Talent Management : Factors Affecting Talent Management

Topics: Economics


The paper will reveal the definitions about talent, talent management and discuss factors affecting the talent management including the employee competencies and working environment. This paper finally concluded that according to experts, talent management is a vital factor towards organizational success. Choosing the right talent with the right competencies and providing the conducive working environment will lead to organization effectiveness. . 0INTRODUCTION Since a group of McKinsey consultants coined the phrase The War for Talent in the late 1990s, the topic of talent management has become one of the hottest issues for management academics, consultants and practitioners alike (Colling, D.

G et al. ). Talent is considered the most critical source of success in an organization. Thus, talent management is fundamentally about ensuring that the right people are positioned in the right places and utilized to the fullest potential for optimal success of the organization.

Top business leaders clearly understand their talent pools. For most companies, the total cost of human capital is the single biggest expense line in the income statement (Echols, 2008).

Organizations know that they must have the best talent in order to succeed in the hypercompetitive and increasingly complex global economy . Along with the understanding of the need to hire, develop, and retain talented people, organizations are aware that they must manage talent as a critical resource to achieve the best possible results. ( Wellins, R. S. , Smith, A. B. & Erker, S. , 2010). They work hard to identify the key players who have critical relationships with customers and suppliers, and then work even harder to nurture and keep those key resources.

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A number of business leaders have asserted that coming up with the best talent for their companies is the most important task they have to perform. Some, like former GE Chairman Jack Welch and Honeywell International’s Larry Bossidy, spent a signi? cant amount of time searching for the best talent within their own employee pools, hoping to build leadership that way.

Both Welch and Bossidy have frequently said that all the great strategies in the world will have little effect on a company unless the right people are chosen to execute those strategies. Steve Miller, the most successful turnaround CEO, clearly connects talent and execution. This master of execution rescued Federal-Modul, Waste Management, Reliance Group, Aetna, Bethlehem Steel, and Delphi, among others. One of his ? rst tasks as a new CEO was to ? nd the critical talent who could exercise the plans to save the company (Miller, 2008).

Leaders understand this and put a premium on keeping the talent they need for growth. They do what is necessary to ensure that key people are secure and do not leave the organization. Therefore what is talent and talent management? What are factors that are influencing the talent management in an organization?


According to Buckingham and Clifton (2001) talent refers to a natural recurring pattern of thought, feeling or behavior that can be productively applied. Talent in human resource is the most valuable asset to the organization. It is one of the source of competitive advantage.

Lawler(2008) stated that more than any other assets, talent provides the potential for long-term competitive advantage. It plays major roles towards the organization success. Skills and knowledge must be acquired, whereas talent naturally exists within people. This can be referred as strengths, which are made up of a combination of knowledge, skills, and talents. People’s talents are innate, whereas skills and knowledge can be acquired through learning and practice. When talent is augmented with knowledge and skill, the results become individual strengths.

The critical talent are the employees who drive a major part of the company’s business performance and generate above-average value for customers and shareholders. Typically, the critical talent possesses highly developed skills and deep knowledge. They don’t just “do their jobs,” but go above and beyond to contribute to the organization’s success. Surprisingly, these are not always the high-tech or highest paid employees, but often the backbone employees who are seldom mentioned in the annual report. Take FedEx, for example, the world’s largest overnight package delivery company.

One report suggested that the couriers might be more critical to the operation than the pilots who ? y the packages through the night. The couriers have direct contact with the customers and must make continual decisions that impact ef? ciency and the effectiveness of the supply chain such as how to recon? gure a route and how long to wait for a customer’s packages (Deloitte Research, 2004). Talent plus skills and knowledge is the ingredients towards a better talent for any organization. Andrew (2011) posits that talent is an asset that must be managed effectively if a business is to grow and remain competitive.


