n Journal of Public Administration - Talent management - "Putting the right people in the right jobs"

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



A tone deaf will never be able to appreciate the music of maestros. Only a seasoned jeweller would know that all that glitters is not real? And, only those who can recognise the worth of a diamond can value it, for others it's just a stone! Talent is doing easily what others fine difficult (The Hindu 2004). As South Africa embarks on its journey into the second decade of democracy, major strides have been made on the political, economic, social and legislative spheres. A plethora of legislation and policy directions count as the most progressive in the world. However, many challenges remain. One of these is the shortage of professional and managerial skills and the imbalances at these levels. In any organisation, there is nothing more crucial than fitting the right people in the right position.

Talent management is difficult to define but it is a complex undertaking that operates within the strategic human resource framework. Talent management is increasingly gaining momentum in the public sector. The trend is to move towards the retention of talented and skilled employees who bring significant value to the work place. There has to be a paradigm shift towards a talent mindset with a view to identifying the high and low achievers, reinforcing good performance and addressing bad performance. The new managerial approach is to view talent management as an innovative tool that must be embedded into the work culture and ethos in the public sector.
This paper examines the concept and constructs of talent management as an all embracing tool to retain talented human resources in the public sector. Furthermore, a robust and integrated talent management strategy would be proposed to enhance service excellence.

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