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For a long time, conventional human resource management either underestimated or ignored the role played by talent management in the process of recruiting employees. until recently, and due to the impact of globalization and changing marketing trends, strategic human resource management that integrates an incorporates talent and knowledge management has been adopted and implemented by quite a number of leading organisations.
Indeed, great goals and objectives set forth by a business organisation may not be achieved by an ordinary professional workforce; it is vital to integrate individuals with specific talents to realize the very goals. It is against this background that this paper explores the irrefutable role played by talent in modern human resource management while at the same time debunking the myth that talent management is a fancy term with negligible influence in human resource management.
Talent management is a recent development in human resource practices as many organisations are now shifting from traditional ways of recruiting and retaining high skilled employees. while talent management may be perceived in other quotas as a fancy name for human resource or personnel development, it is imperative to note that there needs to be a paradigm shift in the modalities used by organisations to hire employees in order to survive in this hypercompetitive and dynamic world economy (Chaffey & Wood, 2006).
Besides, organisations that are prudent enough in managing human resource clearly understand that achieving best organisational outcomes requires more than just professionalism in the workforce; some talent has to identified, nurtured and retained.
Data obtained from most empirical research studies demonstrate that managing talent has consistently grown to become one of the integral concerns when managing organizations. Needless to say, there are myriad of interplaying factors that have necessitated this paradigm shift in hiring employees.
For instance, the changing business trends as well as the cultural, social, economical and demographic aspects have largely impacted organisations on a global scale in the sense that managing human capital has turned out to the launch pad for impressive organizational performance (Boxall & Purcell, 2011).
The manner in which managers respond to these emerging environmental factors determines both the speed and scope in which talent is identified and developed among employees. Furthermore, as the gap between the aforementioned factors widen with respect to organizational performance, it becomes quite tricky and challenging as well to sustain talent within a given a workforce.
While we continue to appreciate the relative importance of talent within an organisational set up, is also vital to note that there is insufficient supply of talent today in most organisations. Right from the top of the organisation leadership hierarchy, talent gaps are eminent. Worse still, the lower and middle level cadre is not spared either. Hence, the fact that talent is increasingly becoming a rare element in human resource implies that its management should be optimal.
This paper aims at not only refuting the claim that talent management is a fancy ideal in human resource development, it also seeks to clarify why specific, general, short and long term objectives of an organisation may be cumbersome to meet when there are visible gaps in talent management.
People who are highly talented differ greatly from the rest of the workforce in an organisation. Although roles and responsibilities may be equally assigned to both the talented and untalented personnel, the former is expected to deliver more and beyond the ordinary level. At the same, a talented employee has more expectations just from fellow colleagues but more so from the employer.
At this point, it is vital to point out that an organisation that hires and manages talent should also be ready to compensate the very talent at a relatively higher cost in order to retain the unique natural ability. In real sense, it is quite costly to maintain a talented employee at workplace both in terms of the two-way traffic expectations as well as the monetary compensation needed.
One of the outstanding characteristic of a talented employee is the extreme ability to think differently and translate the same thoughts to action within a very short time. In the event that the co-workers cannot quickly grasp the fine details of a particular task, a talented worker is easily bored.
More difficult and challenging responsibilities are preferred to smooth sailing tasks. as much as they can handle complex problems within their area of expertise, most research studies on talent management reveal that talented people are intrinsically complex in their own way and it may sometimes be cumbersome to fully understand them (Antonelli, Geuna & Steinmueller, 2000).
Indeed, these attributes of talented people calls for a non-traditional perspective and approach when handling them at workplace. The fact that talented people are naturally smart in their specific areas of specialization explains why organizations need to hire such personalities offer help but not be guided on what to do.
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Talent flow within an organisation and the way it is strategically hired, developed, nurtured and retained are all components of talent management. Although a business organisation or institution may opt to settle for trained professionals, the process of aligning the right personnel with jobs that suits them most demands more than just professionalism and training.
Indeed, the availability of sufficient and most productive labour supply requires cross-section of talent management throughout an organisation as per the broad objectives of a business organisation.
Hence, talent management surpasses the simple thought of a fancy idea carved out of human resource practices. Realistically, optimizing competitive advantage in employees through an integrated and holistic approach should be the actual mindset in talent management (Bowen & Ostroff, 2004). Thus, talent management is not a simple and narrow concept that seeks to fashion out human resource development at workplace.
