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Talent Management Assignment: Case Study on Amazon


Task: For this talent management assignment, you should build a case study by selecting a company that you wish to conduct research on and critically discussing its contemporary talent management practices in place and answering the below questions:
1. How has your selected company responded to the fast-changing environment and invested in talent retainment and acquisition In what ways did that affect the performance of your case organization Please provide examples to support your arguments.
• The report should evaluate the HR processes of the selected company, such as job analysis, job design, talent management, human resource planning, recruitment, and selection.

2. What was the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the talent management practices of your case company
3. How can companies enhance their talent management practices while improving their performance in the Post Covid-19 era (Make recommendations)

• Review trends in talent management, e.g., use of IA, etc.


Background of Talent Management Assignment
In this competitive world, talent management is a very crucial aspect of an organization. From big to small, every organization is trying to retain the talent and acquire more of it. The talented individuals make an organization stronger and improves its overall performance. According to Claus (2019), talent management enables the employees to become more skilled, feel highly engaged and also motivated. Talent management practices should be effective so that the individuals are able to make a blueprint and work towards achieving the goals of the organization. The talented workforce enhances the business performance, brings in more productivity and ensures client satisfaction. In this case study, the talent retainment and acquisition of Amazon will be analysed. Various talent management practices which have been followed will be highlighted while the ones which should be followed in future will be recommended. The Covid-19 crisis has left a huge impact on the human resource management. Thus, the impact and the measures to cope with the crisis through better talent management practices will also be discussed.

Talent Retainment and Acquisition
As stated by Narayanan, Rajithakumarand Menon(2019), talent retention is a very significant part of human resource management. Talent retainment refers to the set of policies and practices which are adopted by various organizations for ensuring that their talented employees remain in their organization for a longer period of time. Talent retention also makes room for creation of a good competitive differential. This talent retention program is applicable to all organizations irrespective of their scale

As per Khandelwal and Rajotia(2017), talent acquisition practices are those measures which are taken by various organizations for identification and the acquisition of skilled workers. The organizations acquire these talents as they know that these individuals will help the organization to achieve its goals. The talent can be attracted by developing a strong employer branding. The organization should be having a well-designed future resource plan along with diversification of labour force. This will facilitate the organization to develop a robust pipeline for candidates

The Herzberg's motivation-hygiene (two factor) theory states the factors which result in employee satisfaction and help in retaining the employees. This theory also enables better understanding of factors which lead to employee dissatisfaction. An organisation avoiding these dissatisfying factors could ensure better employee retention. For instance, the companies follow talent retention strategies like giving rewards, bonus, incentives, etc. for efforts which increase employee satisfaction.Unhygienic work environment, stressful work culture, etc. creates employee dissatisfaction and increases employee turnover.

Attraction-Selection-Attrition (ASA) theory by Schneider is a talent acquisition theory which helps to understand why employees are attracted towards, selected by and retained in organisations. The reason being similar psychological features among the members of that organization.For instance, when candidates find like-minded members or managers in an organization or relatable organizational goals, they tend to associate with them and get attracted to the organization.

Amazon is a multinational company originating in America. The company is mainly a technology company which is now the most famous e-commerce platform (Amazon, 2022). Amazon is highly involved in digital streaming, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, etc. It is also one of the five big companies of the US operating in the IT industry. The company has been operating successfully over the years in the industry due to its strong employee base. The business environment is changing very fast. Therefore, to cope with this every changing business environment, an organization like Amazon needs a set of talented employees. This pool of talent will help the company to attain its business goals. Thus, Amazon has adopted an unorthodox approach towards human resource management and talent management. The company knows that if it spends on the training of an employee and then they leave the job, it is a loss for the company. At Amazon, they have the Pay to Quit measure for employee retention (Bloomberg Law, 2022). In the company, after an employee working at the fulfilment centre has completed one year or more, they receive an offer to leave the job. The amount offered to them is around 2000 dollars. This amount keeps increasing with the passing of each year. The maximum amount for pay to quit is 5000 dollars.