Talent management important towards organization success. Therefore, what is talent management? According to Capelli (2008), talent management is simply a matter of anticipating the need for human capital and then setting out a plan to meet it. Talent in the organization refers to the top achievers and the ones inspiring others to superior performance. Talent is the core competencies of the organization and represents a small percentage of the employees (Berger & Berger, 2004). Talent management is not just a new fancy word for finding and developing employees (Laff, 2006).

Talent management requires a systematic view that calls for dynamic interaction between many functions and processes (Cunningham, 2007). It is an ongoing, proactive activity (Schweyer, 2004). Talent management is about attracting, identifying recruiting, developing, motivating, promoting and retaining people that have a strong potential to succeed within an organization (Laff, 2006, Berger & Berger, 2004, Schweyer, 2004). According to Albrecht & Clarey (2007), talent management is the process where the strategy of collecting the individuals that have the skills, knowledge and behaviors to help the company perform well.

Part of it is the ability to attract the talents in accordance with the organization needs. The issue regarding to the above statement is, what are the factors affecting talent management in an organization? As talent management is concerned with sourcing talent, integrating and aligning talent, developing talent, engaging and rewarding talent, strategically deploying talent, and assuring there is an adequate talent pipeline to support the business as it moves toward its strategic goals (Ulrich & Brockbank, 2005).


Since the environment for most organizations today is global, complex, dynamic, highly competitive and extremely volatile, organizations both locally and globally recognize that they have a critical responsibility to recruit, develop, deploy, manage and retain their most valuable asset—talent (Cappelli, 2008). Recruiting fully competent employees avoids some of the cost of initial training, development, and on-the-job learning, although the salary and bene? ts may be higher than those of less-skilled employees.

Because talent is so expensive, it must be managed carefully and systematically. Cunningham (2007) identified two general strategic choices to consider when recruiting; aligning people with roles or, aligning roles with people. Aligning people with roles is shortly described as when there are previously agreed job roles and the focus is to align people to these roles. Aligning roles with people is the opposite where the focus is on the people and the job role is adapted to their specific characteristics.

If focusing on aligning people with roles, the factors influencing performance are several. Selection, recruitment, placement and promotion are basically to find the right individuals, hire them, place them in the right position and later promote them. Promotion decisions are strategic choices linked to learning and development decisions. If the right capabilities are not to be found in the labour market, or internally, the question is whether the organization should hire/promote someone less then capable but a good learner that can be developed to perform well (Cunningham, 2007).

In order to choose the right candidates with the right talent, employees competencies and work environment play a vital role toward the success of talent management.


Many have tried to define what competencies are and hence there are many variations on the theme, but it is generally agreed that competencies are a combination of skills, knowledge, attributes and motives that define excellent performance (Andrews, 2011).

In recent years, there has been a tremendous focus on the use of competencies, with some experts indicating that attracting talent can only be achieved if it is focused on identifying competencies and using them throughout the process. Thus competency models are fundamental to human capital management systems. It is generally accepted amongst management researchers that a sustainable competitive advantage comes from the internal qualities that is hard to imitate rather than for example the firms’ product-market position(Brandt, E. & Kull, P. ,2007).

Too many organizations use different languages when describing recruiting standards, training requirements, and promotional criteria. The problem is exacerbated when these organizations operate in different cultures and countries. By utilizing an agreed-upon competency model, the organization can communicate via a common language that describes performance from one unit to the next (Berger & Berger, 2004). According to Andrew(2011), although competencies are not a new concept, it is only relatively recently that they have been recognized as the foundation to successful Talent Management.

The competencies for a particular job—even similar jobs—can vary. A competency is a reliably measurable, relatively enduring characteristic (or combination thereof) of a person, community, or organization that causes or statistically predicts a criterion or level of performance. Competency characteristics are knowledge, behavioral skills, competency processing (IQ), personality trait, values, motives, and occasionally other perceptional capabilities (Spencer, 2004). The importance of hiring competent talent is evident in any direction.

