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ISSN: 2278-3369

International Journal of Advances in Management and Economics

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Talent Management and its Importance for Today’s Organizations

in Kenya Perspective; a Critical Review
Agnes Chemaiyo Kurgat
Moi University, Kenya


Today, in the current global world, competition and, innovation as well as creativity, are the elements
which define and corporate strategies to excel and stand tall in knowledge economy. During this 21st
Century, effectiveness, efficiency and total quality is what organizations strive for and can only be
achieved by successfully managing and retaining and utilizing the best talents available in the labour
market. Talent management is about human resource planning function where an organisation has to
critically undertake a survey of the labour market, and try and identify and get the right people, who
possess the right qualification for the right jobs for its present and future human resources, these has
posed a great challenge for many organizations in Kenya, because despite of people possessing the right
talents there has been great mismatch between the required talents the available talents and the job
market. And has in many instances led to employee’s frustration and dissatisfaction making many
organizations not realise their goals and objectives. Human Resource Management department has to
play a role for supply of the human being who poses the required talents for the organization. This
research will inform the management of talents, scope and affecting factors on talent management;
talent management practices and relationship between organizational competitiveness, effectiveness and
talent management.

Keywords: Talent management, Management, Management practices, Organizational effectiveness,

Competitive advantage, Employee performance.

In the present world, globalization and people with required skills and aptitudes to
competitive advantage is what defines meet current and future organizational
organizational strategies as a result of prospective. The function of talent is to
technological innovations which has been prepare an organization for future skill
experienced to progress through knowledge, shortage they will be faced with.
economy and talent innovation. As
With the current competitive work
competition progresses day by day
environment talent management is a drive
organizations are striving to enhance
for organizational success, management of
sustainable growth which has in the long run
talents enables business to meet business
brought a lot of challenges.
talent demands which are vital for the global
Talent management refers to the process that market environment and business strategies,
facilitates the “identification, development talent management focuses on business
and engagement, deployment of those prospects and aims to bring out the
individuals who are of particular value to an potentiality of each individual employee and
organization,[1] ,likewise talent management recognizes the importance of maintaining
is the implementation of integrated individuals with requisite talents in a
strategies or systems designed to increase competitive labour market
workforce productivity by developing
All practitioners, researchers are aware of
improved processes for attracting,
the difficulties facing organizations in an
developing, retaining and utilization of
endeavour to remain competitively viable in
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the world economy markets. These efforts changing internal and external environments
have mainly shifted focus on talent of organizations.
management practices in the last decade
Talent management issues have to be
especially with the emergence of strategic
addressed at the highest level of the
talent management approach.
organization and management of strategic
There is a considerable difference between decisions and practices need to focus on the
the prospects or prescription in favour of the results, which should reflect the thoughts
“investment in human factor and the and actions.
practices of companies.”
As innovation and creativity present new
Talent management is well developed and solutions to workforce and organizations,
completely recognized and its role is Human Resource Managers need to start
increasing. The possibility of recruiting a using cutting-edge innovation solutions in
well-educated labourer with the capabilities the market, sourcing for the best-of-breed
and skills will be advantageous conditions: tool in the market as the best solution.
many factors consider the idea of strategy of
Talent management literature has generally
talent management. The connection between
focused on constructs of loyalty, job,
the sufficiency of talents, management
fulfilment and organizational productivity.
practices, person and organization fit, and
The fit between person and organizations,
person and the task/job fit has been
person-job, persons-talent-organization has
examined before. It has been hypothesized
been a neglected area.
that there is a strong positive relationship
and actually talent management practices Previous studies indicate that person-talent-
contribute actual and perceived person- organization fit has significant effects on
organization fit and perceived person-job fit. organizational commitment, performance,
positive work, attitude, employee turnover.
Talent management practices are perceived
as sufficient. The employees will have a Among a few studies undertaken, talent
better sense of fit with the organization and management has been mentioned as a
the job. The other hypothesis asserts that process that begins through organization and
anxiety will influence positive relationship socialization.
between perceived sufficiency of talent
management practices and person- This study aims to make contribution to
organization fit and person-job fit. Although literature by examining the perceived
talent management is perceived as sufficient, sufficiency of talent management practice as
persons with high anxiety may not have a an antecedent of person-organization fit.
better sense of fit with the organization and Main Review
with the task.
The Key Role of Talent Management in
In modern organization, it is necessary that Today’s Vibrant Organizations
strategic Talent management issues be
addressed due to the emerging problems Talent management has been considered as
one area which has contributed to enhanced
emerging from changing internal and
external environment which has also made it productivity and profitability, the goal of
complex to understand talent management talent management is to improve
by organization as the most source of productivity and employee performance
which enables the organization to get the
competitive advantage.
right people, to do the right jobs and occupy
Most organizations as a result of the right positions which enable
globalization changes such as mergers, organizations to succeed and avoid job
downsizing, growth and restricting have mismatch. Talent management also enables
introduced concepts to try new techniques in organization to achieve its goals and satisfy
management of talents, as talent the customers by provision of quality
management has been considered to play a products and services by qualified personnel.
major role in addressing issues related to the

