Talent management in academia: performance systems and HRM policies Talent and performance management are becoming a key strategic HRM issue for universities. This study adds to our knowledge by critically examining recruitment and selection practices for junior and senior academic talent in the Netherlands. We identify three key dilemmas in talent and performance management for universities: (a) transparency versus autonomy, (b) power of HR versus power of academics, (c) equality versus homogeneity. The aim of this study is to provide a clearer picture on how academic talent is defined and recruited in order to obtain a better understanding of academic talent and performance management and on how that it is implemented in practice. Most universities currently operate in a global, complex, dynamic and highly competitive environment. Trends such as globalization, the increased mobility of academics and the retirement of the baby-boom generation are leading to a scarcity of academic talent in many disciplines. The sector is moving towards a more ‘professional’ approach to staff management, not only in the Netherlands, but also in other Western countries. In the managerial model, the collegiality of academics of equal status working together with minimal hierarchy and maximal trust is replaced by a seemingly more objective, fair and transparent approach to evaluating performance. Part of this movement is the emphasis on recruiting ‘talent’ and using performance indicators, which provides academics and HR managers with the opportunity to select people for their institute. METHODOLOGY:
This article draws on empirical material acquired in two research projects on the recruitment and selection of academic talent in the Netherlands. The first study focused on senior academic talent: full professors; the second study on junior academic talent: PhD students, postdocs and assistant professors. The structure and composition of the academic career system in the Netherlands...
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