Talent Development, Management, and Retention in Healthcare


The progress of the healthcare industry is evident because of many reasons. First, the government pays much attention to the creation of new policies and the conditions under which people receive services and develop their professional skills. Second, research is extensive in the chosen field, and experts from different parts of the world are eager to share their opinions and observations. Finally, health care depends on various factors, and each of them has its unique contribution. In this literature review, the theme of talent development, management, and retention in health care will be discussed. Talent management makes sense for modern health care as this practice promotes respect, trust, and professionalism in each team of care providers. It is not enough to manage or develop talents but to think about the conditions under which the healthcare provider’s talent may be retained. Organizations should understand that people should not only meet the requirements and follow the instructions. They also expect to develop their skills, improve their knowledge, and use the resources for new achievements. Therefore, the peculiarities of talent development, management, and retentions become common topics for current academic and research projects.

Search Strategy

The creation of a systematic literature review includes the identification, selection, and appraisal of a research question. In this case, it is necessary to focus on talent development, management, and retention in the healthcare industry and answer what strategies and techniques modern managers should use. Several keywords were identified, namely “talent development,” “talent management,” “talent retention,” and “health care.” The first three phrases varied, but the presence of the last phrase, “health care,” was an obligatory requirement to exclude unnecessary articles from other spheres. Such credible databases as CINAHL, MEDLINE, and PubMed were addressed. Google Scholar was the main search engine in this project.

Thousands of articles were found, and it was important to choose the sources as per specific excluding and including criteria. The main including criteria was the year of publication (not more than five years old), the quality of sources (peer-reviewed articles), and language (English). Older research results from books, conferences and poorly verified websites were excluded. The decision to use full-text articles was made, which excluded abstracts from the evaluation. In general, 15 articles were chosen for review, and their ideas were properly cited to analyze the importance of talent management in the healthcare sector.

Literature Review

Healthcare Employment Trends

Today, the conditions under which people are employed in the healthcare field undergo multiple changes. The level of employment expectations has considerably increased during the last several years. On the one hand, employers want to find properly trained and highly qualified personnel and contribute to the creation of employer branding (Al Mheiri et al., 2021). Psychological, functional, and economic benefits are evaluated to prove to employees that the offered place is the best for work (Rodríguez-Sánchez et al., 2020). The purposes are to introduce a working environment that attracts the attention of candidates and have a solid list of people for the necessary position (El Dahshan et al., 2018). In other words, employers have to prove that their background is strong and credible to be interesting for a new member of a team.

On the other hand, employees are ready to announce their needs and demands and never hurry up to make their decisions, demonstrating their intention to choose and examine options. Employment in the healthcare industry is characterized by job satisfaction, personal support, and the desire to stay with one employer who promotes personal and professional growth (O’ Bryan & Casey, 2017). Unfortunately, the problem of nurse shortage exists in many countries because employees do not obtain autonomy, flexible schedules, and other opportunities (Yeager & Wisniewski, 2017). As a result, policy-makers, governments, local organizations, and individual contributors are interested in the identification of new employment trends in the sphere of health care. These changes usually touch upon understanding the roles of patients and insurers (Van den Broek et al., 2018). However, financial and organizational aspects cannot be ignored. Healthcare providers want to be aware of their future chances in the facility they choose.

The healthcare industry is currently challenged by many tasks and requirements. Some organizational shifts may be controlled, while certain validation standards remain constant and vital for hospitals and care facilities. The human resources (HR) department is responsible for the relationship between managers, employees, and other members of a team who have to complete their routine tasks (Al Mheiri et al., 2021). According to Krawczyk-Sołtys (2017), professionalism is integral competency that means “aligning personal and organizational conduct with standards including responsibility for the patient, a service orientation, and a commitment to learning and improvement” (10). Regarding such a variety of tasks and obligations, employment in the healthcare sector is a complex process, and all the participants should demonstrate their skills and knowledge. As soon as all the conditions and requirements are clarified, talent development, management, and retention turn out to be the critical goals for healthcare employers and employees.

Talent Development and Management Basics

Importance of Talent Definition

Employing a talented staff is a requirement for many modern healthcare organizations as it defines the quality of patient care and other services. Bibi (2019) identifies many reasons for developing talent in people, including the possibility embrace changes, tackle current needs, and analyze future ways of progress. Talent is not always easy to reach and recognize, and people continue making attempts to introduce new practices and strategies. When an organization is able to find a person with excellent abilities, also known as a key employee, it is necessary not to lose but develop this potential (Rodríguez-Sánchez et al., 2020). During the last several years, talent management became a formula for healthcare facilities to succeed and compete by offering services of the highest level quality and covering the demands of clients (Obeidat et al., 2018). One of the Jordanian leaders said that “man is our best and most precious asset” (as cited in Obeidat et al., 2018, p. 55). As a result, talent development and management should be thoroughly integrated into each department of the healthcare sector.