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Talent management aligns employee The Human Resource Practitioner Role

aptitidutes and behaviour with the company in Creating Talent Management
needs. Organization

Employee Behaviour The role of human resource practitioner has

changed drastically, leaders of today’s
The employee behaviour is greatly changing environment are crucial because
determined by talent management practices with the effects of globalisation employees
and employees attributes (knowledge, beliefs, are becoming more knowledgeable. And more
skills, capabilities and abilities) talents can professional. However leaders still have a
shape employees personality abilities and crucial role to play;
values, the talent management programs
encourage the hiring of employees and Leaders must Create Supporting Talent
creation of work environment which is Management Culture
characterised by increased employee Leaders must reinforce and allow talent
involvement and commitment to drive to management to be fully integrated in the core
business success. values, the norms, and beliefs of the
Evaluate Potentialities and Experiences employees, they should focus on teamwork
and single out employees, who are team
The role of human resource practices such as oriented, talent management should be seen
manpower planning is to predict the kind of as an organizational objective and should be
talents to be posses by employees in future by encouraged at all levels of the organization
assessing the currently available talent these will enhance performance and give
posses by the present employees in the employees the opportunity to grow in their
organization, this can be done through careers within the organization.
performance measurement to assess the
possible knowledge gaps so as to predict the The line mangers should have a special role
talents required by the organization in future in talent management as it is important to
and for possible staffing have a high consistency of human resource in
regard to talent management throughout the
Contribution of Talent Management to organization. Managers are important in
Employee Career Growth identifying the different groups of people who
Most professional employees follow their own posses various types of talents; because they
career growth patterns these begins with are in direct contacts with the workforce on a
career exploration that begins when people daily basis and they can with consultation
are in their early twenties these stage with top management of the organization
involves moving through some series of identify the pipeline which are crucial for the
career stages to find the best suited available future, managers can largely support the
job in the market, given the specific talents implementation and realization of talent
and personal interests. management.

In the next phase of career advancement Respect Employees

employees put more attention into developing The easiest way to ensure employees by
specialised skills which require greater managers and leaders is to engage in
responsibilities, at the age of 30 to 40 years discussions with employees to give opinions
employees begin to have personal on how they feel about their jobs, the
commitments than that related to the job and challenges they are facing and always give
the organizational interests employees begin feedback on their progress so that they can
leveraging their accumulated knowledge and work together with the managers towards
experiences. At the last stage of their careers achievement of organizational goal.
employees are reluctant and are no longer
interested in their jobs and engage in other Clarify Goals Expectations and Targets
life pursuit although they cannot also easily The managers should, through open
accept to retire. communication clearly clarify the goals the

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employees are expected to achieve in their Talents also must be unique to an

