Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering
On-line version ISSN 2309-8775
OOSTHUIZEN, P and NIENABER, H. The status of talent management in the South African consulting civil engineering industry in 2008: a survey. J. S. Afr. Inst. Civ. Eng. [online]. 2010, vol.52, n.2, pp. 41-47. ISSN 2309-8775.
Talent management, an integrated system of recruitment, development and retention of the required human capital at all organisational levels, is at the forefront of business agendas. Given the skills shortage in South Africa, talent management is expected to remain a business imperative especially in the science, engineering and technology arena. The importance of talent management stems from its role in achieving competitive advantage in order to realise the strategy of the organisation. In this paper the perceptions of people responsible for talent management in their respective organisations are presented to determine the status of talent management in the South African consulting civil engineering industry in 2008. The survey found that most respondents (94%) thought talent management was a priority but only 57% of them had some talent management initiative in place. The primary concern (55% of respondents) was to create a deep reservoir of successors at all hierarchical levels of the organisation. Inability to do so threatens not only the continuity of the organisation per se, but also the wealth-creating capacity of the country as a whole, since civil engineers play a primary role in creating and maintaining infrastructure.
Keywords : talent management; consulting civil engineering industry; South Africa; skills shortage; competitive advantage.