The definition of human talent characteristics is integral to achieve positive outcomes in organizational culture management. One of the most common explanations of talent is to accept it as an above-average ability to solve problems, improve speed, and demonstrate appropriate results (Al Mheiri et al., 2021; El Dahshan et al., 2018; Venkatesh, 2017). As cited in O’Bryan and Casey (2017), talent has to be defined as collective knowledge, skills, and behaviors that are used to achieve the organization’s mission. Talent may be one-sided that makes a person gifted in one particular activity due to the inherent ability being used in a particular way (El Dahshan et al., 2018). At the same time, talent may be the sum of several abilities, either inherent or obtained and developed (El Dahshan et al., 2018). However, in any case, talent is usually characterized by unique qualities and traits that people find obligatory to use systematically.

Worth of Talent Development

Talent development is a vital part of personal and organizational growth. Dalayga and Baskaran (2019) admit that not many researchers explain this phenomenon clearly, but the worth of this practice must not be neglected. The development of professional skills in a healthcare organization should never be “a one-size-fits-all approach” (as cited in Dalayga & Baskaran, 2019). It is expected to differentiate human activities in regard to clients’ demands and employees’ abilities. Dayel et al. (2020) recommend treating talent as a sub-member of an organization, which requires segmentation and evaluation. These two processes support the integration of correct talent management programs in the healthcare field to reduce costs, lower risks, and enhance good organization (Venkatesh, 2017). Being properly introduced through planned or unplanned learning, talent development is accepted as the process to change a company with its employees, leaders, and stakeholders (El Dahshan et al., 2018). Some changes could focus on personal skills or attitudes to different tasks, while other changes require the re-organization of rules and missions. In both cases, talent development is something in which all people are interested.

Talent Development and Management Practices

There are many ways in how talent development can be promoted within an organization. The review of the literature is a good opportunity to understand what steps have already been done, what improvements are in progress, and what achievements were unsuccessful. Bibi (2019) investigates talent management practices and their impact on employee performance within healthcare organizations through Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory and human capital theory. The development of talents is possible by means of recruitment and selection to attract talents, coaching and mentoring to educate people, and compensation for retention (Bibi, 2019). The human capital theory says that talents are exceptional assets to a company, and Dalayga and Baskaran (2019) also follow this theoretical approach to explain why workers should be treated identically to raise optimal labor division. Fair and trustful relationships established between an employer and an employee lead to boosting the intention to stay and focus on personal talents.

The methods to use organizational talents vary, depending on the organization. For example, Mitosis et al. (2021) offer a qualitative review to prove that timely and organized information about personalized support affects the outcomes of talent development. Other critical elements of talent management are the attraction, education, assessment, succession planning, and leadership (Mitosis et al., 2021). It is wrong to use all elements of talent management without the evaluation of its organizational context. Therefore, the results depend on how a company is represented within a sector, what resources can be used, and what changes are acceptable. In health care, it is hard to predict the conditions of patients due to the growth of the aged population, family support diversity, and even technological aspects (Dalayga & Baskaran, 2019). The investigation of Nkala et al. (2021) proves that modern healthcare systems lack clear strategies to utilize talented employees because of the workforce generations. Some people want to obtain compensation for their services, and others are interested in having better recruitment opportunities (Nkala et al., 2021). Their talents and the possibility to develop new integral skills define their demands and the choice of healthcare organizations.

Mistakes in Talent Development and Management

Unfortunately, some healthcare facilities fail in talent development and management, and many significant reasons can be presented. In their study, Dalayga and Baskaran (2019) notice that not all employers pay attention to talent development because of the necessity to deal with training costs, which is a serious obstacle to many healthcare facilities. Instead of investing in employees’ skills and talents, leaders want to manage their financial aspects of work and save where it is possible. In the review presented by Mitosis et al. (2021), healthcare employers do not find it valuable to encourage career development and progress, which provokes problematic talent management. Some scholars also specify the conditions under which talent management systems failed, namely lack of planning and poor implementation policies (as cited in El Dahshan et al., 2018). Sometimes, minor mistakes like the confusion of strategic and non-strategic roles of employees could lead to more serious problems (O’Bryan & Casey, 2017). However, instead of analyzing what can improve people’s talents and skills in the area, leaders make fast decisions and solve a problem from the head, neglecting simple but meaningful aspects.

Another challenge related to talent development and management lies in the cultural background of an organization. For example, in the Middle East, talent management is examined due to the existing brain drain and the inability to identify available opportunities (Dayel et al., 2020). In the United States, nurse shortage and retention may be explained by weak governmental policies, low compensation, and highly competitive recruitment environments (Yeager & Wisniewski, 2017). In India, talented employees are usually attracted by successful companies, and if a company loses a key worker, it is a real challenge, which makes healthcare organizations improve their working conditions (Kulandai & Ganesh, 2021). Regarding such diverse attitudes toward work and human resources, it is hard for researchers to discuss the same strategies for talent development and management in healthcare facilities globally.

