Challenges & Retention
By: Alex Mendez
What is Talent?
Talent can be described in many ways.
There are four main factors in defining
talent in contemporary management:
What is Talent Management?
Developing and integrating new workers
Developing and retaining current workers
Attracting skilled workers to work for the
How is Talent Management
Sets a standard for a certain level of
Keeps skilled workers loyal and motivated
Creates competition within departments
to increase performance
The War for Talent
This was a phrase coined by Steven
Hankin in 1997 which refers to the
competitive environment of recruiting
and retaining talented workers.
However, this war has just begun.
The War for Talent (HBR Article)
Many top companies are struggling in the
18% of companies claim to be winning the
war for talent.
72% portrayed it as an endless struggle in
which they were neither gaining nor losing
10% declared that the war for talent was
winding down in defeat for their enterprise.
The War for Talent (HBR Article)
The war can be lost on ignorance.
Keep talent-assessment systems on par
with company priorities to help define
A common theme for managers is poor
Not enough effort spent in keeping
employees with the company.
Too many resources into attracting new
A suffering economy only adds to the
As people become better-rounded, the
bar of talent quality rises.
This makes job openings very specific and
Employee retention always has room for
Other companies / job openings offer
Dead-end with no opportunities
Tour of Duty
The IT field can lend a lot of insight to
There are several departments within IT, all
with varying responsibilities and expected
Swapping high potential employees from
department to department (6-12months)
provides a new perspective (Tour of Duty)
Benefits of “Tour of Duty”
Lets employees try something different
Helps a business maintain talented
Gives talented workers the benefits of a
new job while keeping things familiar
Creates loyalty between individual and
Tips to Improve Retention
First, it’s important to realize what makes
retention work. Companies need to
provide the following:
Balanced work environment
Tips for Improving Retention
If these factors are ignored, the talented
individual can find them elsewhere.
Talented workers need a reason to stay
Keep employees motivated
Reward them accordingly
Consider Fast tracking
Fast tracking essentially takes high-
potential employees and puts them in
upper management as the years progress
This is key to having talented individuals
However, there are pitfalls
Pitfalls of Fast Tracking
Improper time spent in the department,
which leads to insufficient experience
Employee may not be able to lead
effectively (can cause Domino effect)
New managers are introduced too
frequently for certain projects to finish
Retention Systems (Walmart)
Walmart has developed their own
Closely monitor and track top executives
Reward those with high scores, discuss
how to improve the ones with lower
Review and share data
This creates healthy competition to strive
for high quality.
Retention Systems (IBM)
Often, talent-management efforts are
difficult to measure and can take years to
Mike Markovits’ tracking system
Keeps track of career paths, assessments,
Easier to discover flaws and conversely,
Talent Management is an ongoing
Talent requirements are becoming more
and more specific.
Talent management systems such as
Markovits’ and Cude’s creations can help
improve talent management.