The talent management concept is not a new term. As the world moved from the industrial age to information age, organizations realized the importance of abilities, knowledge, and skills as key assets and as an avenue of gaining competitive advantage. Things such as new products and services initiatives, pricing models or innovation can be replicated by the competitors (Usha, 2013). It is however, not easy to imitate talent. Hence, the company’s ability to recruit and select, develop, and retain talents is becoming one of the key first mover advantages. Organizations have therefore, embraced talent management to continue benefiting from these talents. In this dimension, this study purposes to cover talent management strategy, key talent management components, the process of talent management as a strategy for competitive advantage, talent management strategy and change in the next five to six years. The envisioned organization that will help in the discussion is “Last Moment Saver”, an event planning company.
Talent management strategy
Talent management implies recruiting, developing, and retaining employees who deliver stellar performance consistently. This description sheds light on what talent management strategy entails. Talent management strategy refers to a structured and deliberate approach to recruiting, retaining, and developing the most talented employees (Davis, Cutt, Flynn & Mowl, 2016). The strategy’s objective is to hire people who will deliver stellar performance consistently. “Last Moment Saver” is an event planning company. It offers event planning services in product launching and training. The company’s mission is to offer highest event planning level to companies. By doing so, the company will be able to attract and maintain the customers. The company cannot however, attain this mission and objectives without the help of employees. So far, Last Moment Saver has grown to a population of two hundred people and now wants to add ten more employees skilled in product launching and training services to provide excellent customer services and, in turn, make profit. The company will continue using the cost leadership strategy and simultaneously develop and retain talented employees. High labor turnover is a sign that the company is not performing its role of training, developing, and retaining its employees to motivate them to keep on working for the organization (Goldsmith & Carter, 2010).
Last Moment Saver will mainly use online services as part of the hiring process. The job adverts will be placed on the company’s website. Interested job candidates will be required to log on to the company’s Human Resources portal to upload their resumes. Moreover, the job adverts will be placed on career websites such as career builder. Online recruitment is cost-effective and also helps in reaching out to a large pool of job candidates (Gomez-Mejia, Balkin & Cardy, 2015). After screening-out the resumes, the selected job candidates will appear before an interviewing panel. The purpose of the interview will be to know more about the candidate while paying attention to the job descriptions, academic credentials, psychometric tests, including background checks. The interviewing will be chaired by the manager assisted by departmental heads, and two external recruiters who will be required to comply with the company’s hiring policies to eliminate biasness. After making the hiring decisions, the best candidates will receive the job offer.
The company will go ahead to invest in the new hires including the existing workers to retain them. It is costly conducting recruitment and selection exercises often as a result of a labor turnover hence, the importance of developing (via performance appraisal and management), and retaining talented employees (via rewards). Gomez-Mejia, Balkin & Cardy (2015) gave other examples of developing employees as coaching, mentoring, career counseling, and tuition assistance. The employees will also receive competitive compensation and benefits packages.
It should be noted that recruitment and selection is not the duty of the human resources department only, but rather a joined activity with the management team (Goldsmith & Carter, 2010). The company’s talent strategy is to place candidates in a position that tallies with their competencies. The company will be guided by the phrase “placing the right candidate on the right job.”
Talent management components
Word & Sowa (2017) presented the key talent management components as talent needs identification, competencies development, recruitment, training and development, and retaining and are discussed below.
Talent needs identification
Talent needs identification is also referred to as employee planning. Gap analysis besides determining the existing talents is required to identify the talent needs. Processes such as SWOT analysis can be used in identifying the needs. In addition, employees statistics such as general employee measures (assesses staffing trends and demographic patterns), recruitment measures (if the right people are being hired), and employee retention measures (measure retention efforts success, assess work environment including employee morale) can be utilized to identify the talent needs (Word & Sowa, 2017). Gap analysis and the statistics should indicate the gaps, areas requiring more talent, shifting roles and talent surplus.
After identifying the talent needs, competencies are developed to achieve strategic objectives. Competencies are the knowledge, abilities, and skills among other characteristics (Word & Sowa, 2017). Competencies are associated with high performance.
The identified competencies are then, included in the job descriptions. Marketing is essential during recruitment to attract the right persons for the vacant job positions (Word & Sowa, 2017). Also offer competitive salaries to attract the prospective candidates and promise to develop the new hires. Sources such as print advertisements, employee referrals, and career websites can be used to generate qualified candidates pool.
Training and development
Training has a positive impact on the knowledge, attitudes, and skills of the employees. It makes the employees to become more effective. This is because the employees are trained on lacking skills for instance, how to operate a new machine. On the other hand, development is initiatives which affect the skills or knowledge for personal growth or future jobs purpose. Training and development aids in improving retention and job satisfaction. The organizations that shine in talent management continuously develop the workforce. The concept normally considers performance management whereby, the employees are assessed focused on standards set linked to job descriptions. Talent management factors are adopted to evaluate employees and identify talent eligible for great responsibilities (Word & Sowa, 2017). A future development plan can be created once the competencies needed for improvement are understood and the development gap has been identified. Furthermore, there is the possibility of continuing working for the company when talents are recognized for accomplishing set goals.