Elements of Talent Development and Management

In health care, talent development and management have already gained popularity because these steps increase productivity and introduce new opportunities for people. Many scholars agree that human talent is associated with such factors as employee performance, career development, training, empowerment, and the level of involvement (Dayel et al., 2020; Mitosis et al., 2021; Obeidat et al., 2018; Rodríguez-Sánchez et al., 2020; Van den Broek et al., 2018). Each decision that a leader makes about talent development contributes to employees’ progress, patient satisfaction, and, thus, a company’s success. In health care, it is necessary to combine the role of employees, patients, and other stakeholders who could train and invest in education.

Employee Performance

The relationship between employee or organization performance and talent management is evident. While talent development is defined as the process of upgrading people’s skills and knowledge, it is directly related to the level and quality of services they offer to clients (El Dahshan et al., 2018). According to Krawczyk-Sołtys (2017), performance assessment is an essential part of healthcare services and health systems, in general. Therefore, as soon as employees expand their knowledge and develop their talents, they are able not only to evaluate their services but rely on the results of their training to analyze their work. In their study, Obeidat et al. (2018) use talent management as an independent variable to make sure that employees have a basis for their work and organizational effectiveness as a dependent variable. Their findings in the Jordanian healthcare sector prove that talented employees should be kept in a nurturing tone to demonstrate good results. The way of how individuals develop their skills and talents affects their work, readiness to cooperate with patients, and exchange knowledge within a team.

Training and Career Development

Sometimes, people have a number of inborn skills and talents, while many people need additional support and motivation. Rodríguez-Sánchez et al. (2020) state that organizations should differentiate the worth of financial rewards and non-monetary factors to avoid the progress of such problems as voluntary abandonment and absenteeism. As such, some facilities find it necessary to implement different training programs and career development opportunities to check how employees can develop their skills. Training becomes not only a recommendation for an organization but a backbone where talents are promoted as essential assets to competitive advantage (Dalayga & Baskaran, 2019). Workers identify their short- and long-term goals, understand how they contribute to care provision, and take steps, not at the expense of their skills but to enhance their talents.

Empowerment and Involvement

When employees are properly trained, they know how to complete their tasks, following their facilities’ missions and values. However, the success of performance lies not only in the ability to follow orders and rules but in the demonstration of personal approaches and creation. Thus, talent development and management include the promotion of empowerment and involvement among employees (Al Mheiri et al., 2021). When people are engaged in what they do, they feel empowered to use their skills. Interpersonal relationships are increased, and the staff takes charge of their activities (Al Mheiri et al., 2021). This strategy of talent development provokes competitive behaviors and creativity in the workplace. Healthcare workers are more involved in problem-solving and get more time to organize their personal lives, and leaders delegate their responsibilities (Rodríguez-Sánchez et al., 2020). Another critical aspect of empowerment is evident employee retention because employees are not challenged by their tasks but supported and inspired.

Talent Retention

If a talented employee is highly appreciated by an employer, the HR department faces fewer problems with recruiting. Some modern healthcare organizations have weak platforms for talent retention, which results in the creation of ineffective HR strategies and meaningless compensations (Nkala et al., 2021). As well as talent retention, employee retention becomes a necessary strategy for healthcare organizations to retain their best employees and control turnover (Kulandai & Ganesh, 2021). There are several steps to achieve positive outcomes and make use of talent retention. The first goal is to identify existing contributors to organization performance. In most cases, managers analyze annual reports, communicate with the staff, and compare the local market to understand if a team works well in general (Al Mheiri et al., 2021). The next step includes the identification of employees with the right skills and the evaluation of the quality of work and adequate staffing by patient turnover, satisfaction, and overall outcomes metrics (Kulandai & Ganesh, 2021). A final step requires attention to employees’ demands and future plans. Organizations want to retain talented people and try to offer their best training, payment, and motivation.

Not many people demonstrate their desire to work in the healthcare sector, where rewards and other contributors to personal development are minimal. At the same time, organizations cannot allow spending their financial resources to support the staff only. Talent turnover is harmful to productivity, and it is necessary to calculate what costs (replacement, transitional, or turnover) are less dangerous (El Dahshan et al., 2018). On the one hand, talent retention is a strategy to achieve success; on the other hand, retention is a purpose that is pursued. Therefore, retention depends on talent management that, in its turn, is determined by engagement, training, and empowerment.


In the healthcare industry, the issues of talent development, management, and retention are commonly used and examined from multiple perspectives. Organizations try to find talented people and offer them the best employment conditions. Strategies usually include training, experience or knowledge exchange, empowerment, and involvement. Still, turnover remains a serious problem for many healthcare facilities globally. Therefore, talent retention and cooperation are highly promoted. People should understand that their inborn qualities are appreciated, but their professional and personal growth is also important. Talent management and development may gain different forms, and much depends on the resources of organizations and leadership styles. As a result, the healthcare sector is frequently discussed in current research projects, and scholars continue developing their studies to identify the benefits and challenges of talent retention and give their professional recommendations. This review proves that the chosen topic has already been investigated, but the existing limitations and future implementations allow establishing new goals and frameworks.


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