Talenting: Framework and Metaphors for a New Processual Approach to Talent Management

By Simon L. Dolan & Paulo Hayashi Jr.

Although the necessity for attracting, retaining, and motivating talent is an old challenge for all competitive organisations, only in the last decade has this theme been getting increased attention as a field of study. The objective of this article is to introduce a new concept of ‘Talenting’ in its multifaceted framework composed of the 7 H-metaphors: Hiring, Health, Happiness, Hygiene, Head, Heart and Hand. Very different from the traditional models of Talent Management, it is argued that focusing on the process rather than exclusively on the person can facilitate the making of a consistent and sustainable high achiever.

The economic crisis in European countries, such as Greece, Portugal, Spain and more recently France, leads to the search and the emergence of many new themes as a focus of interest. It is interesting to find that both in difficult times (in terms of shortage of money, shrinkage in purchasing power, or high rates of unemployment), as well as in affluent times, the issue of talent comes to play. Throughout history, talented individuals have always risen above the known limits of their time. People can make a difference when they have the competences and dare to believe in creating advantages for themselves, their organisations, their communities and their future.

There is no doubt that organisations now need talented managers, core employees and innovative ideas that were not as critical in other times and contexts. Several authors propose that we are entering the era of the ‘war over talent’.1 Consequently, Talent Management (TM) appears to have become one of the new hot topics and is most likely to continue to attract attention during the coming decade. A web search of the term ‘talent management’ conducted these days (May 2013) encountered over 161 million hits, and if we limit the search to ‘Talent Management – HR’, we still find over 46,000,000 hits. This is a clear indication that the concept is becoming increasingly popular. Nonetheless, we don’t have ‘a single consistent or concise definition of talent management’2. Perhaps this strange fact can be understood due to the fact that a blend of non-academics (i.e. consultants, and managers) as well as academic scholars are interested in the concept. We argue that time has come to separate the wheat from the chaff, and thus, in this article, we propose a concept that goes beyond the traditional TM.

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