tasks and responsibilities this is one of the organization such that the creative ideas
ways managers can maximise productivity cannot be copied by other people in other
the employees should be told exactly that is organizations.
needed to be done.
Talent Management (TM)
Develop an Integrated Proactive Talent
The idea of managing talent is not a new
Management Strategy
phenomenon. Some decades ago, it was
Managers should view employee as viewed purely as the responsibility of
“employees of choice” status is an outcome of personnel department. At the p[resent,
an coherent culture, and managers organizational talent management is an
endeavour to create a sustainable advantage organizational function that is taken more
and change in employee behaviour through seriously and with caution. The concept
respect, objective orientation, awareness and emerged in 1990s and is now recognized as a
dialogue. This presents a roadmap to major resourcing activity in many
creating fully talented productive employees organizations. In the Conference Board 2007,
and establishes a foundation of effective the Chief Executive Officers (CEO)
talent management. challenged a study, CEOs’ ranking of
importance of “finding qualified managerial
Increase Awareness
talent” increased by 10 percentage points or
Learning from experience may not occur more compared to the same research
unless employees understand how their conducted just a year earlier. Research
behaviour may be affecting their conducted in 2008 by Development
performance. This requires mangers to Dimensions International (DDI) and
provide performance feedback that increases Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) found 55%
employee’s awareness on what they need to of executive level respondents said the firm’s
change and why it’s important. Provision of performance was likely or very likely to
performance feedback is one of the most suffer in the near future due to insufficient
critical and one of the most challenging areas leadership talents.
in talent management.
The emphasis on talent management is
Talent Management and Sustained inevitable given that, on average, companies
Competitive Advantage now spend over one third of their revenues on
Talent management and the interest it has employee wages and benefits. Human
gained in the recent past has made some Resource and other practices like
organizations performance improve and has recruitment, selection, and man power
led to successes that have made planning and compensation can easily be
organizations viable in the competitive replicated. But replicating a high quality, a
business environment, and has led to highly engaged workforce is almost
increase in companies enhanced profits and impossible. The ability to effectively hire,
employees job satisfaction. Talent retain, deploy and engage talents at all levels
management has enabled employees to cope of organization is a really true competitive
with technological revolution pressures as advantage an organization posses. In fact, al
well as globalization, when managers are other resources except altitude of work can be
open to employees about their career duplicated, but one that stands out is talent
aspirations, the managers likewise will be in with the night work.
a position to predict on talents required to
Talent management is used in global context
meet demands of changing environment and
which contains:
advice the top management accordingly, the
talents possed by employees in organization  A mission critical process that ensures an
should be rare talents that have distinctive organization has the quantity and quality
characteristics with those possed by of people in place to meet their current
employees of a competitor organization. business priorities.

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 Seamlessly integrated efforts to attract, talent management means that organization

develop and retain the best people with slogs on reaching the targets set for the
exceptional talents. future growth and productivity of
 Efforts designed to integrate all organization.
components of an organization’s human
The various opinions and views of employees
resource system to attract, select, develop,
about how organizations invest in enhancing
appraise, reward and retain the best
knowledge, capabilities and skills, is another
important issue to be considered because the
 Each organization should be able to come
performance of the employees depend on the
up with specific definitions of talent
satisfaction they get from the tasks
management that meets organizational
performed. When organizations take the lead
unique needs.
in identification of talent of potential
Diverse Views on Talent Management employees, plan for learning and
development activities, and eventually
Key areas in talent management which
provide positive feedback and recognition as
well as a reward system will lead to
 Creation of an employee value proposition increased motivation, which makes
that makes the company attractive. employees willing to utilize their talents for
 Moving beyond recruiting hype or names to more productive and successful performance
building a long term recruiting strategy. of tasks.
 Utilizing job experience, watching and The aims of talent management vary with
mentoring culture potentiality in the definitions, as per various researchers.
managers. For example, according to CIPD [1] ‘Talents
 Strengthening talent pool by heavily consists of those individuals who can make a
investing in “A” players, developing |B| difference to organizational performance,
players and acting decisively on “C” either through their immediate contribution
players. or in longer term by demonstrating their
 A deep conviction shared by company highest level of potential.’ talent
leaders that competitive advantage comes management is a process of identifying,
from better talent at all levels. recruiting, retaining and deploying those
The main of talent management is to use talented people.
talented in the organization effectively and However identified imperatives that
salutary to the organization’s benefits as companies need to act n if they are to win the
much as closing talent gaps and integrate the war of managerial talent.
available talents within the organization and
strategic and business plans.  Create a winning employee value
proposition that will make the company
In the current business market organizations uniquely attractive to talent.
continue their existence for different goals as  Move beyond recruiting hope to build long
per organization type and aims. The term recruiting strategy.
organizations can be classified as public and
private entities. The aim of private Recent Surveys Undertaken on Talent
organizations is to maximize profits while Management in Kenyan Organizations.
public organizations are established to fulfil
Talent Management Trends (Telecoms
the public needs. The overall aim however of
organizations is to give quality service. The
factor to be considered here is all these under a survey which was carried out in
organizations need a common ground. The telecom Kenya 80% of the respondents,
common ground is talent management. No indicated that talent management was given
matter how strong the organizations are high priority due to change in organizational
financially, the probability of success will be structure due to technological
low if talent management is not considered advancements. Use of extranet intranet and
as an overall activity. Low effectiveness of wireless gadgets. Some 70% of the

