War for talents. How can human resource managers attract and retain talented employees?

Term Paper, 2017

18 Pages, Grade: 2



Table of Contents

List of Figures:

List of Abbreviations:

Problem and Complications
Scope of Work

Finding Talents
Organizational Attractiveness
Practices and approaches
Talent Retention
Succession Planning

Channels of Finding Talent


Outlook and Conclusion


ITM Checklist

List of Figures:

Figure 1: Developing a Retention Management Plan

Figure 2: WorldatWork Survey, Best Practices of Talent Retention

Figure 3: Potential Value of Using Employee Refferals to Recruit

Figure 4: LinkedIn Survey, Top Reasons Why People Left Their Old Job

List of Abbreviations:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten


Problem and Complications

Finding the superior talent is the key issue for human resource managers across the world. This issue is being faced by large organizations since the business environment is changing rapidly, and the need for technological skills, professionals and the ability to operate under different conditions is growing fast (Beechler S., Woodward I. 2009: 422). According to McKinsey, in addition to skills, knowledge, experience, astute, character and judgment, talent also includes the person´s ability to learn and grow (Michaels et al. 2001: xii). The so-called “war for talent” was expressed by the America´s largest management-consulting firm in 1998 when they published a report stating that “better talent is worth fighting for” (Chambers et al.1998: 45). The gap between the demand and supply of talented people represents the scarcity of talents which form a challenge for the human resource managers. That brings us to the question, what practices, plans and strategies should be set and implemented by the human resource managers in order to attract and retain talented people? And what are the challenges facing HR managers in finding the required talents for the organization?

Scope of Work

This paper defines finding talents as one of the top priorities of human resource management and reviews the practices, strategies and plans that can be implemented in order to attract and retain talented employees. It shows the external and internal channels by which the organizations can acquire the needed talents. At the end, it reviews the challenges facing HR managers in this framework.

Finding Talents

Organizational Attractiveness

Attractiveness of an organization as an employer denotes “the envisioned benefits that a potential employee sees in working for a specific organization” (Berthon P. et al., 2005: 156). For the organisation to be an employer of choice, it needs to make itself as the only choice for talented people. This can be created by an employee value proposition (EVP) promoting the uniqueness of the organization, and kind of formalizing a psychological contract between the talented people, specifically, and the organization so that they would not think about leaving it (Ingham J. 2006: 22). Those people need to well-understand how their employment is designed, assessed, assigned and rewarded. In this framework, organization´s EVP has five main elements: financial compensation for the employee´s performance, non-financial compensation such as health and retirement, work satisfaction, opportunities for growth in their career, and affiliation towards the organisation (SIBM Pune, 2012: 33). The organisation´s attractiveness are determined by the objective organisational characteristics which should be clear and visible for the potential employees, such as the organisation size, the level of internationalisation, pay system and policies, and the level of centralisation that can provide an initial image of the Organisation culture and values (Lievens F. et al, 2001 : 34).

Practices and approaches

Du to failures in finding talented people, many organisations started taking new approaches by redesigning the employment system to increase their talent pool by global staffing, compensation and promotions. For example, SAP in the US changed their hiring practices to hire the best talents, which was in favor of German expatriates, and now they are operating worldwide. And so did Nokia Corp. when they changed their compensation scheme and they became a strong global competitor for talents (Fernandez-Araoz C., 2007: 20). Many approaches are seeking “what is common among employees, their shared needs, motivations, perceptions and values” (Barrow S. & Mosley R., 2011: 100). There are three different segments the HR managers should consider in finding talents: the Ambassadors, who are high performers and dedicated to their career and company at both sides, career oriented, who are also high performers but committed only to their career in order to develop their skills, company oriented who have limited talents and committed to their company much more than their career, ambivalent who have no talent or commitment to their company or their career (Ibid, 2011: 101).

One of the best practices in this framework is the recruitment, staffing and succession planning. Most of companies are using the talent pool strategy which means large number of applicants through variety of channels and the company tries to recruit specific people for specific positions according to selection ratios. For example, Infosys adopts robust rolling recruitment process so that it received in 2005 around 1.5 million application for jobs as software engineers, it tested almost 160,000, but hired only 15,000 as a selectivity ratio of 1% (Stahl G. et al., 2007: 9).

Many successful companies expanded their hiring criteria to include cultural fit such as IKEA, the Sweden Furniture Corporate, which gives more focus in selecting applicants on values and culture fit as a competitive advantage rather than skills and experiences, and as a source for screening, interviewing and discovering the ability to develop (Ibid, 2012: 28).

