Talent acquisition is the ongoing cycle of processes related to attracting, sourcing, recruiting, and hiring (or placing) employees within an organization. This includes elements of employment branding, outreach, networking, and relationship building with potential candidate communities to continually build and enhance the talent pool for an organization.
“We need to understand what makes them mad, sad, and glad”
Challenges of Talent Acquisition and Retention
in an era of Brain Drain
BY MIKE NXELE
Human Capacity Building Officer, ITU
This paper looks at the issues and challenges facing organizations and countries with regard to talent and its management, a topic which is particularly relevant at time when the world is facing a `talent crunch’. The document pays particular attention to the acquisition and retention of talent, and whilst it maintains a telecommunications bias, the paper adopts a global sector perspective, given the cross-cutting nature of the talent shortage, and the common behavior and response patterns of organizations and nations to this crisis. This paper recognizes the particular vulnerability of developing countries in the global competition for talent and the attendant dangers of brain drain on the economies of these countries. Brain drain is here defined as the permanent loss of skilled manpower to other countries. However, the paper draws on evidence from the rapidly growing economies of China and India on how there can be a reversal of the brain drain, or even a brain gain. Based on this evidence, the paper seeks to provide some comfort to any sense of fatalism among the developing countries towards the perceived inevitability of the brain drain. It is within the reach of organizations and nations to address the brain drain, by adopting a mix of deliberate policy interventions at national level and new talent management practices at organizational level in order to attract and retain talent at a time it is such a scarce commodity. Without intervention, weaker organizations and nations will continue to have considerable leakage of talent. INTRODUCTION
There is now a consensus in the global business community, that acquiring and retaining talent is the biggest challenge facing organizations. There is also an acknowledgment of a global talent shortage across nations and across sectors, and that the shortage is set to increase. Skills shortage has been found to be the number one challenge in China and South East Asia, number two challenge in Japan and number four challenge in India. Talent management is also one of the most challenging factors facing companies in Europe, according to a 2007 HR Transformation Survey by Mercer Consulting. Within the Technology, Media and Telecommunication sector, a recent (2008) survey by Deloitte Consulting made similar findings as shown below: [pic]
Source: Deloitte Consulting (2008)
Deloitte further found that having high quality employees emerged top among a series of factors contributing most to growth of companies. [pic]
Source: Deloitte Consulting (2008)
The above findings are interesting and reflect a shift in corporate thinking about people, as the quality of employees now ranks higher than such celebrated factors as sound business strategy (44%), proprietary technology (19%) and investment capital (15%). The above findings have been corroborated by others from equally internationally renowned institutions. The Harvard Business School for example, identified the ability to spot and develop talent, as the most sought- after attribute among successful CEO's. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) UK found “recruiting and retaining best talent” to be in the top five drivers of organizations managing diversity. So, the message is clear: Talent has become central to business survival; yet that talent is in short supply, and this shortage is set to get worse....
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