The Concept of the Talent Management in Hospitality

The development of the contemporary hospitality industry raises the problem of the enhancement of the talent management which role increases along with the increasing role of human resources in the contemporary business environment. Human resources are important assets of companies operating in the hospitality industry, but graduates often have a skeptical view of their prospect of working in the hospitality industry. The negative perception of the industry by graduates raises the problem of the shortage of talented professionals, who can run hospitality business and work in hospitality companies to improve their performance and competitive position in the market. This is why the hospitality industry needs the development of the effective talent management. At any rate, many studies conducted in this field indicate to the necessity of the development of the talent management as the major driver of the effective human resource management and improvement of the organizational performance, personnel retention and enhancement of the competitive position of companies in the market.

Researchers exploring the concept of the talent management and its application to the hospitality industry develop different interpretation of the term ‘talent management’. The talent management refers to the overall process of attracting, developing, managing and retaining workers. This concept includes a wide variety of functions including recruiting, learning and training, compensation, employee performance management and succession planning (Cobb, 2011). Such definition of the talent management is general and applicable to different industries, including the hospitality industry. This definition views the talent management as a part of human resource management which performs the key managerial functions. At the same time, this definition contains elements which are very important and, in a way, challenging for the contemporary hospitality industry, for example, retaining. The talent management has to deal with such issues and requires much efforts from the part of managers, while many companies operating in the hospitality industry experience difficulties with retaining talented employees and attraction of talented employees, because they have rather negative than positive perception of the industry and do not always prefer to make their career in the hospitality industry. Instead, talented employees often prefer other industries, where their career opportunities seem to be better for them.

At the same time, Burbach and Royle (2010) argue that the talent management should be viewed from three perspectives. First, TM should be seen as a combination of standard human resource management practices such as recruitment, selection and career development. The second perspective focuses on the creation of a large talent pool which has the requisite skills and knowledge necessary for an organization. The third perspective regards talent as a resource to be managed primarily according to performance levels or as an undifferentiated good, based on the organizational needs. In such a way, Burbach and Royle (2010) give the broader and more detailed definition of the concept of the talent management and view this concept from different perspectives. They reveal that the talent management focuses on the identification and promotion of talented employees along with their retention in companies, where they work. Any company is looking for talented employees because they are more productive and capable to introduce innovations that can boost their business development and improve the quality of their performance.

The talent management focuses on the enhancement of human resources and the improvement of their performance through the retention and promotion of talented employees. Singh and Point (2004) argue that human capital is a source of unrivaled advantage in a competitive and complicated world. This means that human resources comprise important assets of companies and they invest substantial financial resources into the training of employees and improvement of their performance. The talent management is the effective way to improve the quality of human resources through the employment and promotion of the best employees, who have skills and talent useful for companies, where they work. The role of human resources in the hospitality industry cannot be under-estimated, especially in the contemporary business environment, where the competition between companies operating in the hospitality industry is high and so are customers’ expectations. Human resources comprise important assets of companies because employees of hospitality companies interact with customers and define, to a significant extent, the customer satisfaction and attitude of customers to companies and their brands. As a result, human resources contribute to the overall perception of hospitality companies by customers and influence their position in the market. Human resources can also improve their performance and increase their productivity without substantial investments into the introduction of new technologies or the construction of new facilities or whatsoever from the part of companies. Instead, companies can benefit from the improved performance of employees, which may be the result of good motivation, for example, or, what is more often the case, the result of the effective talent management (Singh & Point, 2004).

As the matter of fact, the talent management has always been important but now needs to become an inseparable part of business strategy on a par with technology and finance (Cobb 2015). In other words, Cobb (2015) implies that the talent management has become more important today than it has ever been before. The reason for such increased significance of the talent management is the fast progress of technologies along with the accelerated business development driven by globalization, especially in the field of hospitality. Requirements of employers become stricter and employees have to comply with those requirements. Companies operating in the hospitality industry need professionals capable to perform multiple tasks and functions. They also focus on the introduction of the concept of the learning organization, where employees can keep progressing and introduce innovations that can contribute to the better organizational performance. Companies need talented employees to take a competitive advantage and outpace rivals because talented employees are more effective and productive and, what is more important in the contemporary hospitality industry, they are capable to innovations and new approaches to their work and clients.

