RETENTION ISSUES OF FACULTY IN HIGHER EDUCATION: DEFINING TALENT

DEFINING TALENT

At the outset, let us embark on an attempt to define ‘talent’. Talent may be defined as the inherent ability of an individual to do a particular task in a particular way. Talent has a connotation of distinction. It is something that sets one apart. The point to be underscored here is that talent is a commodity in short supply and comes at a price. Since it is a scarce resource, it needs to be optimally managed. Organizations across the world are now thinking of including talent management in the gamut of management processes and functions. But what is talent management? Talent management incorporates attracting, retaining and developing the talent pool available to an organization in association with the other functions of management, so that the organization is never rendered bereft of expertise. Education

Talent management is a systematic process of identifying, assessing, developing and retaining people with critical knowledge, skills and competencies. Competence, capability and talents are human assets of organizations. At the workplace, capability could mean member’s readiness to seek, undertake and carry out challenging work assignments. It is grounded in self-efficacy and other self-related phenomena (Mehta 1999). Talent management systems provide an organization with the vehicle of attracting and retaining the right skills at the right time in the right jobs.

The term ‘talent management’ means different things to different people. To some it is about the management of high-worth individuals or “the talented” while to others it is about how talent is managed generally, i.e., on the assumption that all people have talent, which should be identified and liberated. This term is usually associated with competency-based human resource management practices. Talent-management decisions are often driven by a set of organizational core competencies as well as position-specific competencies. The competency set may include knowledge, skills, experience and personal traits (demonstrated through defined behaviors).

This study investigated the factors affecting talented faculty retention of the measured variables and the cause and effect relationship of among the variables. Chew (2005) and Ready at al. (2008) were followed to select the influencing variables for this study. Altogether four HR factors and four organizational factors have been identified which affect the employee retention. The HR factors are comprised of compensation package, person organization fit, challenging opportunity and training and development. The organizational factors included in the framework are working environment, company culture and policy, leadership behavior and teamwork relationship.

Compensation package is the most important motivational, factors for the core employees in the context of private institutes. Thus, it can be said that the compensation package has a strong influence on employee retention. Person organization fit means whose values, norms and ethics are congruent with those of an organization is necessary to keep him or her for a long time in the organization. Evidence say that a high level of P-0 fit is related to a number of positive outcomes. So, it can be said that person-organization fit is a better predictor of talented employee retention.

Challenging opportunity is considered to be one of the important reasons employees would choose to leave or stay in the organization. Challenging projects and their results are important for a high performance job market milieu in which talented employees can achieve their personal goals and career objectives. The fact that organisations don’t own their employees, as they do their capital assets, is why methods for valuing “human capital” on balance sheets are so tortuous (Barber and Strack, 2005). Training and development is another dimension that the employees care for considering to be dynamic and to be competent in the job market. Hence, more training and developmental tasks motivate the employees to stay for longer in the company.

Fig1Talent Acquisition-1
Figure 1: Conceptual model for talented faculty retention policy of an organization

There are two types of variables, dependent and independent in nature. There can be various controllable variables which help in establishing a relationship between the satisfaction level of faculty, discipline and gender. Some of the studies that has explored the nature and importance of these variables to study job satisfaction level of faculty. These variables can be grouped into four broader categories, namely:

(1) Demographic, (2) Institutional, (3) Career, and (4) Productivity.

Demographic variables indicate that it can also impact faculty satisfaction. The results between married, married and having children’s to that of faculty job satisfaction level that have yielded mixed results. Married faculty members with their spouse working in the same institutes also have greater level of job satisfaction. Though it may not always have a positive impact, there can be some negative aspects as well that may be associated with job satisfaction level. Similarly, the presence of children and that too children’s studying in higher secondary or senior secondary levels has been found to impact job satisfaction.

Teaching and conducting research are usually supporting pillars in faculty member’s work life .Though, Institutional variables plays a crucial role in faculties career satisfaction level which in turn is the nature of the work itself, Olsen (1995) studied that faculty members who express higher satisfaction with teaching are less likely to gain support and recognition from their peers in their respective departments.

Various Other Factors affecting retention of faculty are the internal and external factors. Internal factors may include Competitive salary, Quality of colleagues, Quality of students, Affordable quality of housing, fair and equitable evaluation (merit increases, promotions), supportive department atmosphere, Reasonable teaching load, quality of facilities, lab space, etc. research support, recognition for work, contributions and ideas, effective policies. External factors may include Stress, spousal opportunities, career Growth, Status, Children’s Education.