Talent Acquisition and Retention:
Critical Aspects of Talent Management System


J. Sheeba Rosaline
Xavier Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship
Electronic City Phase II, Hosur Road, Bangalore-560100

"People are not your most important asset. The right people are. "
- Jim Collins 


The talent management system refers to the process of recruitment, development and retention of human capital. Talent management system rests on the pillar of human resource planning that ensures that right availability of talents. In order to link the human resource activities with the organizational goals, workforce planning is a must. It helps in bridging the gap between the current and the required human resource. Managing talent is equally important as that of managing finance in an organization . Attraction and retention of employees in an organization were really difficult during the lean economic times. In the era of talent, it is the best come best serve basis. Every company makes sure that  it receives the best talent and that is why there is also race among  recruiters to grab the  best of the lot. The talent management process is incomplete without the development and retention of talent. The talent development is a two dimensional in the way that it is beneficial for the company as well as the employees. The importance of talent management can be well understood from the simple fact that companies incur  one –third of their cost for workforce management.

Talent Acquisition Vs Recruitment:

Recruitment and talent acquisition are used synonymously but there is quite a lot of difference between the two.  Recruitment involves the process of filling up of the vacancies where as talent acquisition shows the strategic hiring of talent   not only for the current   requirement but also planning for future. McKinsey & Company (1997) that coined the term 'the war of talent' predicted that there is high demand for managerial talent in future. The survey report insisted on five elements for tapping the successful talent such as talent mindset, growing great leaders , employee value proposition, continuous top talent recruitment and differentiation. Hence the companies need to be forearmed to anticipate and determine the talents. Generally hr professionals rely on the past experience through behavioral interviews like STAR (Situation, Task, Action and Result). But relying on the past alone will not be sufficient as such. Placing the right person at the right job is much more important to enhance the organizational performance.

Talent Shortage:

Trespassers will be recruited was the slogan that appeared in the signs of GE Capital. This shows that the talent quest is increasing day by day and it has become global. The estimated shortage of talent has been projected for sectors like Information Technology (5 million),health, (half a million ) education (24 - 40 %) and banking (50-80%) .The skill shortage has compelled some of the companies to hire the top executives from outside.  There is positive side on the other hand for the job seekers to concentrate more on the resume building opportunities and the new recruits who will receive high packages for the jobs in demand.

Strategic Importance of Talent Development:

Once the talent acquisition process is completed the human resource professionals have to concentrate on the next level of talent management, talent development. It is necessary to develop the skills of the employees through training and development. The training programmes should be tailored towards the accomplishment of the organizational goals. To enhance the dwindling talent, best practices of talent development should be followed in the companies taking into account the individual, team and organization as a whole. The importance of talent management can be understood strategically through succession planning that helps in identifying the key leaders and developing them for future.

Talent Retention: Extended Talent Management System

Talent Retention and business growth are related to each other. The company is not the deciding authority for talent retention. It is on the part of the employees that determine the retention scenario. The retention is based on the sense of feeing engaged in the work and the innovativeness of the job. First of all the human resource professionals must look into the several deciding factors of talent retention.  Attrition rate in BPO's is perceived to be very high. The net results of poor performance appraisal system   also lead to attrition. As per the report in businessweek, there is shortage of talents in technology and the attrition rate accounts to about 25% annually. The chief executive of GE, Genpact, remarked the skill shortage as the biggest challenge in Indian Industry ( 2005).


Talent acquisition and talent retention are like the two sides of a coin that are critical in the human capital management. Innovative technologies are to be adopted to enhance the process of talent management. With the dynamic situation prevailing in the global employability status , the role of human resource managers is very imperative in maintaining the talent balance. Holistic cum participatory approach is to be followed for harnessing the real benefits of talent management system. The talent management system that acts as a drive to performance excellence has to be integrated with the rest of the areas in the company and through effective talent management strategy.


India : Desperately Seeking Talent 2005 http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_ 45/b3958050.htm  Accessed 11 March 2011

McKinsey & Company 2011 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_war_for_talent Accessed 11 March 2011

Nita 2007 How India will come with skill shortages?

The Global Talent Picture 2010  http://www.corporate-eye.com/blog/2010/06/the-global-talent-picture/ Accessed 11 March, 2010.

It's 2008 : Do you know where your talent is ? Why acquisition and retention strategies don't work . http://www.deloitte.com/assets/Dcom-Venezuela/Local%20Assets/Documents/VE_ Consulting_HC_connect_talentmgm_Feb07.pdf Accessed 11 March 2011

J. Sheeba Rosaline
Xavier Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship
Electronic City Phase II, Hosur Road, Bangalore-560100

Source: E-mail March 14, 2011


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