Any organisation that is seeking to deliver a single profound benefit both its objectives and employees may not ignore the innumerable positive outcomes brought about by talent management. Moreover, it is a human resource process that attempts to deploy and retain the right people in their rightful jobs within an organisation by identifying, developing, engaging and systematically attracting talent rather than just training.
As such, hiring talent to suffice labour needs within an organizational set up is crucial since there may be foreseeable future labour needs than an organisation is looking forward to or some current critical roles that such talents are desperately needed. All the components of the life cycle of an employee are covered in talent management, including performance management, succession, development and selection (Fey & Bjorkman 2001).
For talent management to be successful in an organisation there are quite a number of key compliments that the management should bear in mind. As already mentioned in the earlier part of this literature review, talent management is more of a process than an instantaneous act.
Hence, an organisation wishing to adopt and implement talent management in its human resource system should be able to fully and clearly comprehend the business strategies of the given organisation both at the present and future time. In addition, the existing gaps that exist between the available talent and what is needed by the organisation to run its human resource needs should also be assessed. When a comparison has been drawn between the two extremes, it will be possible o fill the employment gap therein.
On the same note, bridging the talent gaps at workplace also requires a thorough talent management plan that has incorporated and integrated both the strategic and business plan for the organisation. This will assist in decisions related to hiring, promoting and demoting of employees based on their individual abilities to perform.
Similarly, the end performance results where talent has been incorporated during production process should connect the corporate goals with those of individual employees, teams or departments within an organisation. When this is attained in talent management, it will be possible to offer feedbacks and clear expectations on behalf of both the employees and organisation in question (Areiqat, Abdelhadi & Al-Tarawneh, 2010).
Enhancing the performance of individual employees may also be an uphill task if talent is not developed. It is paramount to note that employees need to be prepared, in terms of capacity building, to effectively manage their current positions and future responsibilities. Therefore, the integral components required for maximum utilization of talent should be part and parcel of the strategy used to manage hired talent. Emphatically, an evaluation on the impact of the talent employed is necessary after execution of the devised strategies.
As can be observed, talent management is a broad human resource concept and application that cannot be roughly taken as a fancy term used by HR professionals. Moreover, attracting employees who have been perceived to be highly potential is not the ultimate goal for an organisation wishing to accelerate its growth pattern. It is overly necessary to retain and develop those individuals.
Most organisations today are up in arms trying to identify specific talents each employee is endowed with and also developing the very talents so that they can realize positive returns on investment. It is against this backdrop that the inadequate role played by human resource practices has been identified by most practitioners as a stumbling block in managing employees effectively.
The existing talent gap in HR has been aggravated by the increasingly competitive business environment as well as the aftermath of rapid globalization (Harris, Craig & Egan, 2010). By fact, the emergence of strategic human resource management (SHRM) was as a result of transforming the conventional and outdated human resource practices that did not secure any room for harnessing, developing and utilising talent (Antonelli, Geuna, & Steinmueller, 2000).
Strategic human resource management largely deals with how human resource needs can be strategically managed in an organisation in order to improve work output. It is a rather new approach and concept towards the management of human resource in comparison to technical human resource management (Fey & Bjorkman, 2001).
In addition, the basic function of strategic human resource management lies within the designation and implementation of quite a number of managerial policies within an organisation with a broad objective of ensuring that the available human resource management significantly contributes to the productivity of an organisation.
When business strategy is combined with the human resource management function as well as talent management, strategic human resource management would reflect a relatively resilient plan of not only utilizing human resource to the optimum but also driving an organisation towards a competitive edge.
The concept of fit and talent management may not be discussed in isolation since both terms are closely related and interlinked. The concept of fit is primarily the process of melding the human resource function within the strategic goals of an organisation (Wei & Lau, 2005).
There are quite a number of conceptual illustrations that have demonstrated that the design and implementation of sets of strategic human resource practices may not be coherent at all owing to the fact that the concept of ‘fit’ has not been understood well. Realistically, the concept of fit and the talent management lay much emphasis in improving the capacity of a firm in responding to the external factors especially those related to the hiring and utilization of human resource.
In order to carry out research study on talent management, both qualitative and quantitative research methodology can be employed. For instance, a recruitment and retention committee charged with the duty of identifying, hiring and retaining ‘high potential’ or talented employees can be used for quantitative study of talent in strategic human resource management. On the other hand, qualitative analysis of secondary data collected from previously conducted research studies on talent management is also vital as a research methodology.
