Understanding Graduate Recruitment, Development and Retention for the Enhancement of Talent Management: Sharpening “the edge” of Graduate Talent

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McCracken, Martin ; Currie, Denise ; Harrison, Jeanette (2016)

Graduates are deemed to be a key source of talent within many organisations and thus recruiting, developing and retaining them is viewed as a logical talent management (TM) strategy. However, there has been little attention paid to university graduates as part of an organisation’s TM strategy. Such a specific focus addresses the need for further research into the segmentation of talent pools and the specific challenges different talent pools are likely to create. This research, which utilised a qualitative data collection strategy, examined the experiences and practices of six large UK organisations in relation to graduate TM. Drawing from Gallardo-Gallardo, Dries and González-Cruz’s (2013. What is the meaning of ‘talent’ in the world of work? Human Resource Management Review, 23, 290–300.) framework for the conceptualisation of talent, the findings from this research indicate and explain why graduate employers are frequently compelled to use the object approach (talent as characteristics of people) due to the unique characteristics that recent graduates possess, even though other studies have found that a subject approach (talent as people and what they do) is preferred by most employers. Ultimately, employers conceptualise graduate talent by what they describe as ‘the edge’ which needs to be ‘sharpened’ to fully realise the potential that graduates offer.
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