Talent Retention

The proper talents are the key to organisational success. It is more difficult to retain talented employees than to attract them. HR managers should take into account the factors that have impact on retention strategies such as (Armstrong M., 2006: 397): “

- Company image
- recruitment, selection and deployment
- leadership – ‘employees join companies and leave managers
- learning opportunities
- performance recognition and rewards”

Nowadays and due to scarcity of talents, Organisations should take steps forward to retain their talents by adopting variety of tactics such as flexible work options, rewards on valued performance, more compensation, creating opportunities for learning and developing skills and experiences by special programs funded by the organisation, and that can more likely increase the organisational commitment (D’Amato A. & Herzfeldt R., 2008: 930).

To create an effective retention management plan, HR managers need to adopt 3 process steps as shown in figure1 (Allen G. D., 2008: 12):

- Investigate whether turnover is a problem for the organization by analyzing it (turnover rate, Leavers’ value, cost or benefits of turnover), Benchmarking (internal and external comparing to similar organisations or turnover rates of industry), and assessing the needs for and availability of the required employees, to develop retention goals.
- Collecting data regarding the reasons why people quit or stay by employee and benchmarking surveys, exit interviews, research and find out the best practices to set targeted and broad based strategies
- Implementing the plan and evaluating the results.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 1: Source: David G. Allen, Retaining Talent, 2008, p. 12.

Many companies are now increasingly focusing on retaining baby boomers (employees who keep working in an organisation into thei 60s or even 70s). for example, UBS Financial Services Started hiring baby boomers as retirement advisors believing that they are much more effective dealing with clients in the same life phase (Court D. et al., 2007: 109). According to a survey of HR proffessionals conducted by WorldatWork, around 60 percent of HR proffessionals stated that the best practices used by organizations were salary increase and hiring bonus, and other best practices such as work environment, retention bonus, development opportnities etc. (Allen G. D., 2008: 15) as shown in the following figure:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 2: Source: Cf. Allen, G. D., 2008, Retaining Talent, p. 15.

Succession Planning

Succession planning is defined as “the process of identifying and developing employees to fill key positions in organizations. Succession Planning can make organizations more competitive; improve the retention of talented employees and lower the risk of losing critical knowledge when people leave” (Albetra, Human Services, 2012: 6).

The process of succession planning requires five principle steps:

Step 1 - Identifying Key Positions:

This is based on the analysis of two important criteria, criticality and retention risk. Key position criticality refers to the impact the position can cause in an organization, if it were vacant, taking into consideration safety, operation, finance and other significant elements, where retention risk refers to the positions where employees are expected to leave. This analysis allows identifying key and Hard-to-fill positions after doing a gap analysis in terms of future shortage for the relevant skills and talents (Newfoundland and Labrador, 2008: 8).

Step 2 - Identifying Competencies:

Competencies in this framework include Knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA) required from employees for key positions to build a job profile matching the organization´s goals, objectives, vision and values (Newfoundland and Labrador, 2008: 9).

Step 3 - Identifying and Assessing Potential Candidates:

After determining competencies, it is important to identify potential candidates who meet these competencies and have desire to learn, develop and take on the position. This can be documented from sources such as performance reviews, feedback from managers or supervisors, past and current accomplishments and talents assessments (Albetra, Human Services, 2012: 9).

Step 4 - Learning and Development Plans:

After identifying potential candidates for key positions according to their desire of success, it is necessary to develop their talent by focused learning and development opportunities to narrow the gap between what is required and what they already have, and adopt appropriate strategies for transferring knowledge to candidates by setting up coaching and mentorship programs (Newfoundland and Labrador, 2008: 12).

Step 5 - Implementation and Evaluation:

Outcomes from implementing the steps before have to be evaluated to measure the effectiveness of the process and conduct continuous improvements. Evaluating the succession plan also includes using performance-based metrics to ensure that employees are performing effectively in their new roles in key positions and that succession plan goals are being met (NOAA, 2012: 19).


Excerpt out of 18 pages


War for talents. How can human resource managers attract and retain talented employees?
University of applied sciences, Düsseldorf
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
HR, Human Resources, Finding, Talents, Employee, Employer, Company, Skills, Performance, Development, Attraction, Retention
Quote paper
Anonymous, 2017, War for talents. How can human resource managers attract and retain talented employees?, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/514856


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