Talent Management. Principles, Importance and Challenges in Contemporary Organizations

Project Report 2017 42 Pages

Leadership and Human Resource Management - Miscellaneous


Table of Content

Problem Statement
Significance of the Study
Conceptualization of Talent Management

Talent Management Objectives

Talent Management Principles
Talent Management Principles- The Strategic Process

Talent Management Principles- Strategic Formulative Process
Talent Management Principles- Strategic Implementation and Modification Process

Importance of Talent Management
Importance of Talent Management- Practical Framework

Challenges to Talent Management
Challenges to Talent Management- The Influences

Talent Management- Final Remarks



Talent management is the most applauded strategy in current organization management. Thus the study attempted in exploring the role of talent management in relation to organizational strategic competitive advantage. Data were collected by use of simple random sampling that provided open ended structured questionnaires and interviews to 100 people working in different organizations, both public and private located in Arusha Tanzania and also from literature reviews. The results helped to define not only the objective of talent management in organizations, but also to draw some important operational principles, emphasizing significance of talent management in organizations and the challenges facing it by qualitative description. Generally talent management has been proved to be of vital importance in contemporary organizations as they are faced with competition. This importance seems to be beyond normal imagination. However more studies and refinement to cope up with the ever changing business environment should be a continuous agenda within talent management.

Key words: Talents; talent management; talent attraction; talent development; talent retention; and strategic competitive advantage.



The globe has changed its perspective of what organizations should be held accountable for and how they should perform. In te past success in financial performance was enough, but today shareholders and similarily stakeholders demand organizations to have positive impact not only on people but on the environment too. When we include the environment we are very much concern with the sustainability not only of the organizations, but other current and future organizations as well as the society at large.

In this articulation people seem to be of paramount in arriving to that necesssity. Like any other useful resource in the organizational and societal development, people or human resources need to be replenished for sustainance. One of the areas for sustainance of the people in the organizations or rather the human resources is the talents they have. This had made the concept of human resources to gain an unimaginable impetus and giving it a radical change toward organizational development. Convincingly filling in this demand is the talent management, the management of people’s intrinsic possession, the very distinctive abilities that are sought to revamp organizational performance. This new demand has made the human resources to be among the delicacy, delicate and also deliquescent resources in the organization. In line with this, Chowhan, Sharma and Sharma (2016) declare that talent management is further strategically important, because organizations through it are able to manage downsizing, expansion and structural alignment.

In that manner talent is the sole item which differentiate between individuals working in the same organization and consequently make a significant distinction between an organization that is thriving and the one that is stagnant, struggling or declining. Hence talent management is explicitly linked to sustainability of the organization. Therefore talent management recognizes that for organizations to be exemplary successful they need competitive resources among them are the highly skillful workforce possessed.

Emphatically for organization to exhibit high performance its ability to perform exemplary against social requirement or market screening, financial sustainability, and environmental specification become the core elements. This requires an eye from the management that has an inclusive approach that is critical to fully integrating sustainable effectiveness into strategies, operations and evaluations. In such an approach we find ourselves staked in the talent management again since talent management is pressumably among the most important human resources aspect in current organizations and also in Organizational Sustainable Management (OSM). However talent management should not be equated to the end product, but rather it is the process in sustaining both organization strategic development and human resources in attaining organizational competitive advantage. Therefore talent management becomes not only a priority but a necessity in contemporary organizations.

Problem Statement

Though talent management is considered as an important aspect in contemporary organization, there is a misconstrued notion between its founding human resources management. Lack of proper understanding not only make its usefulness vague but of less important thus not beneficial. Though talent management introduces new strategic goals to streamline most of the function of human resources, many actors seem to think that it has replaced the human resources management. Thus this study through the talent management principles, importance and challenges redefine the position of talent management in the whole process of human resources management.


