Adoption of Talent Management for Competitiveness among Five – Star Hotels in Nairobi City County, Kenya
Omae, Omoke Japheth
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The study sought to assess the adoption of talent management to competitiveness among five–star hotels in Nairobi City County. The concept of talent management comprises strategies for attraction, selection, development, engagement, and retention of knowledge and talented individuals. These individuals can create quality, diverse and exceptional products that form the competitiveness of the five-star hotels. The competitiveness of the hospitality industry in Kenya is held back due to a shortage of talent, loss of talent, and critical knowledge to other industries. The study investigated; conceptualization of talent management, hospitality core competencies required in talent, inherent approaches used in each talent management practices, the extent of talent management adoption, outcomes of talent management, and the relationship between talent management among five–star hotels in Nairobi City County. The study adopted a mixed-method research design and specifically a QUAN + qual research approach. Purposive sampling was used to select five-star hotels in Nairobi City County and the hotel executives’ respondents. A simple random sampling technique was used to select guest participants. Data were collected from 145 participants using a semi-structured questionnaire, Servqual structured questionnaires, and semi-structured interviews. The data analysis was done using; descriptive statistics, content analysis, thematic analysis, and inferential statistics. Linear regression results revealed that, among the significant predictors (talent selection, talent engagement, hospitality core competencies, talent and knowledge retention, and talent development), selection was the most significant. It meant that their competitiveness is hinged on the selection of talented individuals. Null hypotheses on the hospitality core competencies (β= -0.195, p =0.020), talent attraction approaches (β = -0.202, p= 0.009), talent engagement approaches (β = -0.224, p= 0.002), talent and knowledge retention approaches (β = -0.189, p= 0.024) were rejected and their impact was not enough to influence competitiveness positively. Null hypotheses on talent selection approaches (β = 0.512, p= 0.001), talent development approaches (β = 0.296, p= 0.002) and outcomes of talent management (β = 2.061, p= 0.018) were also rejected and they impacted competitiveness positively. The null hypothesis on the extent of talent management adoption (β = 4.414, p= 0.130) was maintained indicating that it did not influence competitiveness. Null hypothesis on the relationship between talent management and the competitiveness of five–star hotels; an executives’ perspective was rejected (β = 1.094, p= 0.001). A second null hypothesis on the relationship between talent management and the competitiveness of five–star hotels; a guests’ perspective was rejected (r = -0.277, p =0.009) but showed the need for improvement on talent management aspects to positively affect competitiveness. This thesis recommends that five-star hotels conceptualise talent management from the perspective of exclusive subject and positions. Hotels also need to enrich hospitality core competencies so that they create quality and diverse sustainable products and services to serve a wider clientele. Additionally, hotels need to enhance their employee brands to boost employee value proposition so that talent is attracted. Talent engagement levels also need to be improved to draw valuable knowledge and effort from talent. The retention of talent and protection of tacit knowledge ought to be improved for greater competitiveness. Talent policies and budgets are put in place. This study has been conducted among the management teams and guests in five-star hotels; it is recommended that a related study is conducted on individuals considered talent in the same hotels.