Effective recruitment, retention of the best candidates, and performance improvement plans are crucial HRM functions in this era. Among the factors that must be addressed to optimize resourcing and talent management are skill shortages, skills transfer, change management and cost pressure from rival firms (Pandita and Ray, 2018). This paper assesses the employee resourcing and talent management plan of a medium-sized company in the context of the contemporary employment market.
Contemporary Developments in Employee Resourcing and Talent Management
Theoretical and Conceptual Basis
Different theoretical frameworks have been used in talent management (TM) studies. Among them is the resource-based view (RBV), which considers the workforce as the source of sustainable competitive capabilities for a firm (Gallardo-gallardo et al., 2015). The RBV theory maintains that the strategic advantages obtained from an organization’s resources are unique, valuable and inimitable. Innovative ideas and unique human capital fit these criteria. Therefore, the goal of strategic HRM is to create a talent pool and manage core skills to enhance innovation and competitive advantage.
Another theoretical perspective on employee resourcing and TM is the social exchange theory, which is used to explain organizational behavior. The framework is founded on three tenets: “rules and norms of exchange, resources traded and emerging relationships” (Narayanan, Rajithakumar and Menon, 2019, p. 233). When a firm rewards or incentivizes staff, the employees feel obligated to reciprocate through dedication, loyalty and a higher intention to stay.
The conceptual basis of employee resourcing and talent management entails perspectives on inclusive versus exclusive strategies for TM and workforce differentiation. TM is assumed to apply to all employees within a firm since they have the potential to add value to the business (Gallardo-Gallardo et al., 2015). However, the concept of exclusivity considers only a subset of the staff or jobs as generating greater returns to the company. As such, the organization differentially invests in specific people or positions. The idea of workforce differentiation raises the question of whether a firm should invest in a person or a job. The individual differentiation concept is rooted in RBV, which sees differential investments in talented staff or top performers as a source of competitive advantages. In contrast, focusing on key jobs is considered a traditional approach to TM, and the function of HRM is to assess and develop individuals to fill strategic positions in the firm.
Major Contemporary Developments
Over the past decade, organizations have turned to attracting and retaining the right talent to drive strategic objectives. However, with increasing skills shortages in key positions, employment branding and technology-driven recruitment have emerged as competitive strategies for TM (Volini et al., 2019). Organizations have adopted internal labor mobility as a cost-effective source of talent. Reskilling a current employee through training can take as little as one-sixth the cost of recruiting an external candidate (Volini et al., 2019).
Another contemporary tactic is hiring talent from contractors and freelancers as part-time workers. This strategy is particularly relevant where labor laws limit lay-offs in response to changing business conditions. Leveraging new technology to hire and manage talent is an increasingly popular HR practice. Tools powered by artificial intelligence employ data to expedite the sourcing and selection of candidates. AI-based assessment systems can evaluate individual traits and skills critical for one to succeed in a given role.
Strategic Importance of Employee Resourcing and Talent Management
The company that is the focus of this paper has many reasons to adopt an effective talent management program. Recruiting individuals with key skills can be a strategic advantage. Even more important are internal mobility systems, which can help embed teamwork and agility into organizational culture (Volini et al., 2019). Such qualities would ensure that the firm becomes a social enterprise with greater employee engagement. Mensah (2018) notes that a strong internal career development plan can enable workers to reskill themselves for new roles and career paths within the company. Engaged employees can be a valuable, inimitable resource and a competitive strength for the company.
In an era where firms prioritize expansion into fast-growing economies, employee resourcing and talent management can be a key drivers. Going global requires decentralization of operations. Developing products and markets in different locations can benefit from an internal program of talent mobility and diversity (Volini et al., 2019). This approach will provide opportunities to staff to develop and occupy new roles, driving the organization’s strategic growth goals. Technology solutions expand mobility options for talent networks and teams globally. Unique skillsets and experiences possessed by a firm’s workforce are critical for success overseas. To staff new operations abroad, the organization looks for expertise in its internal network or partners. Therefore, an active talent management process can be useful in building better leaders and achieving competitive advantages.
Resourcing and Talent Management in Changing Employment Market
Features and Characteristics
The labor market has undergone a major transformation over the past few decades due to a shift to a knowledge-based economy and globalization. A key feature of the new context is the formalization of internal practices of lifelong learning and talent management. Career paths are more unpredictable and virtually boundless. The employment market is characterized by “outsourcing, increasing mobility and declining job security” (van Harten et al., 2020, p. 1096). These characteristics have triggered new challenges in developing and retaining talent in contemporary organizations and business entities.
