The retention of skilled personnel at Mossel Bay municipality

Title: The retention of skilled personnel at Mossel Bay municipality

Mr EW Jantjies

North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus), South Africa 

Dr AS Pelser

North-West University (Mafikeng Campus), South Africa

Ensovoort, volume 43 (2022), number 4: 2


The successful implementation of an integrated talent management approach is essential for decreasing the danger of institutional knowledge and important employees with critical scarce skills being lost. The goal of an integrated talent management approach is to identify, manage, develop, and retain skilled and experienced personnel to fill targeted key positions in the event that current incumbents leave due to retirement or voluntary or involuntary exit from the municipality at any point during the employee life cycle.

The case study design is facilitated by the fact that only one municipality was chosen, allowing for an examination of unique situations related to talent management in a local government municipality. The study employs a quantitative research method in order to create a solid talent management framework that responds to the research objectives.

Semi-structured interviews were done with the five executive directors, eight senior managers, three performance managers, and three HRM managers within the Mossel Bay Local Municipality’s functional/departments as part of the qualitative research strategy. These individuals were chosen based on their knowledge of the various fields for which they are responsible. The researcher was able to obtain specific responses to research questions on talent management practices in several functional areas of Mossel Bay using semi-structured interviews.

The qualitative data was analysed through descriptive and inferential statistical techniques, while the qualitative data was acquired through unstructured interviews. The quantitative study findings were analysed, and relevant factors were selected for additional analysis. The qualitative research findings were explained, with important themes emerging. The outcomes of both research methodologies were combined in accordance with the study’s goals.

The findings of the integrated research reveal that the integrated talent management framework’s processes and practices are ineffective and ineffectively implemented. It was also clear that the municipality’s essential talent management processes and practices were not being handled. One of the most important recommendations was the creation of an integrated talent management framework with realistic guidelines and support systems. In addition, more mentorship and coaching programs are being developed, as well as training on labour legislation and its application in talent management and succession planning, a proper engagement process embedded in the talent management framework, and a review of all human resources policies currently in effect in Mossel Bay.

Keywords: development, integrated talent management, strategic framework, talent attraction, employee retention, turnover, employee recruitment

1. Introduction

The overarching goal of this research is to determine why talented employees leave the Mossel Bay Municipality. This is accomplished by evaluating the municipality’s approach to talent management as part of the effort to attract and retain talented employees. This determination eventually leads to the development of an appropriate talent management strategy for the municipality. Any organization’s approach to talent management (including, in this case, a local government organization) should include what it considers to be talent, how this talent is developed, and how such talent is eventually retained by the organization (Mrara, 2012:27).

In contrast to the objectives of talent management, the Mossel Bay Local Municipality (MBLM), where the researcher is currently employed, and which is used as a case study for this research, has experienced a significant employee turnover in recent years. This significant turnover is indicative of the reality that the municipality needs to review its human resource practices and find new ways to entice and retain employees.

Many of these employees were well-experienced and worked in critical areas of the Mossel Bay Local Municipality, displaying a wide range of skills, competencies, and talents. The impact of these employees’ departure is difficult to quantify, but one must conclude that the Mossel Bay Municipality’s ability to deliver services effectively and efficiently was severely harmed. Employees’ reasons for leaving the organization in exit interviews range from a lack of training and development to complaints about poor management capacity (Mossel Bay Municipality, 2020).

A study of these exit interviews suggests that talent management could have contributed largely to raise the job satisfaction levels of employees and therefore in the retention of such employees. The Mossel Bay Municipality recognises that employee turnover has become problematic for the organisation and it has initiated various strategies to address the problem. One of these strategies is to formulate a talent management framework to address the employee turnover as well as attract and retain talented employees to the organisation.

Because the world of work is changing and employees do not stay with the same employer for their entire career, it is critical for the Mossel Bay Municipality to identify initiatives to ensure that the right talent is appointed, developed, and retained. The war for talent puts the municipality in a difficult position when it comes to retaining their skilled workforce. If one does not actively engage to retain staff, they will leave, and the cost of re-employment, combined with the loss of institutional knowledge and continuity, will strain the organization’s future resources and operational effectiveness (Mossel Bay Municipality’s HRM Plan, 2021:15).

