n Journal of Public Administration - The talent management approach to human resource management : attracting and retaining the right people

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



What provides a public organisation with its competitive edge? What makes it evolve into a more productive, better managed and efficiently organised entity? The argument can be made that the organisation's product is its reason for existing, but without the appropriate human resource capacity, the product would not get delivered. This might be too simple an explanation, but authors agree that an organisation's most important resource is its human resource.

Talent is the product of ability (competence, education, training and experience), coupled with motivation (engagement, satisfaction, challenge and wellness) and opportunity. Talent management can be defined as the strategic integrated approach to managing a career from attracting, retaining, developing to transitioning the organisations' human resources. In this paper attention will be given to identifying what attracts talent to the South African Public Service. Developing countries should seek new ways to lay their hands on an ever diverse, but always limited pool of talent. Research has shown that truly talented people tend to gravitate towards the best organisations and in this paper the case will be made for those aspects that characterise best organisations, namely those that instil the talent management mindset at all levels, those who integrate talent management in their recruitment strategies and those who grow their leaders.

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