A competency can be any personal characteristic that is measurable and that distinguishes the poor performer from the superior performer. In an increasingly competitive business landscape, excellent performers – “the talent” ? are one of the key factors that will differentiate successful organizations. Clearly, organizations are extremely interested in excellent performance and hence the competencies that contribute to such performance(Andrews, 2011). Knowledge, skills and right attitude possessed by an employee is known as competency.

As based on Berger & Berger (2004) some of competencies that organization are looking forward in a talent includes action orientation, communication, creativity/innovation, critical thinking, customers oriented, interpersonal skills, leadership, teamwork and technical/functional expertise. According to scholars, capabilities influencing organizational effectiveness can include talent management systems (Bassi & McMurrer, 2008). Thus, managing talent can only be undertaken effectively by clearly understanding the competencies of the people who make up the organization’s talent pool(Andrew, 2011).


A talent especially those that should be included in the succession planning should be someone with high degree of action orientation. Berger & Berger (2004) has defined action orientation as targets and achieves results, overcomes obstacles, accepts responsibility, establishes standards and responsibilities, creates a results-oriented environment, and follows through on actions. A talent should posses the action orientation competency in order to execute the organization strategies that have been formulated in order to achieve the organization goals.

Organizational effectiveness begins with productivity, and productivity started when the mission has been executed effectively. Thus it need an action oriented talent to pursue the goals.


Communicates can either be both verbally and in writing. Effectively conveys and shares information and ideas with others can lead to goals attainment. Listens carefully and understands various viewpoints of others may generate more effective ideas and solutions.

Capabilities to present ideas clearly and concisely and understands relevant detail in presented information is an important part of communication. Thus communicates well both verbally and in writing, effectively conveys and shares information and ideas with others, listens carefully and understands various viewpoints, and presents ideas clearly and concisely and understands relevant detail in presented information are communication competency as Berger & Berger(2004) posited it. A talent must communicate clearly and precisely with organization stakeholders.

Otherwise the message is not deliver. Imagine the financial loss that might occurs if the marketing employees are not able to secure sales. Thus talent management must ensure the communication competency is within their talent. Otherwise it is not an asset but only a liability as Northup( 2006), stated that communication plays a vital role in the success of every organization. Successful CEOs build organizations that attract people who want to perform at the highest level possible. One important key they achieve this value trust and mutual information sharing.


Berger and Berger (2004) define creativity/innovation as the competency to generate novel ideas and develops or improves existing and new systems that challenge the status quo, takes risks, and encourages innovation. A talent must have this factor and must unleash it in order to achieve organization goals.


Critical thinking is the ability to de? ne issues and focus on achieving workable solutions. Consistently does the right thing by performing with reliability.

It a must for any talent to be able to think critically when crisis occurs. Talent management must be able to identify this competency within the organization talent. 3.


A customer is always the king. Any talent management system should recognize that their talent must possessed this competency in order to success especially the Customer Service Department or the front liners. As Berger and Berger(2004) posit it, customer oriented is a competency whereby talent able to listen to customers, builds customer con? ence, increases customer satisfaction, ensures commitments are met, sets appropriate customer expectations, and responds to customer needs.


Capabilities to effectively and productively engages with others and establishes trust, credibility, and con? dence with others is what interpersonal skill is all about. It is important competency that talent management must identify and look forward in a talent, does not matter at what level the talents are positioned in the organization.

Without it, one will not be able to work effectively with others.


Leader is needed to lead other talented employees to achieve the organizational goals. An organization should identify the genuine talent who can lead instead of manage the organization. A leadership skill is a competency that a talent must possessed in order to ensure a smooth execution of organization vision and mission, thus achieving the organization growth. Leadership skill includes the ability to motivate and persuade other employees toward the goal attainment.