2. Problem statement

In recent years, the Mossel Bay Municipality suffered the following challenges concerning talent management:

  • aging employees;
  • skills shortages in the information technology, finance, performance management, civil, electrical and town planning fields;
  • the incompetence of managers in managing and identifying talent;
  • skills gaps combined with a mismatch between supply and demand for specific talent;
  • a loss of senior managers;
  • a lack of mentors and coaches in the various chores of the municipality;
  • lengthy periods to fill crucial vacant posts;
  • lengthy periods to train employees to acquire the requisite functional and performance skills;
  • line managers with a negative attitude towards talent management initiatives;
  • a high number of disciplinary cases in the municipality;
  • low morale amongst staff; and
  • high costs of employee turnover, employee engagement and staff productivity.

Given the  talent management challenges mentioned above that the Mosselbay community is currently facing, the community has failed to hire due to the lack of a strategic integrated talent management framework combined with other human resource management (HRM) practices. It is suggested that it is possible to encourage and maintain employees to ensure sustainable corporate performance and continued service  to their members. These shortcomings justify the need for this study. With a coordinated assessment of skills and knowledge (TASK) salary scale, the Mossel Bay community is constantly faced with the challenge of finding and filling positions that are classified as professionally and technically qualified.

The lack of a Talent Management Strategic Framework is a source of concern for the Mossel Bay Municipality, since the city’s quest for continuous improvement has failed to provide a sustainable platform for retaining talented and qualified employees. If the recommended strategy is not developed, adopted, and implemented, the municipality will continue to lose talented and competent employees. Although the organization may take comfort in the fact that it has empowered and grown its internal capability, losing the same employees that it has invested money in developing to the labor market is undoubtedly a wasted investment. The objective then should be to solve this perennial problem by aligning it to a key strategic outcome of the organisation.

3. Research Objective

Following from the problem statement the study has the following objective:

3.1 Primary Research Objective

  • The primary objective is designed to determine the factors contributing to Mossel Bay Municipality losing highly skilled staff to the open market.

3.2 Secondary Research Objectives

The study addresses the following he secondary research objectives, designed to:

  • Determine the leading causes of losing highly skilled staff of the Mossel Bay Municipality to the open job market;
  • Establish a philosophical and theoretical framework for talent management in the local sphere of government;
  • Determine the statutory, regulatory and legislative framework for talent management in the local sphere of government;
  • Assess the challenges experienced with the implementation of talent management practices in the Mossel Bay Municipality to retain highly skilled staff and
  • Design a Strategic Integrated Framework for Talent Management in Mossel Bay Municipality to appoint and retain highly skilled staff.


4. Literature in support in support of the problem

According to Leedy and Ormrod (2013:51), a literature review provides the following advantages:

  • Literature review determines whether or not other researchers have addressed and answered the proposed research problem;
  • Literature review proposes new ideas, viewpoints, and methods that a researcher may not have considered;
  • It informs the researcher about other researchers who have done similar work and offers guidelines and reflections on how to deal with the specific problem;
  • A full scan in the literature review may disclose sources that the researcher was unaware of; and
  • Literature review explains how other researchers have dealt with technique and design challenges in similar studies.

Relevant books, academic journals, scholarly articles, departmental policies, the current statutory and regulatory framework, other research documents, and government reports (auditor general reports and other) were consulted as part of the literature review for this study in order to gain an understanding of the framework, theory, previous studies, and ongoing debates regarding talent management so as to answer the research questions.

4.1 Talent

McDonnell (2017:88) argues that talent is a “set of competencies that allow the person to perform a certain role in an excellent way”. When talent is fully developed and applied, Bethke-Langenegger (2012:3) states that, “the talent might refer to the entire employee population”.

A person who “regularly exceeds expectations while demonstrating the proper behaviors and is agile in their learning approach” is considered top talent (Dirani, 2018:386). By hiring and developing talented personnel, Human Resource Management departments may set the groundwork for success (Schmidt 2020:4074). All management, from the senior manager to the general employee, must be responsible for growing such personnel into a team of dynamic, motivated, long-term participants in the organization’s activities.