Also, the role of the talent management in the hospitality industry increased because tourism is highly labor intensive, and in this context, the management of employees working in the industry is a critical function (Grobler & Diedericks, 2009). The high labor intensiveness requires the high qualification and talent. Employees should have both of them, but they do not always have. This is why companies operating in the hospitality industry are concerned with the enhancement of their talent management to prevent the personnel turnover and the loss of talented employees, who transfer to rivals or even change the industry, where they work. Such a situation, when talented employees leave hospitality companies or change the industry, where they work, is devastating because hospitality companies experience difficulties with the employment of talented employees, who can progress faster than the average employees and who can simply outperform the average employees due to their talent enhanced by their skills.

Kichuk (2017) argues that hotels need to respond quickly to changes in the business environment and technologies with its novel ways of working, recruiting, monitoring performance, rewarding and managing in order to attract and retain vital talent. At this point, the fast progress of technologies has had a particularly significant impact because employees have to be able to use advanced technologies, including information technologies and digital devices, new applications and other technologies. Moreover, they have to learn constantly to be able to use new technologies, while customers expect technologies they are accustomed to will be available to them in hotels and other companies. The talent management will involve the development of effective policies that help companies to match needs of human resources and to keep their professional level and skills up-to-date. The talent management contributes to the transformation of companies operating in the hospitality industry into learning organizations, where employees can realize their full potential and their talents. Often talented employees do not have an opportunity to realize their talent and to apply their talent in their workplace environment, where the learning organization environment is the most beneficial for the revelation of talents and the full potential of employees. In such a situation, companies operating in the hospitality industry can benefit from the revelation of the full potential of their employees and promoting the most talented and prospective employees.

The talent management improves performance which drives productivity (Cheese, 2008). The improvement of productivity is the result of the better performance of talented employees. Employees perform better due to their talent because talent helps them to perform better than the average employees as they can find unconventional solutions to problems they confront in the course of their work. If the average employees cannot overcome problems, than talented employees may find the unconventional solution to these problems and keep working effectively. The rise of the productivity occurs due to the talent employees have because talent means that employees can outperform the average employees. In such a way, the talent management opens the way for the improvement of the marketing performance of companies. The talent management helps to create conditions, where talented employees are highly motivated to work better and to apply their talent and skills to the full extent. The talent management helps employees to feel how rewarding their work may be as they apply their natural inclinations to their professional performance and regular work, which many employees view as being routine and not interesting.

Baum (2012) argues that the talent management contributes to the competitiveness of companies operating in the hospitality industry. The improvement of the performance of employees and the enhancement of the competitive position occurs due to the enhancement of the performance. Companies, who have talented employees, outperform companies that have the average employees, because talented employees can perform better, for example, they can find more effective approaches to customers than the average employees. This is why companies with talented employees perform better and, thus, hold a stronger competitive position, compared to companies that employ the average employees. Talented employees have unique talents while their uniqueness make them more competitive in the labor market. Companies also become unique, when they employ talented employees, they can use their unique skills and features. They can differentiate their products and services from those of employees due to talented employees because talented employees can offer unique services compared to the average employees.

At the same time, the growth in hospitality and tourism programs in the past ten years should be able to address the growing labor and talent needs of hospitality firms (Hsu, 2012). The growth of the tourism industry urges companies to introduce innovations and the enhancement of their productivity. They have used standard approaches to the improvement of their performance such as the expansion of their business, the introduction of new technologies, the motivation of employees through bonuses and promotion, and other methods. However, these conventional methods cannot work and provide the stable growth in a long-term perspective. The long growth of the hospitality industry urged companies to look for new options to boost their business development and the talent management has become the effective tool to accelerate the business development and marketing performance of companies. In other words, today, the talent management is an effective tool that helps companies operating in the hospitality industry to accelerate their business development, improve their performance and enhance their competitive position in the market. Moreover, researchers (Hsu, 2012) argue that the talent management can provide the long-run growth because talented employees do not require substantial funds from companies to invest. Instead, they just keep working and improve their performance, while companies just have to retain and promote talented employees to improve their overall organizational performance.

However, this is where the major problem of the talent management in the hospitality industry emerges because graduates have quite a negative attitude toward the career in the hospitality industry. King, Mckercher and Waryszak (2003) suggest that graduates from the tourism and hospitality industry have no intention of entering the industry upon graduation. Graduates are not interested in the work in the hospitality industry. The negative perception of the industry discourages talented graduates and talented employees from the work in the industry. As a result, companies operating in the industry lose talented employees and they have to find effective approaches to the talent management to retain talented employees that already work and attract new talented employees and graduates.

