln Belgium is the link between all these initiatives, the connectedness of human capital to strategy, the business and the organization’s culture. Revealing, guiding, and steering this will be key to successfully accompanying the fast changes and growth of the organizations and enabling the HR priorities for 2024.

What leads us to believe this is the missing link?

More than the priorities set themselves, we have been triggered by the reasons driving them.

  1. an ‘Unsettled’ employee-employer relationship fueled by issues such as flexibility controversies, productivity anxiety, and mutual mistrust,
  2. additionally, and still, according to Gartner, persistent skill shortages,
  3. the increasing impact of AI on organizations and individuals,
  4. and the pressure for operational efficiency (productivity, efficiency & margin being the profitability drivers).

In response, according to the Gartner survey, HR leaders are strategically directing their efforts towards pivotal areas to (re)shape the future of their organizations.

  1. focus on ‘leader and manager development’commanding the largest share of attention among respondents,
    • 75% of HR leaders say their managers are overwhelmed by the growth of their job responsibilities.
    • 73% of HR leaders confirm that their organization’s leaders and managers are not equipped to lead change.
  2. many HR leaders also prioritize cultivating a positiveorganizational culture.
    • 41% of HR Leaders say employees’ connection to culture is compromised by hybrid work.
    • 47% of HR leaders don’t know how to drive change to achieve the desired culture.
  3. additional focal points include embracing innovative HR technologies,
    • 56% of HR leaders confirm their HR technology solutions and strategy do not match their current and future business needs, such as digital transformation.
  4. mastering change management strategies and
    • 82% of HR leaders share their managers aren’t equipped to lead change.
    • 77% of HR leaders say their employees are feeling fatigued.
  5. enhancing career management and internal mobility
    • 89% of HR leaders believe career paths at their organizations are unclear for many employees
    • And 66% agree that these are not even compelling for many employees…

These statements complexify HR’s role and show the urgency of switching to strategic business partnering in words and deeds.

Even though the announced priorities may seem a comprehensive approach reflecting the proactive stance HR professionals are taking to address the multifaceted issues outlined in the Gartner survey, how can these priorities ensure a holistic transformation that aligns with the evolving needs of their Talent pool and the connection with the organization’s strategy and culture?


At Lincoln, with the knowledge acquired from our Talent community, which we represent worldwide, we have observed a faster growing disconnect and gap between the Talent needs and the organization, over the last 5 years. This phenomenon is at the root of the current drivers of HR priorities.

We have been looking for solutions and new services to support HR and the organization in closing this gap, bringing solutions against Talent waste, and re-instaurating the connectedness of the Talent pool with its function and role and the organization’s strategy and culture.

Mapping your essential Talent pool

We have seen the evolution of this unsettled employee/employer relationship and observed its impact in various contexts, such as:

  • A fast-paced change (sense of urgency) putting at stake the connectedness of Talents to their role and function and the strategy evolving in disengagement and quitting.
  • In a growth scenario involving mergers and acquisitions, the connection to the culture is often jeopardized, as the culture itself may be at risk.

Recognizing its significance, we advocate for a proactive approach, beginning with meticulously mapping your organization’s Talent pool before starting the change or crucial milestones. Define who are your essential Talents.

Aligning their functions and roles with your organization’s overarching strategy and culture is imperative to foster stability and coherence within the workforce and consolidate the different steps in your change.

Over the years, we have developed our own Lincoln Method and program to assist Talents and organizations in this field, bringing pragmatic results today.

A meticulous examination of several critical aspects is vital in pursuit of alignment here. This entails evaluating whether your organization harbors a distinct strategy and vision, assessing the relevance and efficacy of the communication channels you have chosen, and determining the integration of the strategy within the organizational culture and the connectedness of your Talent to it and vice-versa.  

These inquiries will then serve as a compass, guiding your organization towards a more harmonized and purpose-driven work community.





The safe zone

While rolling out our program (TIP Talent Insider Program) it became evident that one of the keys to success in working on connectedness lies in our ability to create a safe zone.

You could provide managers and leaders with the necessary training to facilitate this; however, impartiality and an objectified knowledge of the essential Talents within your organization will undoubtedly make quicker and better progress and reveal the eventual gaps and solutions more authentically.

Unveiling intrinsic motivation, aspirations and alignment with the function, role, strategy, and culture is crucial and a daring exercise where trust needs to reign at the highest level. Indeed, it is also a quite confronting one in some cases. A strategic alliance must be established between the employee/HR and the business. Organizations can more effectively navigate the complexities of the employee-employer relationship by facilitating robust communication and collaboration among these stakeholders.

(Re-) establishing this ‘connectedness’ fosters a sense of purpose and engagement and is a primary pragmatic key to making any business and culture change successful within an organization.


A more creative approach to Talent acquisition

Another noteworthy aspect highlighted in the Gartner survey is the persistent skill shortage – prompting a critical inquiry. Is there a shortage, or could a more creative approach to Talent acquisition, scouting, and nurturing Talents be the key to addressing this challenge?

Thinking outside the traditional boundaries of linear recruiting is paramount. That involves exploring alternative avenues for Talent acquisition, optimizing existing capacities, and nurturing the available Talent pool. Encouraging more daring initiatives in internal mobility and fostering proactive Talent acquisition within your internal Talent acquisition team can revolutionize the approach. Additionally, leveraging external partners more optimally becomes instrumental in overcoming eventual skill shortages and ensuring a dynamic and adaptable Talent pool.



The future is custom, or Talent made, authentic and connected.

In essence, we think embracing and adapting to these HR trends will imply a clear progression towards an increasingly personalized approach toward the Talent and the organization, ultimately improving the ‘connectedness‘ within the team and the organization. One solution does not fit all!

The solutions to the challenges presented lie within the realm of ‘Exclusive Talent Management‘, reconnecting with the core theme of our article.

Yet, with Lincoln, ‘Exclusive’ means ‘for you’ in the most personalized and authentic manner. While it may encompass the entire Talent pool, the essence of exclusivity cannot be achieved through a mass approach. Our commitment lies in advocating for an authentic and personalized method that resonates with the unique needs of each Talent within his/her context, fostering a workplace that thrives on personalization and authenticity – the only winning recipe for the future for both the Talent and its organization!

We look forward to sharing our insights and providing you with a new roadmap to navigate the evolving Talent pool dynamics and address your business concerns. Let’s connect and discuss.


  • Source GARTNER Top 5 Priorities for HR leaders in 2024 – Actionable insights to tackle challenges and plan for success.