4.2 Talent Management

Talent management, which incorporates the cooperation and communication of managers at all levels, has become an imperative in the face of today’s organisational challenges (Edwards, 2017:236). There is significant diversity in defining the term, and according to Mensah (2015:545), since the term “talent management” was coined in the 1990s, it has grown in popularity not only in HRM, but also in the business world. Despite the ambiguity in defining talent management, Anlesinya (2019:440) claims that it is the systematic attraction, identification, development, engagement, retention, and deployment of those individuals who are of particular value to an organization, either because of their high future potential or because they are filling critical roles. In conjunction with other scholars already listed, this study contributes to the idea that talent management is a process that includes the identification, assessment, development, motivation, promotion, and retention of skilled people with high potential for success inside an organization.

Talent Management processes must also be more strategic, integrated, and broad-based than they have ever been (Maleka, 2019:396). Workforce planning, talent gap analysis, recruiting, staffing, training and development, retention, talent reviews, succession planning, and evaluation are all examples of talent management processes (De Sousa Sabbagha, 2018:137). With a growing talent scarcity and many senior leaders approaching retirement, effective talent management becomes even more critical (Anlesinya, 2019:441).

Integrated Talent Management is a concept that blends institutional strategy, human resource strategy, talent management methods, and organizational culture (Maleka, 2019:397). As a result, the purpose of this study is to evaluate Talent Management and determine why it is important, where it fits in an organization, how it interacts with HR, and what the consequences are if an organization does not invest in Talent Management techniques.

5. Central theoretical arguments

The establishment of an integrated talent management framework, at the core of this research, focuses on the following central theoretical arguments:

5.1 Teleological Vantage Points of Talent Management

Teleology is an ethical perspective that asserts that the rightness or wrongness of actions is completely determined by the goodness or impurity of their outcomes (Meyers, 2019:3). In addition, teleology is the idea that final causes exist, as well as the study of natural evidences of design or purpose. Teleology asserts that purpose and design are inherent in or visible in nature (Meyers, 2019:5).

5.2 Ontological Vantage Points of Talent Management

Ontology is a branch of philosophy that studies the nature of reality and how it can be learned and interpreted (Basit, 2010:23; David & Sutton, 2011:56; Ormston, 2014:16). The interpretation is dependent on the individual’s perception of reality in their environment. The research design begins with an ontological position, which deals with the fundamental nature of existence and for which there is no right or wrong answer because different people see the world differently depending on their role, value set, or background, in other words, their world view, because “the map is not the territory” (De Sousa Sabbagha; 2018:137).

The researcher filtered for preferences in his world according to his meta-programmes (Swailes, 2019:15) which are derived from guiding principles and belief systems, motives and constraints, which in turn decide the events noticed and the events ignored, the evidence to be collected and the evidence to be set aside in building an argument.

The researcher further believes that through meeting with senior and middle managers in the Mossel Bay Municipality, it will be possible to determine whether talent management methods are integrated and whether this integration aids in worker retention. As a result, it is assumed that these individuals have sufficient experience to recognize unique hurdles to talent management integration and implementation.

5.3 Epistemological Vantage Points for Talent Management

The purpose of this research is to look into how we learn about the reality of personnel management in the municipal environment (Dirani, 2018:384). Epistemology also investigates the reality of people’s beliefs and assumptions, as well as how they construct and interpret the phenomenon being studied (De Sousa Sabbagha, 2018:137). The study’s epistemological premise is to interpret the participants’ opinions of talent management theories and see if incorporating them improves employee retention in the public sector (Kumar, 2020:306). As a result, an interpretivist framework is employed. The interpretivist paradigm, according to Tracy (2013:15), assumes that reality and knowledge are the consequence of an individual’s perspective and may be formed and reproduced through communication and interaction within the workplace environment of Mossel Bay municipality (Meyers, 2019:2).

