Original Research

Talent management in the South African construction industry

Sydwell Shikweni, Willem Schurink, Rene van Wyk
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 17 | a1094 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v17i0.1094 | © 2019 Sydwell Shikweni, Willem Schurink, Rene van Wyk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 July 2018 | Published: 27 May 2019

About the author(s)

Sydwell Shikweni, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Willem Schurink, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Rene van Wyk, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: The South African construction industry is constrained by the shortage of a skilled workforce due to global competition and insufficient graduate output. There is a need to evolve attract and retain the most valuable talent.

Research purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate talent management in a prominent South African internationally operating construction company. The objective is to develop a framework for enhancement of talent management practices.

Motivation for the study: The South African construction industry’s inability to retain talent, hampers global competitiveness and productivity. Talent shortages need to be addressed at a strategic level to remain competitive.

Research approach/design and method: A qualitative research approach examined a single South African construction organisation in the Gauteng Province. Grounded theory was used to analyse data generated from interviews, participant observations and company documents.

Main findings: Firstly, talent management in the construction industry supposes mutual actions from the organisation and its talented employees. Secondly, internal enablers drive business outcomes by in alignment with a well-crafted strategy. Thirdly, a regulatory framework should acknowledge labour market dynamics and diversity. Fourthly, internal and external enablers should be taken into consideration. Finally, effective implementation of talent management practices yields talent sustainability and competitiveness.

Practical/managerial implications: The two conceptual frameworks developed indicate: (1) key factors that play a role in talent management, and (2) the interface between talented employees and the organisation.

Contributions/value-add: The findings provide two proposed frameworks that could guide leadership to devise an enabling global competitive talent management environment in the construction industry.


Keywords

talent management; talent attraction; talent development; talent retention; South African construction industry; talent management framework; qualitative research; thematic analysis

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