1. Introduction:Talent management can be defined as a concise action plan which outlines how an organization acquires, cultivates, retains and organizes the required talent to the organization’s current and future business objectives (Bergeron, 2004:133). It describes the required core knowledge, skills, expertise and behaviors to ensure that the organization has the right quantity and quality of people in place at the right time (Bergeron, 2004:133).

As stated in the case study, Coca-Cola places considerable emphasis on talent management. The following discussion outlines the components of talent management (acquisition, cultivation, retention and organizing abilities) and highlights how Coca-Cola subscribes and aligns itself to the above definition of talent management.2. Discussion:1. How Coca-Cola acquires its staff: The case study states that Coca-Cola recruits staff members via referrals and employment agencies.

Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart and Wright (2008:204) mention that companies who take a “lead-the-market” approach to pay have a distinct advantage in recruiting. The case study mentions that Coca-Cola pays its employees at the top end of the remuneration scale, therefore, they are more likely to attract and select highly talented and skilled applicants.Noe et al. (2008:208) state that personnel that are recruited via referrals are more likely to be a good fit to the vacancy as they are usually referred by current employees who are knowledgeable of both the requirements of the vacancy and the capabilities of the person they are referring.

Noe et al. (2008:210) also state that employment agencies such as the executive search firm (ESF), often referred to as “headhunters” identify and source top performers in the employment market. By using these employment agencies, Coca-Cola is able to target the best available talent and expertise for their vacancies.2. How Coca-Cola cultivates its staff: Development can be seen as a process that prepares an individual to excel to higher levels of functioning for future positions and career paths (Nel, Werner, Haasbroek, Poisat, Sono, Schultz (2008:446).

Coca-Cola’s new Management Development Programme (Kusile) is designed to offer an in-depth development and understanding of the business. It aims to develop and nurture future leaders not only for the South African market but overseas as well. Candidates for this programme are drawn from within and from outside the Company. This approach not only encourages internal staff development but allows for the introduction of outsiders to provide new ideas and greater diversity (Noe et al.

2008:207).As stated by Noe et al. (2008:536) individual incentives have the potential to significantly increase performance. The case study mentions that Coca-Cola employees are encouraged to perform via financial rewards and the Company rewards and differentiate their talent by paying for performance. As stated by Mojapelo, the HR Director of Coca-Cola, employees are continuously encouraged to pressure themselves to be better every day. The previous year’s success motivates employees to perform even better this year.

3. How Coca-Cola retains its staff: To retain employees, organizations must maintain a working environment that encourages learning, provides challenges, and allows for growth opportunities that will keep employees motivated and make them want to stay with the organization (Schooley, 2010:3). As mentioned in the case study, Coca-Cola subscribes to this statement by: • continuously encouraging their employees to pressure themselves to be better every day • motivating their employees to be innovative and look for new opportunities to further entrench their brand • providing exciting career opportunities locally and internationally • providing learning and development opportunities by means of management development programmes • by creating a business focused work environment where all employees are able to concentrate on the work at handEmployees attach great importance to pay structure and this influences their decision to remain with the organization (Noe et al. 2008:486). Coca-Cola employees are well remunerated and are paid at the top end of the pay scale.

This makes them market leaders in how they remunerate their employees thus making it unlikely for employees to accept other job offers that pay more.Benefits influence whether an employee stays with an organization and perhaps even how they perform (Noe et al. 2008:486). Coca-Cola subscribes to this statement by providing their employees with benefits that will aid the retention of employees.

The benefits, as mentioned in the case study, are:• A very generous and incomparable provident fund and death cover • Four months paid maternity leave • Study assistance and medical aid • Subsidized meals from the canteen • Club fees are paid to maintain and encourage healthy lifestyles (this may also influence the reduction of sick leave) • Cellular phones are provided as an essential trading tool • Each employee receives four cases of beverages free of charge every month • 3G cards are given to staff members who travel (employees have access to their emails even whilst they travel)Another benefit, as mentioned in the case study, is that Coca-Cola sponsors a lot of sporting and social events and they make a point of involving their employees in these events. An example of such an event was the FIFA World Cup where every employee received tickets to attend a match and also got the opportunity to see and touch the trophy – As stated by Markova and Ford ([Date unknown]:5-6), most organizations try to boost employee willingness to work harder by incorporating various non-financial rewards in their compensation systems. Coca-Cola subscribes to this statement. An example of this is indicated in the case study when Coca issued match tickets to every staff member for the FIFA World Cup 2010.

Since they sponsor lots of leading sporting and social events, they make a point of involving their employees who in turn enjoy opportunities such as getting to see and touch the World Cup trophy – a once in a life time experience realized due to their affiliation with Coca-Cola.Succession planning helps to retain employees with managerial skills by providing them with development opportunities (Noe et al. 2008:436). As mentioned in the case study, Coca-Cola places considerable emphasis on succession planning. They achieve this by implementing the Management Development Programme to develop and nurture future leaders.

4. How Coca-Cola organizes its staff: Nel et al. (2008:216) maintains that HR planning ensures that the correct amount of employees with correct skills is available at the correct time in the future. Coca-Cola’s Management Development Programme is able to secure the right capabilities to meet the Company’s future demands.

Being a global Company, Coca-Cola recruits staff from an international perspective in order to circulate their talent. In doing so, Coca-Cola can address skills shortages internationally more easily as they have an international pool of talent at their disposal. This approach also provides employees with an opportunity to gain overseas working experience.3.

Conclusion:Based on the above discussion, it is evident that Coca-Cola views their employees as a critical resource and places considerable emphasis on talent management. In conclusion, organizations must have the best talent in order to succeed in a very competitive and increasingly complex global economy and this talent must be effectively managed on an ongoing basis to obtain the best possible results (Wellins, Smith, Erker ([date unknown]:1).