Strategic human resource management is one of the core activities of talent management as believed by most advancing organisations (Oehley & Theron, 2010). some research studies have unanimously concluded that talent management and human resource development are indeed inseparable in term of application if an organisation is to remain profitable both in the hard and smooth economic times.
Besides, the market supply of talented employees is still dismal, partly because most organisations have not designed, adopted and implemented talent managanment designs that reflect the needs of their respective organisations and the business environment. In any case, organisations have been found to compete stiffly not in terms of an ‘effective labour force’ but in relation to how much talent they can attract, develop and retain their human resource development.
In simple terms, this implies that talent management as a process entails three main steps namely identifying people within an organisation who have a naturally high potential to deliver in their areas of ability and interest, assessing their specific areas of interest and finally assigning them the various responsibilities based on the two criteria.
The logic behind this reasoning is that it is highly likely for talented employees to be attracted by other organisations and of course recruited elsewhere if they are not assigned their specific areas of interest and ability (Oehley & Theron, 2010). This can be economically detrimental to the organization losing such a talent.
According to the humanistic perspective of human resource and talent management, the competence of employees can best be built when interventions and activities surrounding the two types of management in human resource are well coordinated (Saini, 2010). Better still; a well coordinated talent management plan with human resource development will definitely lead to motivation of employees since they will be able to quantify their efforts against individual and organizational goals set beforehand.
Knowledge is bestowed in people. Successful organisations often invest in people with specific talents to attain their goals since individual talented people superficially store the much needed knowledge. Indeed, one way of achieving better knowledge management in human resource management is by developing stronger networks between high potential employees and other professionals (Pinkerton, 2003).
This can be termed as a professional network and its main purpose is to exchange, disseminate as well as compare the available knowledge as part and parcel of nurturing or building the identified talent. In addition, connecting people with other sources of knowledge entails developing a rigorous capacity and building program. This can be achieved through training, workshops and seminars.
Although such undertaking are often done periodically, it is quite necessary for organisations involved in serious information management to adopt the system as a continuous and on-going process throughout the life of an organisation (Chaffey & Wood, 2006). Unless this is done, new innovative methods of production may be missed out and consequently lose out in the market competition.
Nonetheless, in an organisational scenario where there is a stable pool of well managed talent, it is possible to merge knowledge easily using values paths. In connection to this an organization is expected to harmonize and re-engineer its workforce through a recognizable and well outlined hierarchy. In order to connect people with the right information each individual worker should not only be placed in an environment that is rich in information but should also be equipped in a smarter way on how to use the very information (Maier, 2007).
Furthermore it is pertinent to note that for an organization to attain a competitive edge in a dynamic market; employees who have been recruited through talent search should be motivated using the various motivational means available. Although each organization often crave for growth and profitability, the latter may not be achieved unless its talented workforce is well connected or endowed with the right information (Antonelli, Geuna & Steinmueller, 2000).
In order to create a platform where by knowledge can be shared among the employees in building the capacity of workers, prospective organization ought to adopt and embrace externalization, socialization, internalisation and combination model. When the four elements are properly harnessed, knowledge can be created within a short span of time and also be made available to employees. Indeed, this should be the right way to place talent in an environment that is conducive and enriched with viable information.
The system adopted by Carillon Health System (CHS) is a critical case study on the paradigm shift from conventional human resource management that did not embrace talent management to strategic human resource management (Pinkerton, 2003). This system was applied with the aim of hiring and retaining talented employees. The system has been found to be beneficial in quite a number of ways.
For instance, it is possible to share resources economically with the use of this system. Additionally, the duplication of roles and responsibilities is significantly minimized alongside providing a wider forum for creative approaches and ideas that are essential when carrying out the process of recruiting and retaining talent.
In recap, it is pertinent to reiterate that talent management is no longer a fancy term used by human resource professionals. The radical shift to strategic human resource management from traditionally valued technical human resource saw the relative importance of integrating the aspect of talent when recruiting employees.
This has been occasioned by the rapidly changing business environment that demands equal measure of not only restructuring organizational leadership but also identifying, hiring, nurturing and retaining people with high potential to meet the short and long term goals of an organisation. Further, talent management has also been incorporated in knowledge management by connecting talented people with other professionals as part and parcel of boosting their overall performance.
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