Original Research

The development of a talent management framework for the private sector

Ebben S. van Zyl, Rose B. Mathafena, Joyce Ras
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 15 | a820 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v15i0.820 | © 2017 Ebben S. van Zyl, Rose B. Mathafena, Joyce Ras | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 May 2016 | Published: 13 April 2017

About the author(s)

Ebben S. van Zyl, Department of Industrial Psychology, University of the Free State, South Africa
Rose B. Mathafena, Sasria Insurance Company, Johannesburg, South Africa
Joyce Ras, Department of Industrial Psychology, University of the Free State, South Africa


Orientation: Talent management is a strategic priority especially for profit-generating organisations in the private sector. Limited research has been conducted on the theoretical development of talent management. The need for talent management is also triggered by a need to align and integrate people management practices with those of the organisation in order to achieve strategic execution and operational excellence.

Research purpose: The primary aim of the study was to develop a talent management framework for the private sector. The research proposed to conduct an in-depth exploration of talent management practices in key and leading organisations already in the mature stages of talent management implementation in South Africa.

Motivation of the study: There is a need for the development of best practices in talent management – where talent management strategy is designed to deliver corporate and human resource management strategies. The formal talent management initiative would be linked to the human resources management function and will flow vertically from the corporate strategy-making process.

Research approach, design and method: The modernist qualitative research approach was applied to the study. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews (18 persons were interviewed in total). Analytical induction method was instrumental in facilitating the overall data analysis, while constructivist grounded theory assisted with the operationalisation of the data analysis.

Main findings: The study has mapped out key dimensions which are essential for the implementation of talent management. The dimensions of talent management are attraction, sourcing and recruitment, deployment and transitioning, growth and development, performance management, talent reviews, rewarding and recognising, engagement and retention. With each of the above-mentioned dimensions, the activities that are to be carried out to achieve the outcome of each dimension are specified.

Practical and managerial implications: Role clarifications pertaining to talent management responsibilities and accountabilities are still unclear in most instances. Early identification of key role players and articulation of duties will lead to ownership and clear accountabilities for the successful implementation of talent management.

Contribution/value add: The study brought to light critical factors for organisations in the private sector to consider for the successful implementation of an integrated, holistic and comprehensive talent management framework. The proposed framework guides talent management practices within companies in the private sector by highlighting activities to be carried out to achieve outcomes per talent management dimension.


strategic priority; development of best practices; analytic induction; key dimensions


Total abstract views: 10903
Total article views: 25115

Crossref Citations

No related citations found.