Retaining talents takes into account rewarding the employees. Together with the above talent management components, rewards minimize labor turnover (Word & Sowa, 2017). It is costly reinstating the employees hence, the significance of retaining them.
Talent management process and competitive advantage
Organizations are interested in attaining their strategic objectives and mission. This calls for a thorough comprehension of the resources needed to attain these objectives and mission. Human capital is the best resource as employees are major contributors of objectives and mission attainment by offering the services. Usha (2013) reported that sourcing outstanding people has become a priority in the contemporary world. Because of stiff competition, talent management has been seen as the main strategy of finding out and filling the lacking skill by recruiting worthy individuals. Smart companies know that competitive advantage can be gained if star talents are attracted, hired, and retained.
Talent management is therefore, a continuous process which begins from targeting people. The process controls employee entry and exit. Rathod (2014) defined talent management as a process that is systematic and involves the identification, assessment, development, and retaining people with required competencies, knowledge, and skills. The strategies meant to increase productivity that is, by developing processes for attracting, developing, retaining, and using people with the needed aptitude and skills to meet future and current business needs are implemented (Rathod, 2014). The competitors including the ever-changing business environment has forced organizations to manage talents or wait and see their employee skills declared redundant and face extinction.
Usha (2013) went a step further to highlight the talent management process stages to comprehend the talent management concept. These are understanding requirement (the goal is to establish talent requirement. The activities are job specifications and job description development). This is followed by sourcing talent, attracting, recruiting, selecting, training and development, retention, promotion, competency mapping, performance appraisal, career planning, succession planning, and exit (for instance, when the person retires) respectively. The process is sophisticated hence, difficult to deal with (Usha, 2013). The entire process main objective is “placing the right person at the right place at the right time” (p. 43). The key concern is establishing a right match between the individual and job.
Generally speaking, talent management has recently received attention because of skilled employees’ shortage, especially the managers. Talent management strategies enable development by identifying talented employees and making sure that they get the needed support (Rathod, 2014). Talent management strategies are linked to the general business strategy and are meant to make sure that competitive advantage is maintained over the long-term.
The employees can be motivated to greatness by aligning talent management with company strategy, defining leadership criteria that is consistent across all areas, and identifying certain competencies to develop to foster growth. Employers must comprehend talent management significance and must develop a strategy to attract and retain the needed talent to succeed. Competitive advantage can be gained by engaging the key talent management components. In addition, the present environment has led to a change from generic management programs to targeted programs basing on succession planning and major roles (Rathod, 2014). Organizations are therefore, concentrating on the selection of sub-groups for example, potential candidates to be managed as a first mover advantage over the rivals.
Talent management should improve performance and flexibility. It should also grant the tools and information needed for change, growth, acquisitions, crucial new product and service initiatives. Communication and integration among functions is needed to implement the talent management strategy. Training must be matched with recruitment process and performance management. Training programs must be developed and updated to solve issues surrounding performance management. The new hires must see a training set which complements and emphasize on their competencies. Additionally, compensation programs must relate to the performance process. Second, take note of competency management importance. The job descriptions, competencies, and roles utilized for performance management are also used during succession planning and recruiting. Competencies can be utilized effectively by listing a few set of understandable, consistent competencies applicable across the organization. The last point is software solutions maturity. The complete software for managing talent has not yet been developed. Companies buy single systems such as performance management system to solve issues. As companies advocate for integration and as markets become mature, the vendors will develop integrated solutions (Usha, 2013). Companies should however, plan to integrate own business process to overcome the challenge of using the integrated tool set.
Change in talent management
The talent management strategy will be influenced by the talent management plan. The process basics will not be changed. Instead, they will be adjusted to portray employee behavior and culture differences. As the organization is expected to double in size, competent leadership will play a role in business success and growth. Overall, talent is relied on to execute tasks. Employees will be the key assets. The skills, knowledge, and abilities acquired by employees via talent management will be the key success factor. Superior talent management practices will therefore, be the gateway to business growth. As the market is facing talent shortage and as talented employees services are being competed for, the focus will be on internal development. Bringing in new talents can be a nice thing due to the benefits of workforce diversity however, hiring new faces is costly and time consuming to on-board as a way of quickly adapting to the organization processes (Goldsmith & Carter, 2010). Therefore, internal promotion via succession planning will be essential to succeed.
Last Moment Saver’s talent management strategy will start from the attraction and selection of the new hires to their development and retaining. The company’s talent strategy will be guided by the phrase “placing the right candidate on the right job.” The discussed key talent management components are talent needs identification, competencies development, recruitment, training and development, and retaining. Talent management is a process that is systematic and involves the identification, assessment, development, and retaining people with required competencies, knowledge, and skills. The competitors including the ever-changing business environment has forced organizations to manage talents to gain competitive advantage or wait and see their employee skills declared redundant and face extinction. Competitive advantage can be gained by engaging the key talent management components. There are ways to implement the talent management strategies. These are communication and integration among functions, managing competency, and software solutions maturity with vendors developing integrated software solutions for managing talents.
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Word, J., & Sowa, J. (2017). The nonprofit human resource management handbook: From theory to practice. New York, N.Y.: Taylor & Francis.