Bernard (1992) describes motivation as a combination of three social motives that forms a person’s motivation profile; the drive for achievement, the desire to maintain friendly relationships with others, and the drive for power. The drive for achievement characterizes itself through a tendency to take reasonable risks and the desire to take responsibility for results, a permanent concern for personal improvement and how to do things better, faster or differently. The desire to maintain friendly relationships makes people focus on establishing and maintaining relations at work and they are more sensitive for factors influencing them.

Power, or the will to influence, is the third motivator and is concerned with the desire to impress and influence others, build a reputation and to spontaneously offer support and advice. A talent management system should be able to identify and retain the talent that have this leadership competency.


Berger & Berger(2004) define teamwork as knows when and how to attract, develop, reward, and utilize teams to optimize results. Acts to build trust, inspire enthusiasm, encourage others, and help resolve con? cts and develop consensus in creating high-performance teams. An organization will not achieve it goals if only certain people/talent is very effective and efficient whereas the rest of it is underperform their duty. Therefore a talent should possessed the spirit of team working in order to success. Talent management should includes the capability of becoming a good and efficient team member. The cohesiveness with other members of organization should be nurtured so that team are working effectively.


Technical/functional expertise means talent demonstrates strong technical/functional pro? ciencies and knowledge in areas of expertise. Shows knowledge of company business and pro? ciency in the strategic and ? nancial processes, including P&L planning processes and their implications for the company(Berger & Berger, 2004). If a talent do not possessed any other technical expertise, he/she is considered the organization liabilities and not an asset. Thus, talent management system should be able to select only the capable talent to any vacancy in organization.


There is always two size of the coin, if the organization expecting their talented employees to sustain their productivity, or even increases it, thus the management of an organization especially the Human Resource Officers have to ensure that they have done their part in providing the conducive working environment either physical environment such as safe and sound building, comfortable and suitable table, chair, furniture, lighting and air circulation.

The right physical work environment plus the right apparatus and tools encourage to stimulate employees creativity and innovation. Furthermore the happy and satisfied employees lead to increase in productivity which will lead to increase in profitability and organization prosperity.. Employees hope to receive gainful employment and a meaningful and stable livelihood. Organizational effectiveness (OE) can be conceptualized as the degree to which a business meets the long term needs of its various stakeholders (Kim & Mauborgne, 2009).

According to Uren(2007) firm need to have the attractiveness to be able to find suitable candidates, and to give the people which can add to the firms’ competitive advantage a clear view over the capabilities that are necessary and what values they can identify with. Research has found that managers have the biggest impact on whether employees leave or stay, (Branham, 2000) thus they have a great impact on their subordinates and negative interactions have a bigger impact than positive ones.

Many examples have been found of managers with abusive behavior against subordinates resulting in lower job satisfaction, concentration, productivity, bad mental and physical health as well as high employee turnover. It is not only bad performers that can have a negative effect on the organization, even high performers can cost more than they are worth due to costs induced by their behavior. Sutton( 2007) noted that if an organization tolerate bad behavior amongst its employees it will have difficulties recruiting and retaining the best performing talent, poorer client relations, damaged reputations and less investor confidence.

Pushing out subordinates, legal costs due to law suits, unhappy co-workers all represents substantial costs no matter how good someone is at the specific task they are to perform. Performance and treatment should not be dealt with as separate issues (Sutton, 2007). CONCLUSIONS Success cannot be generated in any way without successful people, not only at the top, but at all levels. People are the most important asset and no organization has been successful without them. The area of most concern in managing talent is when top performers or critical employees depart their jobs.

The challenge is to manage this turnover successfully and on-board new employees quickly. In an ideal scenario, talent sources are available so there are no gaps in organizational performance or product road maps. Talent management is a critical strategic objective for growing organizations. This responsibility represents an excellent opportunity to create value. Certain factors that influence talent management and organization effectiveness has been discuss and it is certain that the talent management must includes both factors into considerations – the employees competencies and the conducive work environment.

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Talent Management : Factors Affecting Talent Management. (2017, Dec 25). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/paper-on-talent-management-906/

Talent Management : Factors Affecting Talent Management
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