Coaching of Key Talents in Multinational Companies in Global Talent Management – Challenges, Strategies, and Opportunities

Abstract The purpose of this chapter is to enhance understanding of how and why executive coaching is used in Global Talent Management, and of how HR personnel experience coaching’s implementation. A qualitative, multiple case-study approach was adopted. The Coaching Continuum Stage Model was used as a tool for empirically identifying the characteristics of different stages. All the multinational companies used coaching as a leadership development tool, although in none of the cases was coaching driven purely by the talent management strategy. Key talents were supported in transition situations by coaching, the quality and length of which varied considerably depending on the professional background of the coaches. Key talents were also trained in coaching skills, but managerial coaching posed challenges. In organizations at more mature stages of implementation coaching was managed systematically. It was critical to successful implementation that coaching was understood as a long-term process, that the concept of coaching was clearly defined, and that coaching and Global Talent Management strategies were aligned. This is a relevant issue given that organizations are investing heavily in the coaching of talent pools. It furthers our understanding of how and why coaching is used by MNCs, and contributes to coaching research by presenting, for the first time, empirical findings using the Coaching Continuum Stage Model. The characteristics of the different stages also have practical value for HR professionals planning to implement coaching within their companies.