5.4 Methodological Vantage Points for Talent Management

The methodological assumption considers the adequacy of research methods, data generation procedures, and analysis techniques used in a study (Creswell, 2014:24). This study’s methodological assumption is qualitative, explanatory, and descriptive research.

  • Using a qualitative research approach allows the researcher to gain a better knowledge of various points of view, decide how talent management strategies may be implemented, and determine why employees leave the municipality’s employ (Jennings, 2012:10).
  • Personal interviews and document analysis as research instruments enable the researcher to collect sufficient evidence of the application of talent management in Mossel Bay municipality and the possible integration thereof; and • Personal interviews and document analysis as research instruments enable the researcher to collect sufficient evidence of the application of talent management in Mossel Bay municipality and the possible integration thereof.

In consideration of the study’s theoretical vantage point, the theoretical framework includes a review of the following theories: Organisational Support Theory and Human Relations Theory that are briefly explicated below.

6. Organisational Support Theory

 Employee reactions to how the organization rewards talented individuals’ contributions and looks after their well-being have been studied using Organizational Support Theory (Eisenberger, 1990:14). Eisenberger (1990:14) went on to explain Cognitive Dissonance Theory, which claims that employees who are not considered talented may cope with this idea by downplaying the relevance of being a part of a talent pool. Additionally, according to Björkman, equity theory argues that if employees are aware of their colleagues’ talent status, this scenario could be used as a variable in determining employees’ attitudes (2013:195).

7. Human Relations Theory

Taylorism prompted the development of human relations theory. The Human Relations Theory recommended the use of strategies for dealing with workers as socio psychological people, rejecting Taylor’s biological and mechanistic approaches to “scientific management” (Fiske,1991:13). The human relations theory stated that human psychological and moral qualities, including as goals, motivation, and values, must be included as part of its novel techniques of intensifying and improving labor productivity (Fiske,1991:13). The use of empirical data on worker satisfaction with work and the impact of collective demands and the psychological climate in work groups on labor productivity prompted efforts to develop a program to harmonize the relationships of various groups and individuals in order to achieve maximum efficiency in the operations of the company.(Chad ,2017:12)

8. Methodology

Study technique, according to Leedy and Ormrod (2013:7), is defined as the researcher’s overall plan for completing the research project. The location of data, the method of data collecting, the research procedure, and the method of data analysis are all variables that go into the research technique (Schurink, 2010:428). As a result, research methodology justifies and justifies the use of particular research methods (Wisker, 2009:88). The research techniques for this study, including the research methodology, research design, data collection instruments, study population and sample, and data analysis processes, are outlined in the sections below.

9. Research design

It is necessary to collect data in order to address the research questions formulated at the commencement of a study. There are various designs that could be followed to obtain the essential data and the most appropriate approach is justified in this section.

This study was carried out using a qualitative research method. In qualitative research, data is expressed in words that depict people’s attitudes, feelings, beliefs, opinions, and habits rather than being converted into numerical form (Babbie, 2011:24-25). Qualitative research, according to Punch (2016:4-5), is a strategy for analyzing individual or group experiences, interactions, communications, and records in order to understand, characterize, and explain social phenomena. Qualitative research looks at events, norms, and values from the perspective of the people being studied (Walter, 2013:56).

10. Research approach

A case study research design was used to perform this study. A case study, according to Gravetter and Forzano (2012:349), is an empirical investigation into a specific event with a holistic and systematic focus on a single case. Case studies, according to Greetham (2009:220-222), are a method of acquiring information on a community or group of people, a set of documents, an institution, a person, or an event, in this case the Mossel Bay municipality’s talent management practices.

The strategic importance of a case study, according to de Vos (2011:320), rests in its ability to draw focus and attention to what may be gained from a single example. The goal was to determine which areas should be included in the Mossel Bay Local Municipality’s strategic integrated people management framework. For many years, the municipality has been regarded as one of the best in terms of performance management. Many of the older employees just resigned, and there is no succession plan in place, nor are there any talent management processes in place to fill the skills gaps that these individuals leave behind. This is the primary reason why the researcher chose Mossel Bay Local Municipality as a case study in order to help the municipality function at its best.

