Since the late 1970s Talent Management has been identified to be beneficial to being part of Human Resource Management, in order to enhance a firm’s short- and long-term business goals. McKinsey (2007) states “Superior talent will be tomorrow’s prime source of competitive advantage. Any company seeking to exploit it must instill a talent mind-set throughout the organization, starting at the top. “
Talent management is an approach that organisations can include in their Human Resource Management strategy, in order to systematically attract, identify, develop, engage, keep and deploy employees who are of value for the organisation (CIPD, 2013).
The term ‘talents’ identifies individuals who perform well or have growth potential within the organisation, as well as talented individuals outside the organisation.
Exclusive and inclusive talent management
There are two main approaches to talent management; the exclusive and the inclusive talent management approach.
Exclusive refers to ‘Key People’ with high performance and /or potential, irrespective of their position (Mumford, Gold, and Thorpe, 2010: 248). This approach can be beneficial for micro, small and medium organisations who aim to focus their financial resources solely on key people, for example managers who lead several employees within their line or team.
Factors that might influence organisations to use this approach might be:
- achieving short-term goals
- lack of finances
- motivation of ‘key’ influencers e.g. managers or team leaders
- need of fresh ideas
- single branch or department
- unforeseen or fast growth of the organisation
- urgency of talent development
Inclusive refers to everyone in the organisation and is seen as actually or potentially talented people who are given the opportunity and direction (Mumford, Gold, and Thorpe, 2010: 248). This approach can be of benefit for medium and large private and public organisations or enterprises with a large pool of employees.
Influencing factors might be:
- achieving short and/or long-term goals
- adhering to legal requirements e.g. Equality Act
- employer branding
- establishing a cooperate identity
- sufficient finances
- several hundred or thousands of employees
- several national and international branches or departments.
Influencing factors of choice of talent management approaches
Frameworks and approaches need to be identified and evaluated by an organisation and depending on individual business objectives, organisations can then make a choice of strategies, goals and plans that might work best.
In order to gain a basic understanding of the current needs and wants of the organisation, the HRM team could research and evaluate the 5Ws; Who, What, Where, When and Why. The findings can then be compared in regards to the business objectives. Performing an evaluation of the current workforce, for example, the productivity per employee or per team / line, to specify the required training. Similar to this approach, managers could be evaluated and the outcome can be used to develop a plan for a management development strategy.
To engage and retain talented staff, who are already employed by an organisation, it is vital to use additional and other forms of tools and processes, not only to extend the employment circle, but also to create a greater return of investment. This approach can be either exclusive or inclusive or a mix of both, depending on the objectives of the organisation.
Mangers need to advocate and promote vision and values, create and implement a strategy and while managing the team effectively (Caplan, 2011: 134). In order to do so, it is important to engage the whole organisation, department and/or team.
When evaluating the current workforce, organisations or their mangers can use questionnaires or interviews to investigate reasons for labour turnover as a means of qualitative methods or as described by Beardwell and Claydon (2010: 180) “The most common method of measuring labour turnover is to express leavers as a percentage of the average number of employees. The labour turnover index is usually calculated using the following formula: Number of leavers in specific period / Average number employed in the same period x 100%.”, as a means of quantitative method.
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Beardwell J, and Claydon, T (2010) Human Resource Management; A Contemporary Approach Sixth edition Harlow, England: Pearson Education Limited
Caplan J (2011) The Value of Talent: Promoting Talent Management Across the Organization England: Kogan Page
CIPD (2013) Talent management: an overview Online at: http://www.cipd.co.uk/hr-resources/factsheets/talent-management-overview.aspx#link_0 [Date acceded 15 December 2015]
McKinsey & Company (2007) The war for talent Online at: http://www.executivesondemand.net/managementsourcing/images/stories/artigos_pdf/gestao/The_war_for_talent.pdf [PDF] [Date acceded 15 December 2015]
Mumford A, Gold J, and Thorpe R (2010) Gower Handbook of Leadership and Management Development Fifth edition England: Gower Publishing Limited