The pay to quit along with the other structured talent retention approaches of Amazon have had a positive impact on its workforce. The company has been able to successfully retain its talented employees over the years. The pay to quit strategy for talent retention might seem to be a counterintuitive approach. However, it has some underlying effects(Arnett, Goldfinch and Chinta, 2018).The pay to quit may not be a direct talent retention strategy. But it definitely fosters the sense of commitment among the employees. The employees who choose to quit can never work for Amazon again, neither at the facilities nor at the subsidiaries. The ones who are willing to stay and reject the offer of pay to quit, are the ones who are committed towards the organization. They choose to pay or give up the pay to work. This has a positive and powerful psychological effect on the employees. The attitude of the employees changes towards work (Sadq, Sabir and Saeed, 2018). The productivity is enhanced and the overall performance of the company improves. According to Posey (2019), through effective human resource management strategies, Amazon has been able to attract talent and retain it. They boost the engagement of the employees, which eventually reflects in higher profitability of the company. The company aims at encouraging their employees to think about their personal career goals while achieving the organizational goals. The goal of Amazon’s talent retention strategy is not to just hold back the talented employees, but also to ensure their engagement level (Stewart and Long, 2021)The company knows that a disengaged employee would neither be an asset for the company nor would he/she contribute productively. Therefore, the company prefers not to have such employees. As opined by Stewart and Long(2021), the talent acquisition of Amazon is a process which strives to hire the best. The company values excellence. The talent acquisition of Amazon chooses the best among the lot. The bar set for hiring at Amazon is high and keeps increasing with the level of competition in the outside world. This helps Amazon to cope with the increasing demand for talent. The company invests adequately in talent assessment, employer branding, learning and development, business intelligence, process improvement, etc. Through talent retention and acquisition measures, Amazon aims at attracting, searching and recruiting the best and most talented individuals. Amazon encourages the talent by investing in their inventions, allowing them to think bigger and differently. At Amazon, the talented employees are given the freedom to be curious as it fuels better innovation. The company shows persistent ambition in order to hire the highest quality of talent (Mashiah, 2021). The ones recruited in Amazon are the ones who have the desired integrity, professionalism, potential to deliver quality services and deal with the external customers.

Impact of Covid 19 on Talent Management Practice
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the entire world. The businesses all across the globe have been hampered by this pandemic and the subsequent recession. However, Amazon as an exception has seen a huge rise in demandCaligiuri et al. (2020). To cater to this surge of demand, the company realised that they need to maintain their workforce, its strength and quality. In order to support the talent and retain them even during the crisis, Amazon increased its paid time offs. The company gave away 2.5 billion dollars as incentives and bonus to their global teams. Amazon has organised more than 1800 vaccination events on-site so that its front-line employees could be vaccinated. The company has valued the life of its employees so that they retain their jobs and remain in good health.

Remko(2020) stated that during Covid-19, most of the companies started laying off their employees. However, Amazon considering the rise in demand from its customers, it started new recruitments. The company generated about 100,000 new jobs to meet the increasing demand. This new employment opportunities improved the condition of the economy. The company has been recruiting more employees for the delivery roles and at the warehouses. Amazon has also been increasing the salary of its employees who are engaged in delivery and sales. The company has in fact asked the delivery partners to increase the wage of drivers so that they can sustain better during the pandemic. The talent management approach of Amazon has changed during the pandemic. They are no longer implementing pay to quit during this crisis. In fact, they are providing all forms of incentives and boosts possible to hold back the workforce. The talent management and acquisition programs are a part of the larger human resource management program. Amazon as a talent or employee retention strategy, during Covid announced double pay for the hourly workers, who work for more than 40 hours every week (Khoreva, Vaiman and Van Zalk, 2017). Many organizations are raising a question whether it is safe for the delivery agents or drivers to be out on the roads delivering things during the pandemic, when everyone is advised to stay at home. To compensate for this high risk which the employees at Amazon are taking during Covid-19, the company is increasing their pay, giving high bonus and incentives to encourage and motivate them to work. The company is also prioritizing the health of its employees and taking all safety precautions as directed by the government and medical authorities.