A recent survey was conducted in Arusha City in Tanzania in facilitating and fulfilling the requirement of this study. A sample of 100 people working in four organizations, two from the public and two from the private sector was utilized. The methodology incorporated was mainly interviews and questionnaires together with intensive literature review as referenced. This was intended to clarify the position of talent management in our organizations. Furthermore simple random sampling was used to get the sample for this study. The strategy and design were chosen due to simplicity in operation and accessibility to the sample. Hence the sample participated from four organizations by providing their responses to the questions in the questionnaire papers and verbal interviews.

These organizations were two from the public and the other two from the private. Moreover two of them were high learning institutions, one from each side and the other two were health oriented organizations but also each from one side. The finds were scrutinized, categorized and hence being discussed along in this study. The data collected were useful in describing and interpreting qualitatively to find the meaning in relation to this study.

Significance of the Study

The study has been significant in understanding the way Tanzanians business as well as public organizations perceive talent management in lieu of global development. It also helps in shaping our articulation and re-evaluation toward a broad demand in facing the challenges that might not be unique to these organizations only but also provide expertise worldwide. It again can help actors in streamlining and strategizing their approaches to talent management in their organizations.

Conceptualization of Talent Management

The concept of talent management should be looked within the circumstance whereby not all organizatons are able to attract and retain the best human resources. It is true and a common practice whereby we find one organization is able to attract the best workforce from another who is thought to be a prominent competitor by issuing some more and encouraing incentives. This may be in terms of promises beyond the normal circle of monetary, but toward a good working environment. Such an occurrency is not an easy job but however it is an usually common trend in oranizations. It starts by aiming at the induviduals thought of and designing and implementing all the posible influences to scoop them in the organization for their competency and experience which need not only personal traits but also their mental application. In this case the strategy approach plays a very crucial role.

However many times organizations find themselves incapable as they don’t have strategic plans. A strategic plan need to start with creation of a particular office for analysing the organzational strength and opportunities against its weaknesses and challenges. This office need not be the human resources office though it may form part of. The undertaking of talent management within the organization should be a very crucial function. The analysis should include identification of organizational needs and pegged against the qualification, skills and experience required. This should be followed by a systematic search and let them avail for organzational usefulness. However this process is a never ending course of action that requires utility of resources.

Then what is talent management? The best way of looking unto the concept of talent manaement is segmenting the two words, talent and management. In ancient world a talent in Romans and Greeks was recognized to be a measure of something valuable like the current money does in todays business. So a talent was an ancient unit of weight and value. For example in a Hebrew business a talent was gold or silver disk, but in Greek economy talent or tálanton, was a large monetary measurement equal to about 6,000 denarii. A denarii was a silver coin originally worth ten asses.

But again a talent is recognizes as a special natural ability or aptitude. Most dictionaries including the World English and the Merriam-Webster dictionaries define talent as innate ability, aptitude, or faculty, especially when unspecified; above average ability. They say talent is the general intelligence or mental power, creative, or artistic aptitude. But again they define talent as a natural ability to be good at something, especially without being taught. The word talent has originated from old french, talent, from Middle Latin talenta, a plural form of talentum which means inclination, leaning, will, desire. In other words a talent is a total sum of considerable, exceptional, apprehensive, great, natural, definitely sizable, uncommon, real, remarkable, undoubted ability which can be desposed by and from an individual for the use and benefit not only of the self but also for others. In the words of Chowhan, Sharma and Sharma (2016) talent is a behavior; things we do more easily than the next person. From this observation talent differentiate from one people to another in a social entity like an organization; to make them behave distinctively in the manner they are doing things. But again Williams (2000) referring to people say talents are high flyers who reach the top appear to be very clear about who they are and what they believe in. This definition at least does not segregate people from what they have intrinsically.

