Developing a talent management framework for a South African sectoral education and training authority

Buthelezi, Nkosinathi Charles (2010-12)

Thesis (MBA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.


This study was driven by a need that was identified within a sectoral training authority in South Africa to modify its talent management strategy in order to better deliver on its mandate. The need to modify its talent management strategy was identified as a result of a review of the Sector Education and Training Authorities (Setas) on their functioning and management commissioned by The National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac). The aim was to identify critical challenges affecting their ability to deliver on their mandate and to develop recommendations to improve operational efficiency and effectiveness The review exercise was completed and report submitted to the office of the presidency. The report notes that due to the largely negative publicity Setas have received, their ability to source, attract and retain talent for effective and efficient functioning is severely restricted. It also highlights the fact that high attrition rates have resulted in a lack of institutional knowledge and understanding of the purpose of the skills development legislation and policies. It further recommends that an audit of current Seta human resources procedures be conducted, as well as the development of standard competency profiles for senior managers to inform recruitment, performance management, training and development, assessment of current capacity and the development of a generic induction programme. It concludes by recommending the implementation of various interventions to support Seta management, including executive coaching, mentoring and other organisational development support. This study was therefore focused on two parts: the development of a broad talent framework based on the latest literature on the subject of talent management, and secondly, the evaluation of the training authority's current talent management practice based on employee perceptions. The initial part of this study describes the development of a talent management evaluation with a broad talent management framework addressing the themes of planning, development and training, performance management, reward management as well as the related sub- themes. This objective was achieved by means of a literature search supported by input from industry practitioners. The questionnaire consists of 35 statements subdivided into eight categories contextualised under different talent management sub themes. The sample consisted of 44 employees, six of which were at management level and 38 were at non managerial level. Thirty-five questionnaires were returned of which three could not be used. The questionnaire was then administered to examine the perceptions of the 35 employees who provided usable feedback on the training authority‟s performance, based on eight themes of talent management practices. The empirical results revealed that the training authority did not have strategies to ensure that there is a pool of talent to draw from in order to meet current and future needs. Concerns were raised on the training authority's ability to retain talented employees within the organisation. Issues relating to the creation and modification of roles and job descriptions to help individuals realise their career aspirations were raised. Employees were also concerned about the training authority's inability to provide resources for the support of individuals' career plans. Employees further raised transparency issues on expected behaviour, development and factors identifying individual's potential as major concerns. Reward and compensation were found to have a weak link to performance and market offering. Managers were found to have limited flexibility in distributing their pay budget.

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