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respondents stated that search for talents  To convince employees to use their
with the requisite competences is apriority capabilities and efforts in reaching
in these organization due to the impacts of organizational goals.
competition from other telecommunications  To offer a working environment
companies, namely: safaricom Kenya, airtel stimulating hidden creativity and energy.
Kenya and post office Kenya, 67% of the  To create work conditions that stimulate
respondents indicated that the Kenyan innovation, teamwork and total quality
market is evolving and companies have concept
began to put greater emphasis on talent  Encourage flexibility for achieving
acquisition and retention. Only 50% of the learning in organization.
employees in telecom Kenya have scorecards  Establish methods of holding people
in place which measure their competences accountable to meet measurable talent
and performance. Another 50% seem to management objectives, so as to prepare
belong to the analogy group and do not have people for promotion to higher levels of
an idea on how the company measure responsibility.
employee performance in terms of company  To prepare individuals for future
profitability and employee as well as challenges along continuum of technical
customer satisfaction. expertise to dual career ladder.
 Identify, capture and pass on institutional
Talent Management Survey Kerio
Valley Development Authority Kenya wisdom and memory, and pinpoint key
(2011) social relationships and mentoring future
successors to have access to important
According to the study,50% of the employee, people in future through succession
indicated that the organization had talent planning.
management strategies in place,60%strongly
agreed that the organisation is keen in Contributing Factors of Talent
retaining the available talents as available Management
in the organization. About 40% of the Traditionally human resource practices
employees reported that their departments centred on control and delegating employees
had talent management systems in towards realization of organizational goals
place.76% of human resource practitioners
reported that talent management was The talent management strategy recognizes
apriority in their departments, only 20% of the worth of knowledge and capabilities in
the employees indicated that their realization of corporate objectives. It takes a
organization adequately prepared the lower supportive and developmental strategy to
cadre employees to step up to senior achieve results through the efforts of talented
positions, although the retention and pool of employees/talents when opportunities
motivation of employees becomes a problem for growth and enhancement of skills are
in such organizations, less than 50% of the available. Employees will be stimulated to
employees did indicate that their give their best, leading to greater job
organization did not have a formal budget satisfaction and organizational effectiveness.
specifically set for training and recruitment Human resource practitioners’ role has since
for competitive talents from the labour changed from control and direction of
market, employees to developing and maintaining
and a pool of talented people. Managers are
Aims of Talent Management expected to move towards clarifying goals
 Clarify and communicate reasons why and paths and creating supportive and
talent programmes are needed in growth oriented environment where people
organizations based on the business needs. are willing to take up assigned roles willingly
 Specify the measurable results desired and enthusiastically.
from talent management. The effective use of talented employees is the
 Help employees reach optimal most critical factor in successful
performance and use fully their capacity accomplishment of corporate goals. To be
and potential.

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effective, talent management practitioners talent management to its human resource

should be in a position to understand the practices and talent management, is silent
needs, aspirations and concerns of employees, and missing in many human resource
and evolve a corporate culture and take lead departments. If human resource practitioners
in acquisition, motivation and development of put more emphasis on organizations
pool of talented employees and introduce management of talents and reinforce
programmes that reflect and support the core processes and programs as well as strategies
values of the organization and its employees. on talent management, then organizations
may post improved productivity and
The constant environmental changes have
profitability. As organizations pursue
impacted more on talent management than
excellent and quality performance in the
ever given the changing trends in the size of
competitive environment, talent management
workforce, which has increased challenges in
has gained a strategic approach of attracting
Human Resource practitioners, in form of
retaining and developing employees in
additional demands for better pay benefits
readiness of occupying managerial positions
and working conditions from various sections
and promotion from within the organization
of workforce.
when the vacancies are available.
Globalization has also impacted on Organizations must focus on aligning talent
composition of workforce with greater management with human resource practices,
percentage in minority representations, corporate strategy and objectives and goals of
demands for equal work equal pay which has the organization. To meet organizational
put an end to gender inequality and bias of demands for the right talents, organizations
certain occupations. need to carry out a survey of the talents
available in the labour market in order to
Another challenge is employee expectations. ensure that it gets the right people at the
Employees need more involvement and right time and in the right places in the
participative management; given that they organization, and pay more attention to
possess the requisite talents that an talent management process and offer what
organization may not afford to lose. all valuable talents that the organization
Conclusion want and expect from the employees [2-17].

In the current competitive business The future of organizations in Kenya depends

environment in Kenya, business that were on how organizations as a whole, and the
profitable and viable by possessing employees human resource practitioners anticipate to
with the required talents are becoming tackle the changes caused by technological
outdated and organizations have shifted their advancement and globalization, which has
attention to employees creative ideas and contributed to the shortage of requisite
innovation, however many companies have talents. Talent management should be
failed to give talent management the considered just as other business changes,
attention it deserves, and it is only in the which brings new innovation and creativity.
recent past that companies have integrated

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