Dr Sharna Wiblen is a scholar whose focus is on instigating, contributing to, and shaping informed conversations that unpack the complexity of genuine talent management, including the judgments underpinning how ‘talent’ is understood in an organisational setting, and options for pursuing key outcomes such as future leader identification.
This is much more than just a topic du jour when buying IT systems for the HR folks – Sharna is acutely aware that all the ‘current’ talk about recruiting and retaining the best talent in fact goes back decades, and it won’t be over soon as the nature of work continues to evolve in the digital era.
So in talking about talent, Sharna’s purpose is to square up to the challenges associated with enacting strategically aligned talent management policies and practices. To advise business and nonprofit enterprise, she blends academic skills in applying rigorous methodologies with the benefits of practical experience stretching back more than 15 years, including time as a management consultant, human resource and recruitment coordinator (Woolworths), and retail service manager (Woolworths). This gives Sharna a signature understanding of academic and practitioner debates, out of which Sharna questions, evaluates and recommends how to manage talent for a given organisation. Whether talking to senior executives or human resource professionals, in an industry or in a particular organisation, Sharna is all about talent management as an activity that should be informed, deliberate, and strategic.
In 2018, Sharna will be teaching units in the MBA course based at the Sydney Business School of the University of Wollongong (Circular Quay and Wollongong campuses). In parallel, her present research at the University is themed on thinking critically about how the term ‘talent’ is applied in organisational settings, as well as the structure and composition of policies and practices, such as talent acquisition, talent identification, talent development and retention, and others which are indicative of talent management. Specific interests include how technologies, be they human resource information systems, wider enterprise systems, social media or cloud technologies, can be appropriated to support and deliver talent management and human resource practices.
This builds on Sharna’s PhD, in which she examined how organisations define the term ‘talent’, the distinctive characteristics of such individuals, and how these meanings are enacted through seen and unseen practices as executives seek to identify their most valuable employees. While completing her doctoral studies, she worked as a Senior Research Associate on two Australia Research Council funded research projects. Each of these focused on the relationship between talent acquisition, social media, and human resource information systems. This also provided opportunities to lecture and tutor at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, further building on her foundational studies at the University in Sydney where she earned a double degree in commerce and arts – Sharna was awarded first class honours (in commerce) for her thesis about women in senior management in Australia.
Contacting Sharna: There are so many options to talk about talent- and all of them involve technology (of course they do!). Feel free to contact Sharna via LinkedIn (preferred), or tweets via @sharnawiblen or good old email via firstname.lastname@example.org