Effective talent management to meet future organizational needs has emerged as an issue of strategic importance to navigate the changing employment market. Competition for talented staff is growing on a global scale. Thus, a key feature of the current employment context is investing in people to create a talent pool. This competency-based approach is a key feature of modern human resource development (HRD). According to Brassey, Christensen and van Dam (2019), HRD has become a strategic function to most organizations, and it is characterized by a shift from focusing on positions and tasks to concentrating on people and their competencies. Central features of the modern HRD models encompass a long-term organizational fit and prioritization of individual traits and behavior in addition to technical abilities (Sparrow and Makram, 2015).
HRD processes focus on developing a workforce that embodies the corporate culture, needs and values. A more inclusive approach to TM is required in smaller organizations due to unique structural and institutional factors (Krishnan and Scullion, 2017). Therefore, the organizational life stage determines the TM strategy adopted.
Employee performance is another key feature of changing employment market. Unlike the traditional appraisal system that prioritised vocational or technical skills, the current scheme recognizes personality traits and behavior (Tetiki, 2016). As a result, the idea of employability now encompasses talent in relation to a specific task and context. Talented employees are considered those with key knowledge, skills and attitudes related to a particular role. They can also be individuals with the potential for development.
How Employment Markets Vary
The changing nature of labor and workplace markets are key trends with short- and long-term implications for organizations. Technological change has transformed the employment world, promoting the globalization of work. ICT has supported the outsourcing of jobs to low-cost economies and enabled remote working (Grundy, 2018). Freelancing is one approach the company can adopt in the current era. The HRM department should focus on a plan that will enhance the flexibility of work and give independent contractors more benefits like the full-time staff.
Another major trend is demographic shifts in the labor force. In countries, such as the UK, an aging workforce and migration are the key factors accounting for these changes. Fewer younger people are entering the labor market, which means that there is a disproportionate number of older employees in the workforce (Gallup, 2016). The potential for skills shortage is high, implying that the company’s short-term plan should be retaining talented staff and the current workforce. Younger migrant workers can be another source of talent for the organization.
Recent developments have shaped the nature of work. Knowledge-based services are increasing compared to manufacturing in advanced economies (Grundy, 2018). For the company, building a workforce with higher technical competencies should be a long-term plan. The staff should also be adaptable to new changes in skills. High-skill and collaborative teamwork are key action areas for achieving higher productivity in the long term.
Learning and Talent Management
The current business environment of the company is characterized by intense competitive rivalry and a digital revolution. Additionally, a multi-generational workforce and rapid changes in skills call for a robust learning and development (L&D) strategy at the organization. Although the company’s L&D function is strong and adaptable, it is centralized in the HR, which limits its agility to respond rapidly to emerging business needs. According to Tetiki (2016), effective learning and development plan requires collaboration between business units and HR. Such partnerships will ensure that employees received immediate training on new business processes or tools to strengthen the company’s competitive positioning.
The HR implements the company’s L&D plan with the help of business-unit heads who identify and prioritize training needs. This governance structure leaves out senior executives. A shared responsibility model can bolster this function and align the capacity-building programs with the organization’s strategic goals (Tetiki, 2016). Involving the top executives will help secure funding and create a culture of organizational learning. The organization’s L&D plan is aligned with its business priorities. Employees’ skills and abilities are assessed first to identify capability gaps that warrant training. Interventions, such as workshops and on-the-job coaching, to address these deficits and create competencies for different job descriptions are then implemented.
The design and delivery of corporate learning are critical to obtaining optimal results. The organization should move its L&D programs that are being offered in in-person sessions to a digital environment. Gallardo-Gallardo and Thunnissen (2016, p. 42) note that many employees prefer to develop new skills in “a safe environment” that is suited to their schedule. The company should move from a traditional classroom-based mode of delivery to multi-faceted interventions that include fieldwork, digital learning and training sessions spread over a long time. This learning journey will be useful in developing new skills to support long-term strategic goals.
