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Talent Management

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Talent Management

A critical literature review


Tourism industry is one of the most promising industry worldwide as people become increasingly wealthy and focus more on the quality of life.  People are the most valuable assets to a company, especially in the tourism and hospitality organizations. Dries suggest that it is difficult to attract and retain talented staff considering the demographic and psychological feature in tourism industry (Cheng, 2015). More than 60% managers reported challenges in attracting, developing, and retaining talented employees (Dries, 2013). The talent management is a key responsibility of human resource and requires knowledge from different fields.

Talent Management

Talent management represents identifying, developing, and engaging talents in an organizational context and provides means for companies to managing succession and developing career opportunities for employees with high potentials, which is a comprehensive and integrated strategy in business that enable both organization and individuals to archive the goals. External factors, including political, social, economic factors will impact the talent management. Internal environment such as organizational value and culture and support from human resources also paly an important role (Watson et al., 2008).

Baum et al. (Baum et al., 2008) argues that talent management in tourism sector is differently interpreted from other industries since talent management in hospitality and tourism industry also includes elements such as emotion, information process, and aesthetic aspects that are commonly ignored by other sectors. Lub et al. also suggests that talent management literature is different from the mainstream management study since it has more focus on demands and behaviors of the generation (Lub et al., 2012).

Talent Management Framework

One of the key component of talent management in tourism sector is to retain talented employees. There are several commonly adopted strategies, including enhancing job satisfaction, increasing organizational commitment and related attitudes, and maintaining balance between work and life.

Based on literature about employee turnover, Deery et al. in 2008 proposed a framework for improving the retention of talents specially in hospitality and tourism industry with organizational and industry attributes identified (Deery et al., 2008). The framework incorporates several concepts related to talent management in tourism sector, including industrial attributes and organizational characteristics, work and life conflicts and balance of employees, attitudes and personal dimensions of employees, and organization strategy regarding talent management.

New elements have been gradually added to the basic framework by researchers later on.  For example, Stanley et al. in 2013 provided detailed analysis of the levels and types of different organizational commitment (Stanley et al., 2013) and Hancock et al. studied the impact of staff turnover on the performance of the organization (Hancock et al., 2013). The figure below is the original basic framework to enhance employee management and retention.

Figure A framework to enhance employee retention

[pic 1]

Industrial features

The industry has long been characterized as employing contingent and poorly-paid labors, which resulted in poor image and low reputation according to some research in the industry (Davidson and Wang, 2011). On top of that, the industry is also considered as low entrant skills requirement and long working hours without much social activities. Research Ashley et al. (Ashley et al., 2001) argues that part time and casual employees negatively impact the identification of the industry and decrease the intention of the employees to retain in the organization. There is still no academic research to address this program yet. The perceived industry image has influenced the way how employees think of themselves and resulted in affective commitment. Later studies identify other attributes of the industry do not add more additional elements and features.

Balance between work and Life

Work and life balance has been placed in an increasing important place since 2008 and it has attracted considerable attention of the hospitality research and studies. Employees who are occupied by heavy workloads are identified as low level of Balance between work and Life and they are more likely to demonstrate job performance in bad quality (Page, 2014). Several components in employee dimension, including exhaustion and stress negatively affects employees for the quality of their life, as indicated by Karatepe and Kilic in their reserach (Karatepe and Kilic, 2007). Study also shows stress will further the condition of performance and the balance between work and life for employees in tourism industry(Zhao et al., 2016).

As for the causes of stress and exhaustion, one of the most important one results from the tourism and hospitality attributes which requires employees to spend much emotional labor and caring for other during the work (Mohanty and Mohanty, 2014), but there is no detailed study associated the work and life balance of the emotion efforts in the industry. Chiang et al. found that the demand and control of job affect the stress from job. In the situation with high control over job but high job demand with low work life balance level resulted in high employee stress(Chiang et al., 2010).

Besides emotional efforts, some studies also focus on the attitudes towards tourism work, including factors such as job satisfaction as well as commitment to job (Cegarra-Leiva et al., 2012). Cegarra-Leiva et al. shows that existence of work and life balance practices increases job satisfaction and thus lowers the employee turnover.

Lewis proposed different point of view by stating that human resource and talent management policy has great impact on the work and life balance of employees. The timetable flexibility and beneficial relationship between employers and employees determine the results (Kossek et al., 2009). For example, employees with long working hour schedule that forces them to limit their private life and time with families lead to more stress and tiredness.

Organizational strategies

To enhance employee retention and performance, researchers also study the strategies that organization in tourism adopted. Bharwani and Butt proposed that training programs should be provided with high quality to talent employees to grow their core skills and develop their talent. Career development and other skill development programs should also be designed and offered (Bharwani and Butt, 2012). In addition, the management should structure appropriate and reasonable pay paradigm to retain staff and provide incentives for better performance (Khan et al., 2011). Some employees left one company but seek similar positions in the same tourism industry simply because of better employment offers, thus companies should provide better benefits for talents according to their potential and contributions (Yang et al., 2012).



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