Article 1: What is Talent Development and how does it relate to employee job performance and the management of employee skills? What main points does the author (or authors) make in Article 1? Do you agree? Why or why not?
Feffer (2016) in his article ‘Going Soft on Talent’ discusses the importance of developing talent from two approaches – hard talent and soft talent, with emphasis placed on soft talent. The article has displayed talent development as a function that organizations undertake to bring their employees to a level of technical proficiency that is required to undertake a certain job. To illustrate this, the article gives an example of an employee who was struggling to fit into the new technical dispensation that the company had adopted. To ensure that the justice had been done to the organization, the employee had to be suspended from employment or retrained. The organization preferred training as advised by Laker & Powell (2011), and the employee came back renewed and rejuvenated. The employee took time to have his soft talent developed to fit the new job description. In this case, the employee became easy to handle since he was doing something he liked and had the skills to perform his duties.
The author asserts that majority of employees have hard-talents, which accounts for about 80% of their effectiveness and the remaining 20% is covered by soft-talent, which is conspicuously lacking. Such soft skills are necessary for communication, problem-solving, collaboration, and organization as further asserted by Robles (2012). The gap that exists for these skills cannot be assumed. The author reports that soft skills are notoriously difficult to teach and screen for during recruitment. The reasons attributed to them being hard to teach is that they are subjective in nature and are demanded differently in each company based on organization’s culture. The major effect of soft skills is displayed when it comes to teamwork. Without soft skills, Feffer (2016) identifies that the performance of an organization is at stake since productivity will go down. The article captures a cliché that beckons that people are hired for hard skills and often fired for lack of soft skills. The assertions by Feffer (2016) are true since human interaction forms the basis of good work ethics and without it, simple things are easily propelled to become huge issues as explained by Culpin& Scott (2012).
Article 2: Select an article focusing on talent development and change management. What main points does the author (or authors) make in the second article you selected? Do you agree? Why or why not?
‘Tapping Talent around the Globe’ is an article that is a wealth of information concerning talent development and change management. Overman (2016) discusses the challenges that American companies face with talent and change when they venture outside the American borders. Markets outside the U.S. for instance, those in Europe, Russia, Middle East, Asia, Africa, Canada, and Mexico come with their own unique rules, especially regarding human resource acquisition. To handle these changes, Overman (2016) advocates for the use of local assets that understand the dynamics of such markets. The process of developing talent from scratch is often seen as overly expensive in terms of time and financial resources.
Leveraging the local knowledge comes with immense advantage to a company seeking to adapt to unfamiliar territory. The article notes that people rarely find American companies attractive as employers with the exception of Africa. Employees in other regions find it better to work for indigenous companies, which in terms of talent development and other elements such as compensation, involvement in decision-making and reporting structures make local companies more attractive than American companies. As such, American companies must devise means of staying on top by inventing how to navigate the fragile local market something that has been echoed by Allen, Lee, &Reiche (2015). The article underlines the importance of putting in place global talent acquisition efforts the moment it thinks of moving into a new market.
Changes that any company should think of should be region specific. For instance, Europe has strict employment laws, which are distinctively different from those in the United States. Job seekers in countries like the Netherlands use employment agencies citing the importance of having sufficient local contacts. In Asia, employment and promotions are done on the premise of relationships. People in positions of power employ people they know which means that employment is not a public affair. In Africa, U.S. companies have a level of dominance and should not worry about talent acquisition.
The assertions in this article are true and reflective of the dynamic situations that face companies that endeavor to have change. Schuler, Jackson &Tarique(2011) agrees that the need for global talent acquisition has been necessitated by the competitive nature of global commerce. In this case, the need to handle talent shortages and surpluses, locating, and relocating talent not forgetting compensation cannot be underestimated. Schuler, Jackson &Tarique(2011) calls these challenges the global talent challenges and goes ahead to mention that the challenges also present opportunities if taken seriously.
Article 3: Select an article that discusses some aspect of organizational development. What main points does the author (or authors) make in the third article you selected? Do you agree? Why or why not?
Organizational development is a core item when considering any form of advancement in the organization. Ward (2018) has captured this element in his article, ‘Talent First’. The article calls for the alignment of the human resource office, the CEO and the CFO in a manner that they work together to drive the advancement of the organization using the rigor and synchrony. The article argues that if the same rigor that is applied when managing financial capital is used in the management of human resource, it means that the organization will deliver impeccable results.
The concept of competitive hiring in companies has been lauded in the article but at the same time, the style of talent practices of organizations has been called on. Organizations have been found to have been steadfast in following organizational charts and static work processes which are not beneficial in this era. For organizational development to be achieved, the article asserts that organizations need to embolden their approaches, avoid hierarchy, and at the same time recognize agility in human resource management. This kind of transformation, according to the article, should start with the Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO).
To start the process of transformation, Ward (2018) believes that CHROs need to win the trust of CEOs and CFOs. To do this, the CHROs are advised to first understand and demonstrate that they understand the issues that the CEO and the CFO are putting up with to enable the CHROs to speak the same language as the CEOs and CFOs. This means that the CHRO must sharpen their business acumen and understand how to make decisions after considering costs and benefits of such decisions, an element that has been echoed by Charan Barton& Carey (2015). HR leaders have been advised to rise above operational levels and go to strategic levels.
HR officers have been advised to get into terms with technology in their operations. Technology has been placed in the article as the tool that organizations can use to ensure that they get the right performance evaluation process and consequently the compensation policy. With proper performance evaluation using technology, HR office will be in a position to develop a functional reporting system that will inform the employees of their performance periodically and not just wait for the end of the year. This means, with constant feedback, organizations will be in a position to develop further since its employees are striving to be better than they were the previous periods.
Allen, D., Lee, Y. T., &Reiche, S. (2015). Global work in the multinational enterprise: New avenues and challenges for strategically managing human capital across borders. Journal of Management, 41(7), 2032-2035.
Charan, R., Barton, D., & Carey, D. (2015). People Before Strategy. Harvard Business Review.
Culpin, V., & Scott, H. (2012). The effectiveness of a live case study approach: Increasing knowledge and understanding of ‘hard’versus ‘soft’skills in executive education. Management Learning, 43(5), 565-577.
Feffer, M. (2016, ). Going Soft on Talent. HR Magazine, 61(3), 54-60.
Laker, D. R., & Powell, J. L. (2011). The differences between hard and soft skills and their relative impact on training transfer. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 22(1), 111-122.
Overman, S. (2016, February). Tapping Talent Around the Globe. HR Magazine, 61(1), 46-51.
Robles, M. M. (2012). Executive perceptions of the top 10 soft skills needed in today’s workplace. Business Communication Quarterly, 75(4), 453-465.
Schuler, R. S., Jackson, S. E., &Tarique, I. (2011). Global talent management and global talent challenges: Strategic opportunities for IHRM. Journal of World Business, 46(4), 506-516.
Ward, D. (2018, April). Talent First. HR Magazine, 63(3), 24.
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