Crafting strategies to improve talent management in selected South African Municipalities
Bwowe, Patrick William
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This study investigates talent management strategies and practices among selected South African municipalities with the intention of adding to the current knowledge of the concept, its wide implications for HR practices, and how such understanding would assist managers to attract and retain the best talent. The researcher’s interest in the study was aroused by the poor state of existing talent strategies which have stifled good talent. The researcher has consistently observed the failure of municipal organisations to leverage talent management to a strategic or operational priority, thus undermining talent attraction and retention efforts in the local government sector. The study used a mixed method research design. The quantitative phase constituted the main part of the study and was internet-based, using email as the main contact mode and a questionnaire as the data collecting tool. In the quantitative phase, managers’ perception of talent management and the way it is implemented was interrogated. The second phase, which was qualitative, used semi-structured interviews to provide a total representation of experiences, and provided additional insights, clarification and new ideas to the research findings. Analysis was done using descriptive statistics for quantitative phase and Thematic Deductive Analysis was used in the semi- structured interviews. Findings from the study revealed that municipal organisations that lack coherent and articulated talent strategies with consistent execution and integration, were incapable of attraction and retention of the best human resources. Findings from the research should give policy makers and HR managers in municipalities a better understanding of talent management. On the basis of these findings, the study recommends that municipal organisations re-think their approach to talent management and recommends that talent management be leveraged as a strategic or operational priority in the entire process of talent attraction and retention. It is further recommended that municipalities develop talent strategies which are fully driven by HR and supported by top management. These strategies should be integrated and aligned with overall business goals and needs through effective computerised human resource information systems, and with consistent use of analytics to measure cost implications and the value of talent management to municipal organisations. The intention is to enable talent management activities to translate into specific organisational value-based behaviour driven by effective talent management practices.