Generally we can say it is an exception ability for someone to excel when given a certain task or duty to perform. These are special attributes which normally are thought to be unusual and exceptional and most organizations strive to bench mark and possess them. However in the parable of the talent in the bible Jesus seem to signify something valuable entrusted to the stewards. If we combine these ideas then the talent is something valuable and implanted with some innate ability to certain persons, and being disposed for common use. Therefore the talent must be recognized by others not self and being appreciated by them. It is a behavior within somebody but that can be reproduced for the benefit of the others. Therefore talents cannot exist in a hiding place, they are visible and appreciatable by the majority.

Then as the name suggests, Talent Management is the ability of the organization in managing the competencies, skills and the attitudes of the workers in that particular organization so as to increase productivity and its competitive advantages. In the words of Bersin (2006), the talent management incorporate such functions which are buying, building, and stitching together performance management systems, succession planning systems, and competency management systems. He continue to his assertion that this is a new development in the humanresouces. This expression from Bersin is more concern with the expectation of talent management. Then we may redefine his definition by saying talent management is buying, building, and stitching together performance management systems, succession planning systems, and competency management.

But again Silzer and Dowell (2009) define talent management as an intergrated set of processes, programs and cultural norms in organization designed and implemented to attract, develop, deploy and retain talent to achieve strategic objectives and meet future business needs. The definition from Silzer and Dowell help in understanding that talent management is not a one time act, but a continuous operation. However many scholars concern much on what it does but the components of talent management are simply grooming, developing and sharpening of the human resources to be of exceptionally useful in the organization. Again Knez and Ruse (2004) define talent management as the identification, development and management of talent portifolio; the quality of employees that will most effectively fulfill the company’s strategic and operating objective. Like Silzer and Dowell (2009), Knez and Ruse (2004) relate talent management to distinctive but stratified and linked processes. Comparatively Stockley (2007) declare that talent management is a conscious, deliberate approach undertaken to attract, develop and retain people with the aptitude abilities to meet current and future organizational needs.

Talent management is an act of handling, directing and controlling star performers: Those who possess special natural ability or aptitude (Rothwell, 2009). Though Rothwell defines it as an act but by using the continuos verbs the implication is well captured to be a process rather than a one time action. Therefore talent management is intrinsic to what people in an organization possess, which are very unique and important in contrast to common human resource notion that treats people almost crudily. Therefore from the talent management perspective people are not only resourceful but also they are as well valuable. How then does talent management look like and differentiate itself from the common human resources? Stahl et al (in Collings, Mellahi & Cascio, 2017) clarify that organizational talent management includes internally consistent, complimentary, and reinforced practices utilized to attract, select, develop, evaluate, and retain talented employees.

All these definitions retaliate talent management to be inclusive with at least three common things: Attracting, developing and retaining the best talented workforce in the organization (Rabbi et al, 2015). But also the definitions help in mentioning the purpose for such procedures: fulfilling the oranizational strategic competitive advantage within the climate of business. Therefore from the above defintions the concepts of talent and talent management become of critical importance to organizational functioning in the atmosphere of searching and redifining the organizational position in a competitive market as far as the human resources is concern. The proposition is that an organization with enormous talents that are managed properly can excell to the peak of excellence perfomance within a specified period of time. In other word with other items remaining constant the talent management is viewed as the most effetive approach to organizational quality performance in light of organizational strategic framework. Hence talent management is a key to and proportionally related to organizational performance management. These definitions serve as a litmus for understanding the concepts of talent management and its role; designing the purpose of talent management; formulating the principles; its importance and challenges in our contemporary organizations.

Talent Management Objectives

Talent management imply that there are no hard and fast rules or even consistence for succeeding in execution of management practices. What may seem to be the right ricipe for one organization may be ineffective to another. Therefore this gives room for flexibility in relation to the business opportunities and the challenges ahead. But still there are certain basic objectives of talent management that seem to be of practical importance. In the same survey conducted in Arusha City in Tanzania the sample revealed that the main objectives of talent management were managing the overstaffing and redundance dilemma; managing the talent mismatching hazards; getting back talent investment equivalent; and harmonization of the talents’ interests in organization. These are seen in the Chart 1 and being discussed here below. However the range from the lowest (HTIO) to the highest (MORD) was not so big.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Chart 1: Talent Management Objectives (Source: Survey, 2017)

