CIBE Hosts Global Talent Management Conference

The LMU Center for International Business Education (CIBE) held its Global Talent Management Conference on November 12, moderated by Management Professor Charles Vance. In this virtual event, panel members consisting of prominent university researchers and experienced practitioners examined the needs and opportunities for American firms to develop more inclusive policies and practices for building and utilizing their human talent to increase global competitiveness.

Panelists included Bob Bushnell, a business development executive at Raytheon Company; Elaine Farndale, Ph.D., director, Center for International Human Resources Studies, Penn State University; Vlad Vaiman, Ph.D., associate dean, School of Management, California Lutheran University; and Sheri Winter, client services leader at GP Strategies, a global human resources consulting firm.

In a brief introduction, Yongsun Paik, director of CIBE and Center for Asian Business, noted that the COVID crisis has generated a renewed focus on human capital and employees. “Remote work has opened up a global talent pool and new opportunities for many people,” he said. “It presents a great opportunity for companies to diversify and expand their talent pool.”

Vaiman presented “Talent Management: For Many or a Select Few?” where he discussed expatriates from a down management perspective. He posed the question of inclusive talent management wherein all employees are considered talent and subject to developmental activities versus exclusive talent management which refers to efforts aimed at top talent. Vaiman suggested that a resolution could be found in thinking of talent management efforts as a continuum.

“A hybrid approach or continuum would focus on attraction, development and retention [and] use inclusive talent management practices to create exclusive talent management programs,” he said. “To be more inclusive, you need to open your doors as wide as possible and invite people to apply what you have never thought to apply before, those who are underrepresented.”

A dynamic and informative discussion followed as panelists shared their research and expertise on a movement toward greater acknowledgement of inclusivity and diversity in talent management. However, Sheri Winter noted, “Both in Europe and here, there is a trend toward more inclusive talent management, but sometimes it’s more of a conversation piece than a reality.”

Bushnell offered that Raytheon, which recently merged with United Technologies and employs up to 200,000 people in over 40 countries, uses a hybrid solution which continues to present challenges, particularly in STEM fields. He noted that, in STEM, there are still more men getting hired because there are more men in those fields and in the workplace. “We have a lot of programs at Raytheon to encourage women to move into STEM fields. We are completely bought into the idea that a diverse workforce is a better workforce,” he said.

In a presentation tilted “The Opportunities Created by the Globalization Pause,” based on research conducted before the pandemic, Farndale discussed limits that have been imposed on immigrant visas, travel bans, and other restrictions that have slowed the globalization process over the last few years. She noted that a number of large organizations, particularly tech companies, were not able to access much sought-after talent. “Is globalization about physical globalization or virtual globalization?” Farndale asked. Noting that working virtually has opened up new opportunities to include talent that has been previously excluded, she said, “We’re in the middle of a social experiment right now and we don’t know what the new normal will be.”

Winter added that companies have to make a conscious decision to make an investment in the inclusive approach. “There are great benefits to a more inclusive workforce,” she said.

As the discussion came to a close, moderator Vance concluded, “I try to create within [my students] the wonder, the interest for looking into a career that involves some international experiences, particularly creating that interest for those who might be normally overlooked.”

The conference was well-attended, including international participants from 10 countries.

Watch a replay of the virtual conference here.