Talent Management: The Crusade to Retain Employees

By Bret Anderson

Current talent management (TM) research has found that the primary stimulant of a successful company is the talent within a business rather than the amount of capital or wealth the company accumulates.   While individuals often deem an organization successful based on its accrued capital or wealth, a staggering 64% of U.S. organizations agree that organizational wealth is a by-product from an investment in talent (Craig, 2015).  Talent management as defined by Craig (2015) is “an organizations ability to attract, recruit, train, performance manage, and retain qualified candidates with competitive backgrounds” (p. 203). The findings of this study show that if a company does not provide attention to retaining and developing existing employees, most will leave within five years (or sooner based on current economic conditions).  Furthermore, hiring a high-potential employee has become inadequate to sustain business growth and competitiveness.  For organizations to remain competitive they must focus on the development and retention of its internal talent pool. 

One of the causes for low employee retention is the inability of a company to identify, develop, and retain the core 20% of its high talent employees (Craig, 2015).  With the prospects of keeping the most talented employees within the company less likely due to globalization and the impending loss of talent associated with the generational gap between the baby boomers and the following generations, retaining the top 20% talent is becoming increasingly difficult.  In response to these widespread business difficulties, companies that do not implement a talent retention strategy will lose in the competition for talent. The findings of this body of research accentuate the need for a comprehensive process by which companies can find talent and measure the intangible skills, knowledge’s, and abilities of its existing employees. Additionally, this surplus of research exposes the need for businesses to expand their talent search in areas that may be unconventional and with methods that have yet to be researched empirically to produce consistent positive results.

Employment Retention: The Role of the Career Service Provider
Job seekers want to contribute to the bottom line of their chosen perspective and thereby demonstrate their individual talent to a company.  Often, people seeking direction or guidance in the development and placement of their talent are wishfully anticipating that the career advisor he/she is working with can work their magic and produce the perfect job — something that satisfies their intrinsic desires and helps shape their identity and vocational self concept during transition into adulthood and/or a professional career.  As daunting a task as this expectation to solve the career identity problem of others appears, many career service providers successfully channel career seekers toward the path that will prove satisfying by using a variety of instruments assessment both formal and informal.  Essentially, because of the elegant and sophisticated tools utilized to assess career seekers vocational self-concept, career fit, or job placement ability, the task of guiding a job seeker in obtaining employment may be less overwhelming than ever.  The challenge in this economy is the assessment of career boundarylessness coupled with employment retention while taking into account the employer’s perspective (Anderson, 2017).  The Certified Career Service Provider (CCSP) credential, which can be secured after completing the NCDA Facilitating Career Development course, (https://www.ncda.org/aws/NCDA/pt/sp/credentials_ccsp) provides insight and direction regarding how to facilitate career focus as well as employability skills in concert with the job seeker.

No longer is it advantageous that the role of the CCSP focuses exclusively on the career satisfaction of the career seeker. Career service providers must take into account what employers are truly seeking to better educate and develop the job seekers' employability skills.  In today’s economy, the role of the CCSP is better executed through the development and implementation of an assessment process that will encourage partnership between the CCSP, the career seeker, and the business leader.  To do this, the CCSP must evolve the traditional inquiry beyond the strict goals of the job seeker.  In other words, CCSP’s must shift their initial assessment process away from asking the job seeker, “what type of job or career path are you looking for” toward the following set of questions:

  • How important is work?
  • How confident are you that you can:
  • Show up to work on time?
  • Be at your workstation when you are scheduled?
  • Follow your supervisors’ instructions?
  • Get along with your co-workers?
  • How prepared are you go to work despite possible transportation or social network problems?

Expanding the questions asked of the job seeker that relate to TM rather than strictly career development or exploration is vital for effective career.  Career advisors who certify as CCSP’s are well equipped to take on this dual responsibility.

Best Results for Career Seekers
Overall, the work of a CCSP is challenging, exciting, and dynamic.  To secure the best results for career seekers of all ilk, including TM questions coupled with formal and informal tools is recommended.  The addition of developmental assessments along with structural assessments that assess the degree of readiness a career seeker falls on the scale of TM is vital to employer partnership and employee retention and thereby effective career advisement.



Anderson, B. (2017). Employment retention as a remedy for veterans with cognitive impairment. Northcentral University, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing. doi:10640887.

Craig, M. (2015). Cost effectiveness of retaining top internal talent in contrast to recruiting top talent. Competition Forum, 13(2), 203-209.



Bret AndersonBret Anderson, Ph.D. is the current Chair of the NCDA Training and Education Council and the president and principle of h2 Communication, LLC, which is a training and counseling business.  Bret has worked in the career development field for 30 plus years and has worked with a variety of customers - especially military veterans who are transitioning to civilian life through employment.  In his counseling work, Bret focuses on veterans with cognitive impairment and leaders within the healthcare industry.  To find more information about h2 Communication products and services please visit www.h2communication.com


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1 Comment

Jim Peacock   on Tuesday 10/09/2018 at 04:55 PM

Retaining people is so much easier than finding new ones.
I had setup a "stay interview" with my Virtual Assistant after hearing about how 'exit interviews' are not helping anyone 'stay' at a company. It was brilliant.
And, she gave me a few great ideas that I implemented with the hopes of keeping her working with me.

Thanks for sharing some of the research Bret.

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