Managing the Overstaffing and Redundance Dilemma (MORD): Since there is a fight to ensure the organizations are getting the best talents suitable to sustain them in the market, there is a tendance to stock every talent in their organizations. By having a larger stock of talents many of the people who continue in this set become redundance and hence start searching for other choices and move when they are not advanced to certain position of representation and expectation. In such a condition it is viable to keep the organizational talent stock at a minimum and manageable, allowing recruitment of more from time to time whenever it is seen necessary and also replacing those who are leaving the organization. In order not to affect the organization in skills deficit and culture the recruitment should be either internal or from the external market. While internal recruitment may sound easier, cost effective and cultural consistent, but external recruitment is the best due to its impartation of new options and innovations that are important especially when the organization intends for organizational changes.

Such decisions and processes are taken by implying on what to be done whether to buy from outside or to modify from within. The accuracy in the demand forecast will help this. This imply the understanding on the time period the talent is needed in the organization and if the organization can afford to develop within. Therefore whatever the course of action but they can better help the talent management to decide on whether to develop or buy talent.

Managing the Talent Mismatching Hazards (MTMH): In human resources and particularly talent management anticipations for future an organization can become worsen at the same time fail to accept the wrong steps. Organizations may find themselves stocked with more of similar talent rather than their demand. This may create a wrong investiment in the talents, that do not match with the organizational plans and the market. This can be due to the problems in forecasting talent demands for future business needs because of the many uncertainty involved. The reason for uncertainty can be due to the nature of unknown things to come, the unknown consequences, the margin or magnitude of circumstances, the situation, or the unpredictable occurence, and the possible outcomes that are not revealed. It is therefore very important to familiarize the career plans with the business or organizational plans. Both development and retention programs need to be converged together for future trends and organizational success.

Getting Back Talent Investment Equivalent (GBTIE): Investing in the talents by developing them is costing but both vitually and visciously important and motivational. However the cost for running such programs are ever increasingly. Both return on capital employed (ROCE) and return on investment (ROI) are business fomulae that determine the organization’s strategy especially when it think about investing in talents. These are assessments in the organization that intend to contrast and compare the organization’s revenue with the total expenses it incurrs.

Hence there is a need for organizations to reduce upfront costs in developing of the talents. The main and cheaper talent delivery options alternatives can be internal training and development cost shairing. That is to say a portion of total development costs that is necessarily related to sponsored programs will not be provided by the organization, and can be in terms of facilities or in kind. This will help the organization to recover the investment more conducively. Consistence to this organizations also require a restructure on their talent retention strategy to improve employee retention. That is to say talents developed will be given longer service tems in the organization as far as they prove to be of prime importance for competitive advantages.

Other examples for retentioning programs can involve incentives in the form of education assistence to children, medical facilities to the worker and the imediate family memebrs and so on. Still spotting the talent at early stages that allows identified talents to be given opportunities before they get it elsewhere which may reduce the risk. Therefore retrieving back talent investment equivalent need to be one of the objectives of the organization, thus it should not waste in other resources.

Harmonization of the Talents’ Interests in Organization (HTIO): Basically human resources are vested with personal interest, choices and options. The common trend in organization of bestowing to them what is needed may not prove very functional. For talent growth and aspiration the human resources should be given room to decide on what exactly will be fitting for their personal and career development. This will allow the human resource to search for options that seem to be of their best interest at the same time with conjugation with the administration fitting in. This prompt the social model of the workforce and organizational structure obstacles to be refined congruently and thus become operative.

The forementioned objectives are just streamlined toward abroad application that varies across industries and organizational cultures. However the objectives of talent management seem to be centralized to attraction, development and retantion.



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talents talent management talent attraction talent development talent retention strategic competitive advantage



Title: Talent Management. Principles, Importance and Challenges in Contemporary Organizations