The negative perception of the hospitality industry among graduates raises the problem of unwillingness of skillful professionals and prospective young employees to get employment in the hospitality industry. In this regard, the effective talent management has significant potential to contribute to changing approaches to managing people and to improving opinions on careers in this sector (Maxwell & MacLean, 2008). The change of the management can improve the performance of employees because new management methods may be more effective than conventional ones. As companies look for new, more effective management strategies, they can identify the most effective ones and introduce best practices that motivate talented employees and can also stimulate other employees to perform better.

Scott and Revis (2008) arrive to similar conclusions and argue that there is a strong need for committed, professional, motivated and developed graduates in the attainment of immediate and long‐term objectives, so crucial for hospitality organizations, to combat retention issues and the talent management can help to enhance existing retention strategies used by companies operating in the hospitality industry. In other words, the effective talent management can contribute to the retention of employees. Companies operating in the hospitality industry should define priorities and focus on the retention of the most prospective and talented employees. The retention of talented employees helps companies to keep progressing and improving their performance. The retention also becomes the result of the change of priorities of employees. The negative attitude to the career in the hospitality industry changes and employees become aware of their prospects in the hospitality industry and how successful their career may be. They change the negative attitude to the career in the hospitality industry to the positive one. Such a change contributes to the retention of employees and attracts new, talented employees, while the hospitality industry becomes attractive for professionals to work and to build up their career. Such a change in the attitude of employees to the hospitality industry will make companies attractive to the skilled and talented labor force and attractive for talented graduates. Employees will seek employment in the hospitality industry rather than in other industries.

At the moment, the negative attitude to the hospitality industry has a negative impact on the performance of employees and companies as well as the attraction of the qualified and talented labor force to companies operating in the hospitality industry. Baum (2006) points out the fact that the negative perception of the industry should be viewed with restraint as some industry professions are considered exciting. Therefore, some professions in the hospitality industry are attractive, while others are in a disadvantageous position and do not attracted qualified and talented professionals. Such a situation causes the disparity in human resource management as well as in the overall development of the hospitality industry. As some professions are more exciting and attractive, employees working in those professions face the stiff competition, whereas other professions, which are not popular among candidates, face the problem of the shortage of employees. Hence, companies experience the problem of the stiff competition in some professions and the shortage of professionals in others. In such a way, the disparity in the employment allows companies to employ the best employees in some professions and the shortage of qualified employees in others. As a result, the disparity in the qualification of employees in different positions results in the under-performance in some performance, while the overall customer satisfaction turns out to be low.

Companies operating in the hospitality industry need to employ and retain talented employees. However, to meet this goal, they need to identify talented employees first. To identify talented employees and promote them, a skills analysis measure will provide the tools for appropriate placement of individuals. In addition, the tools can be used to determine the type of training necessary to equalize income (Jurowski & Liburd, 2001). Testing employees helps to identify the most talented employees as well as employees, who are potentially talented. What is meant here is the fact that some employees may have talent but having a talent does not mean that employees can perform well and become successful in the hospitality industry. Talented employees have to realize their talent.  They have to develop their talents along with professional skills. Companies have to assist them to realize their full potential. Many talented employees fail to achieve positive outcomes in their career in the hospitality industry and just ruin their career or change a better place of employment in a different industry. This is why to identify talented employees is the first step of the talent management. Also companies have to develop the talent and professional skills that require the extensive training of employees. In such a context, the talent management becomes crucial for the development of talent and professional skills of employees.

Researchers (Nzonzo & Chipfuva, 2013) argue that the talent management in the tourism industry needs formal processes, stakeholder participation and strong links between leadership and talent so that specific industry oriented skills and attributes can cascade to all organizational levels. Therefore, the talent management is not just the matter of finding talented employees, their training and promotion. Instead, the talent management is the matter of the complex organizational change and the development of the organizational philosophy oriented on the employment of talented employees, their professional development and helping all employees to reveal their full potential and to uncover their talents. In such a way, companies operating in the hospitality industry can realize the full potential of employees and maximize their performance. As employees do their best, then the marketing performance of companies operating in the industry improves. Companies that are the most successful in the talent management can accelerate their business development and reach better outcomes compared to companies with the poor talent management. This is why the talent management becomes strategically important in the contemporary hospitality industry because it can give the competitive advantage to companies.

References:

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[Accessed: November 25, 2020]

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[Accessed: November 25, 2020]