The war for talent – Human Resource Assignment
Topic: The war for talent
Written Assignment: Individual Research Essay (30 marks)
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- COUNTRY: Australia
- CITY: Perth
- STUDY PROGRAMME: Human Resources
- TOPIC: war for talent
- PAPER FORMAT: Essay –
- WORD COUNT: 2000 Words (8 Pages)
- STUDY LEVEL: Undergraduate
- REFERENCE: Chicago
- NUMBER OF REFERENCES: 11~15
The war for talent
The war for talent is a term coined by Steven Hankin a McKinsey& Company study as far back as
1997. The study exposed the “war for talent” as a strategic business challenge and a critical driver of
corporate performance. McKinsey consultants Michaels, Helen Handfield-Jones, and Beth Axelrod
(2001) further, explore the topic in a book. The war for talent refers to an increasingly competitive
landscape for recruiting and retaining talented employees. Professor David Ulrich from the
The University of Michigan is a strong advocate. He says in his Human Capital Review entitled “A talent
formula”: “We know it matters. Some go to war for it. Professional sports teams draft for it. Actors
audition to show they have it. Others consider it the ultimate solution and try to manage it. Agents
contract for it. Some are innately endowed with it, while others strive diligently to earn it. All try to
grow it. Talent. It is evolving into science for some HR professionals and a passion for many line
managers. ”However, the idea has had its fair share of detractors, including social commentator
Malcolm Gladwell and Stanford University’sProfessor Jeffrey Pfeffer.
According to the Australian Human Resource Institute’s (AHRI) 2015 Pulse Survey Talent Report,
“despite the fact that talent management continually comes up as one of the most pressing
concerns of business leaders around the world, findings in the report suggest that for most
Australian organizations’ talent management is still a work in progress”.
In this research essay, we would like you to critically explore:
The origins of the concept and define what it means in the current HR environment within
Australia and globally.
What are the benefits of organizations?
What are the challenges for organizations?
What strategies are organizations using to attract and retain talent and how effective are
these? Support your evidence with current industry examples. What, if any, creative
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solutions are missing from the current landscape.
You will need to use a wide range of academic and practitioner literature to support your argument
and discussion. While your essay needs to be supported by robust literature, which is critically
synthesized into an effective argument, the need to attract and retain talent within an ever
increasingly dynamic HR environment requires creative thinking solutions. The key concepts,
challenges, and strategies, as well as good essay writing, will be explored in tutorials using
collaborative learning. While students will each submit an individual piece of writing, students will
be encouraged to share ideas and resources in tutorials.
A rubric will be provided on Blackboard to guide your exploration.
Due Date: please submit through the Turnitin portal on Blackboard. There is a provision for you to
submit a revision draft, so please ensure that you submit your final draft through the correct final
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Word count:2,000 words (+/- 10 percent)
Notes on the format: The word count does not include the cover page, reference list, or appendices. It
does include in-text citations. There is no requirement for a table of contents, but one can be
included if you prefer. Please note that this is an essay and not a business report. You may use
headings and subheadings if you prefer, but they are not a requirement. They tend to work well as
signposts in essays, but should not detract from the flow of the argument. They should also NOT be
numbered. There is no requirement for an abstract.
Every essay should have a cover page which includes:
Your name (as it appears in your university record)
Your student number
Your tutor’s name
The day and time of your tutorial
Word count (as per above requirements)
You must use a 12 point font and 1.5 line spacing. If you use tables, diagrams, or figures these must
be appropriately labeled.
All sources must be accurately referenced. You must use Chicago Author-Date (16th edition)
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