Talent Management Problem in China

Topics: Management, Talent management, Harvard Business School Pages: 9 (3272 words) Published: January 6, 2013
In this paper, China’s current problem with talent management –mainly due to lack of qualified university graduates for multinational companies that engage in offshore service operations, the lack of English skills, poor financing of universities, and quality-lacking curriculums– and the ways that China can tackle with this problem by engaging in talent management operations will be discussed. The solution that the paper embraces is that China should adapt itself to the Organization Man model of 1950s as a talent management strategy since the current situation in China cannot work well with the Talent on Demand approach mainly due to lack of talent despite high number of employees. The paper will firstly define talent management in general and cover the historical trends in talent management, secondly give overall information about China’s talent problem with the reasons, and lastly mention the possible ways to solve the Chinese talent problem by embracing the Organization Man model of talent management. The main reference points will be Peter Cappelli’s article named “The Talent Management Problem: Why We Need to Think Differently about Talent Management” and Diana Farrell and Andrew J. Grant’s article of “China’s Looming Talent Shortage.” Additional sources will also be used through the paper. A. TALENT MANAGEMENT AND HISTORICAL TRENDS

1. Defining Talent Management
All companies or organizations require human capital internal to their structures. Human capital has long served as one of the most important internal operation tool for these companies and organizations. Even though the production costs has been decreasing over years due to engagement in high technology production techniques that do not require human power, human factor will still keep its importance in the future due to management’s inescapable need for human capital to operate. Accordingly, talent management is a tool to anticipate the need for human capital and then to set out a plan to meet this (Cappelli, 2008). The basic aim of talent management is “getting the right people with the right skills into the right jobs” (Cappelli, 2008). This also represents one of the most important internal problems of companies and organizations. This job is a tough one to be managed; however, it is very crucial for success and creating competencies for the company or organization itself. In the recent years, an increasing number of business companies have started to engage in talent management strategies. This new trend in HR reflects the ever increasing concerns of the companies on risk management, cost management and change management. Accordingly, they see the gaps in talent and the current potential for effective managing and building key talent (McCool, 2010). In my opinion, companies started to adapt to this trend simply because talent management is an effective tool for calculating the risk that is likely to appear in the future, to make cost-benefit analysis to have an idea about the opportunity costs of training or hiring choices of the companies, and to adapt to change that occurs during the years by being able to shift your talent resources as the way you desire when necessary. Before going into the details of talent management trends that occurred during 1900s and 2000s, it is important to mention the basic failures that companies or organizations can do while engaging in talent management. Simply, we can call these failures as mismatches between supply and demand and list them as (1) having too many employees and (2) having too little talent (Cappelli, 2008). Both have their shortcomings: the first one may result in layoffs and restructurings, the second one may create talent shortages (Cappelli, 2008). Eventually, we can say that the ultimate goal of talent management can be summarized very well in these words of Peter Cappelli: “… goal of talent management is the...
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