An integrated talent management model for the Public Service: the case of the Western Cape Provincial Government
The scholarly discourse on human resource praxis in general and talent management in particular, established a corpus of knowledge that support the notion that motivated, committed, competent and skilled employees are key success factors for organisational excellence. People capital is regarded as the single most significant factor for organisations to achieve their mission statements and to operationalise their strategic objectives. The need to establish talent pools in organisations is accentuated by the dynamic nature of the labour market. Often unpredictable socio-economic and political factors heighten the necessity to acquire, train, engage, reward and retain talented individuals in key positions. Talented employees are an essential prerequisite to operationalise the constitutional mandate and statutory obligations of the South African Public Service. National and provincial departments should be characterised by high levels of productivity, a strong service ethos, efficiency, effectiveness, and prompt customer services. The reality in the Public Service is, however, often far removed from these ideals. Official reports from oversight institutions such as the Public Service Commission, the Auditor General, and the Department of Public Service Administration reveal that departments experience significant challenges as far as the talent of its staff complement is concerned. The National Development Plan (2011), for example, indicates that a significant number of public officials are “demotivated, have low morale, low levels of service commitment, experience limited engagement, and have insufficient skills and competencies to perform their responsibilities”. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that senior managers and human resource directorates in government departments often treat the multitude of talent management functions such as performance management, recruitment, training and development, rewarding, career development and mentoring and coaching, in isolation. In other words, there is a dire need to effectively manage talent in the Public Service by following an integrated talent management approach. The purpose of this study was to design an integrated talent management model (ITMM) to inculcate a more strategically-aligned, synergised, coordinated approach when dealing with the people capital in the Public Service. By following a qualitative case study research design, this study utilised the principles of method and data triangulation to design an integrated model for talent management. Data was triangulated from a literature review covering meta-theory of talent management, the statutory and regulatory framework, and a comparative analysis of national and international talent management models. These three sets of data were then contrasted with the status of talent management in the Public Service by means of a case study comprising eleven provincial departments in the Western Cape Provincial Government. These provincial departments were the units of analysis within the case. A gap analysis was conducted by means of semi-structured, face-to-face interviews with participants who are actively engaged with talent management matters in these departments. Participants were thus purposively sampled based on the nature of their position and job responsibilities, their experience and expertise. The empirical survey revealed that significant gaps exist between the best practice cases and existing talent management practices in provincial departments. Participants confirmed the absence of an integrated approach to talent management and were also engaged to provide input to a draft talent management model. Based on the gap analysis and their input to the draft model, a final integrated model (ITMM) was designed. The ITMM makes provision for the alignment of core and non-core dimensions of talent management as well as for the dynamics in the external (macro), meso, and internal (micro) environments. The utilisation of the ITMM will make a significant difference in the Public Service by establishing talent pools through the strategic alignment and integration of various human resource functions and processes. The ITMM will furthermore foster a talent culture, mitigate the current “silo mentality”, and establish people value-driven approaches in Government.
- Humanities 
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