Paper presented at the South African Association of Public Administration and Management (SAAPAM) 9th Annual Conference, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, 30-31 October 2008. The Conference theme was "Consolidating state capacity".
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
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.