Recommendations to Enhance Talent Management Practice in Post-Covid 19 era
In the post pandemic era, the talent management practices will have to be amended to suit the need of the hour. The organizations would have to specify what they expect from the employees. During the pandemic, as most of the college goers have attended classes from home, there is a basic lack of practical knowledge and skill. Therefore, the organizations need to be careful while hiring. The organizations should also focus on creating a diversified candidate pool so that the recruitment is fair, inclusive and good. The onboarding process and orientation needs to be planned by the companies keeping their business objectives, vision and mission in mind. The most important thing in talent retention or talent management is learning and development. Thus, the companies in the post pandemic era should invest in learning and development to improve the quality of their workforce. The companies should also try to develop a strong virtual setup so that in case of similar situations in future like that of Covid-19, the employees could work from home. The companies need to convey to their existing employees and also new recruits that they need to have the skill of adaptability and change management. This is important because unless the employee knows how to adapt to the situation, even their talent would not contribute positively towards the overall performance of the organization. The organisations need to strategize so that they can retain the best talents and also attract the new ones. The organizations who have been socially responsible and have not adopted the measure of laying off employees to cope with the losses are expected to attract more and better talents. This is because the talented individuals will look for security and safety in an organization they work for. The human resource teams have to plan the talent management and performance management differently in the post Covid-19 era so that the productivity and performance of the organizations is not adversely affected.

• The focus should be on the well-being of the employees.
• The organization should emphasise on job security.
• The benefits and compensations should be effectively managed.
• The employees should get the opportunity to learn and develop continuously.
• The companies need to safeguard their employer brand to attract talent.
• The companies should establish a different work culture which would be appropriate even while working remotely.
• The companies should concentrate on connecting the workforce using virtual platforms and related technologies.
• The companies should try to diversify and enter new avenues.

It can be concluded that the key to success for an organization is tapping new talent and retaining them. The companies like Amazon should have effective talent retention strategies so that they can keep the above average employees who add value to the company. The companies also need to acquire the talent by creating a positive and strong brand image, maintaining good pays, providing incentives and benefits, assuring safety in times of crisis like Covid-19. The situation pre-pandemic is certainly different from post pandemic. Thus, to suit the situation the companies need to change their talent management approach. Amazon should shift from pay to quit to job security and increased pay schemes for talent retention in post pandemic era.

Amazon, 2022. About Us. Available at: [Accessed on 19 January 2022]. Arnett, J., Goldfinch, B. and Chinta, R., 2018. Multi-dimensional nature of innovation at Amazon. International Journal of Business Innovation and Research, 15(1), pp.1-13.
Bloomberg Law., 2022. As Amazon, Walmart Cut Covid Sick Days, Paid Leave Push Revives. Available at: [Accessed on 19 January 2022].
Caligiuri, P., De Cieri, H., Minbaeva, D., Verbeke, A. and Zimmermann, A., 2020. International HRM insights for navigating the COVID-19 pandemic: Implications for future research and practice. Journal of international business studies, 51, pp.697-713.
Claus, L., 2019. HR disruption—Time already to reinvent talent management. BRQ Business Research Quarterly, 22(3), pp.207-215.
Khandelwal, J. and Rajotia, K., 2017. A Review of the Changing Dynamics of Talent Acquisition. International Journal of Engineering and Management Research (IJEMR), 7(2), pp.351-355.
Khoreva, V., Vaiman, V. and Van Zalk, M., 2017. Talent management practice effectiveness: investigating employee perspective. Employee Relations.
Mashiah, I., 2021. “Come and join us”: How tech brands use source, message, and target audience strategies to attract employees. The Journal of High Technology Management Research, 32(2), p.100418.
Narayanan, A., Rajithakumar, S. and Menon, M., 2019. Talent management and employee retention: An integrative research framework. Talent management assignmentHuman Resource Development Review, 18(2), pp.228-247.
Posey, D.A., 2019. Indigenous ecological knowledge and development of the Amazon. In The dilemma of Amazonian development (pp. 225-257). Routledge.
Remko, V.H., 2020. Research opportunities for a more resilient post-COVID-19 supply chain–closing the gap between research findings and industry practice. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 40(4), pp.341-355. Sadq, Z.M., Sabir, H.N. and Saeed, V.S.H., 2018. Analyzing the Amazon success strategies. Journal of process management. New Technologies, 6(4).
Stewart, A. and Long, K., 2021.Amazon insiders and documents suggest compensation changes may be on the way amid widespread dissatisfaction with low pay. Available at: IR=T. [Accessed on 19 January 2022].


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