Today it is a cliché, but since McKinsey coined the phrase ‘talent management’ in the late 1990s, the war for talent has reached alarming levels. A decade later, Human Resources (HR) professionals and business heads continue to strategise about talent management without the hope of success in sight.
by Tokozile Marah and Leigh-Ann Murray
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Tokozile Marah is a Senior Manager in the Human Capital and Leadership Department at PricewaterhouseCoopers, for further information please contact her on 083 625 2018. Leigh-Ann Murray is a Consultant in the Human Capital and Leadership Department at PricewaterhouseCoopers, for further information please contact her on 082 214 3563
Talent is viewed differently, depending on the organisation or the industry. It is sometimes seen as a scarce or critical skill, a high flyer, a high performer or a combination of these factors. The definition of talent is normally aligned to pressing people issues evident in the organisation at the time.
Talent management is faced with a fast-paced environment, which is fuelled by the technological explosion and the global village. This calls for innovative methods of managing talent as well as keeping abreast of socio-economic matters in the world, and especially in Africa. Traditional methodologies used to manage talent were developed to address different business challenges and different types of people. In recent years, employers are focusing more on engaging with employees in order to retain them, with aspects such as work-life balance, providing a challenging and exciting work environment, and employer branding becoming more important. In spite of the challenges above, these traditional methods continue to be used in today’s people management.
Traditionally, HR is known to be inherently weak due to its administrative focus. This continues to be the case in the face of easily available technology. Therefore strategic HR management continues to take a back seat with HR burnout on administrative matters. As a result talent management is an administrative nightmare and does not yield the desired results. In some organisations, talent management ends up being done with a brush stroke methodology, resulting in a tick-box exercise.