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Exploring Millennial Psychological Contract Expectations Across Talent Segments

Jyoti Joshi Pant, Vijaya Venkateswaran

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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to identify talent segments within the millennial generation based on performance and intention to stay and differentiate them in terms of their expectations. Based on results, the paper proposes a customized approach to talent management. Design/methodology/approach The paper uses a mixed methodology, including 11 exploratory focus group discussions, followed by a survey involving 1,065 employees from nine information technology and business process management companies. Findings The paper creates a framework of talent segments (performing loyals, performing movers, developing loyals and developing movers) that have different values for the organization. Significant differences are observed in their PC expectations from the manager, PC expectations related to career growth and development and PC expectations related to job and work environment. Research limitations/implications Researchers faced constraints in obtaining actual performance data from the organizations; therefore, a self-perception report of performance was used. Practical implications Organizations’ talent-management strategy must acknowledge and understand the differences in PC expectations of talent segments and offer tailored TM programs for maximum impact. Social implications The paper challenges the old assumption of a uniform psychological contract (PC) that has guided the talent management strategy. Every talent segment has value and must be viewed on continuum rather than a binary construct of “Talent or no talent.” Originality/value This is one of the few studies which explores how the perception of PC expectations differs between talent segments. It contributes to literature on talent segments, PC and the millennial generation.