The established learning and talent development plan comprise strategic initiatives that promote the capacity building of specific employees. An overload of training programs and limited budgets result in suboptimal outcomes. Rolling out learning initiatives across the organization will have a higher impact and reduce the per-person cost due to economies of scale (Tetiki, 2016). Outcome measurement is one way of evaluating the effect of the training on business performance. The company uses behavior change and productivity improvements in assessing the efficacy of its L&D programs. Additional measures used include participant satisfaction levels, completion rates and teamwork.
Resourcing and Talent Planning for the Organisation
Staffing and talent management planning will enable the company to tackle the skill shortages and meet its personnel needs.
- Adopt remote working – the organization can outsource labor-intensive tasks to low-cost economies by leveraging ICT tools. The approach can enable the organization to source independent talent and cut costs. Offering competitive benefits can attract and retain younger, talented freelancers that prefer flexible work to drive the firm’s strategic goals.
- L&D initiatives should involve collaboration with universities and independent contractors to build technical skills.
- Adopting a talent pool strategy as opposed to recruiting people for particular positions
- A greater focus on values and behavioral traits in addition to specific skills or competencies. Employability embodies technical capabilities and positive personal attributes.
- Internal mobility – promotions should be for employees within the organization. This policy is a critical component of training and development.
- Continuous evaluation of training needs to inform short-term learning and development interventions. Employees’ technical abilities can be improved through on-the-job coaching by experienced staff.
- Involvement of business-unit managers and executives in mentoring and coaching staff. This collaborative approach will ensure that the training reflects the strategic objectives.
- Prioritization of leadership development in talent management initiatives to develop future managers.
- Personal development plans will be tied to long-term succession goals within the organization to prevent turnover.
- Creating multiple talent pools for managers and technical staff. This approach will provide many career paths for employees.
- Competitive compensation, specifically long-term benefits for staff to promote retention.
- Senior management attention – involvement of top executives in talent management and training.
- Diversity initiatives to build diverse talent – young and experienced staff, skilled immigrants and international business executives.
- Personalized career plans as opposed to a TM program for all employees.
- Using data to monitor attrition rates per position to identify and address skills gaps.
Professional Functions Associated with Long- and Short-term Talent and Succession Planning
The organization must have a strategy for supporting continuity when key individuals leave. Succession planning prepares employees to take over when top executives exit the firm, aligns organizational vision with human resources available and promotes commitment due to clear career progression for talented staff (Tebbe et al., 2017). Without it, there is a risk that programs may not continue after the people in charge leave the organization. For this process to be effective, all employees must be involved. The professional functions associated with talent and succession planning are described below.
Board of Directors
The organization’s board of management should manage succession planning for the chief executive officer (CEO) position. Its specific roles are identifying key skills and abilities needed to lead the firm towards a particular strategic direction (Santora et al., 2015). The board must build a pool of talented leaders that can take over from the CEO when his tenure ends. A mass recruitment model is considered useful in succession planning for senior executive positions (Tebbe et al., 2017). It optimizes the utilization of existing human resources to create a pool of leaders. In this model, leadership development programs target all staff with supervisory roles in the organization, including middle-level managers.
Chief Executive Officer
The CEO is responsible for talent management for all positions within the firm. The executive director appraises and updates succession plans in the organization (Tebbe et al., 2017). He or she ensures that these processes are entrenched in the organizational culture and gives regular information to the board regarding the firm’s human resource needs. A specialized recruitment model can be used to develop a small group of employees to take up a leadership role in the departments (Santora et al., 2015). This cost-effective strategy provides core skills for specific business conditions.
Top managers are responsible for employee talent development and succession planning. Their specific roles entail identifying talented staff, holding meetings with them, evaluating skills and competencies and working with such people to develop and implement individual development plans (Tebbe et al., 2017). A relay succession-planning model can help identify, train, evaluate and groom a replacement from the supervisors.
Supervisors play a liaison role between staff and senior managers. They can take part in talent reviews, identification of talent and performance appraisals to ensure that trained staff has the required competencies to take up new roles (Tebbe et al., 2017). They also support potential talent to develop and execute individual development plans.
The HR department plays a crucial role in succession planning. The director collaborates with senior management to design a talent management toolkit for the firm. The HR performs staff appraisals and evaluates talented staff in line with the organization’s personnel needs. They provide tools for talent management and reports that help identify skilled individuals who can take up new roles. Training and development is also a key function of the HR department that is linked with succession planning. It provides professional learning opportunities suited to diverse career paths.
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