11. Instruments in data collection

A data collection instrument is a tool used throughout the data gathering process to gather information on people’s thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about a certain event (Plooy-Cilliers, 2014:15). According to Maxwell, many data collection methods might be used in a single study (2013:102). The process of cross-checking a range of data collecting methods or types of information is known as triangulation (Williams, 2015:119). By triangulating data for this study, the researcher was able to obtain information on numerous aspects of career management in the municipality.

11.1 Personal Interviews

The primary data gathering instrument for this study was personal interviews with individual research participants. In interviews, questions about facts, people’s ideas and attitudes on facts, feelings, motives, current and past behaviour, what individuals think should be done in various situations, and conscious reasons for actions or sentiments were all addressed (Leedy & Ormrod, 2013:153). According to O’Reilly and Kiyimba (2015:80), there are three types of interviews: planned interviews, semi-structured interviews, and unstructured interviews, with the semi-structured form being used in this study.

A semi-structured interview consists of a sequence of questions with some leeway for answers (Wisker, 2009:132-133). The interviewer prepared a list of questions connected to the research topic, although some deviated from it to inquire about the municipality’s operations in terms of talent retention tactics (Wisker, 2009:132-133). Closed questions constrain respondents to choose from a set of predetermined responses in semi-structured interviews in qualitative research (Walter, 2013:236).

Respondents were able to elaborate on their experiences, perceptions, and views relating to career management by using open-ended questions, providing a qualitative richness in the data (through open-ended questions), while data relating to specific aspects of career management was rated and quantified, allowing certain deductions and conclusions to be drawn (through open ended questions).

11.2 Population and Sampling

The qualitative research approach involved semi-structured interviews conducted with the five (5) executive directors, eight (8) senior managers, three (3) training/performance managers and three (3) HRM managers responsible for the HRM within the Mossel Bay Local Municipality’s functional departments. These participants were selected due to their expertise as subject experts in the specific fields that for which they are responsible. Within the leading capacities, they are also responsible for the overall functioning and development of staff that report to them. The semi-structured interviews allowed the researcher to further interrogate specific responses to research questions in order to gain significant understanding of talent management techniques in different functional areas and departments (de Langen, 2009:54).

The HRM managers were selected as participants based on the expertise in HRM and knowledge of talent management and other HRM practices which collectively contribute to efficient and systematic workplace processes in talent management. The training and performance managers were selected based on the knowledge and experience of the relationship between training and development and performance management. The senior managers were interviewed because they are the implementers of the strategic integrated talent management framework. The middle managers are the line managers responsible for the implementation of the talent management framework within their respective directorates.

The interview strove to determine the reasons for the high turnover of middle and senior managers with scarce skills as these reasons could provide valuable information for the development of an effective strategic integrated talent management framework.

The interviews for this study comprise four (4) population groups namely:

  • 1st Target Group – Executive Directors (5 directors)
  • 2nd Target Group – Human Resources Managers (3 managers)
  • 3rd Target Group – Training Manager and Performance Management Officers (3 Officers)
  • 4th Target Group – Senior Managers (8 Line Managers)

The purposive sampling technique was used for this study where the participants provide the most information for the questions privileged in a study (Burns, 2014:365). Purposive sampling was used for the semi-structured interviews because the selected participants were able to provide in-depth knowledge on talent management due to the nature of their professions.

Table1.1: Breakdown of participants interviewed

Position Number Sampling Research Method Percentage
Executive Directors 5 Purposive Interviews 26%
HRM Manager 3 Purposive Interviews 16%
Training Manager/Performance Management officers 3 Purposive Interviews 16%
Senior Managers 8 Purposive Interviews 42%
Total 19 100%


Table 1.1 depicts the participants in the personal interviews, five (5) Executive Directors, six (6) Senior Managers three (3) HRM managers, and one (1) training manager and two (2) performance management officers included through purposive sampling.

12. Databases for Literature

The following databases was consulted to ascertain recent and relevant material for the purpose of this research:

  • Catalogue on theses and dissertations of South African Universities (NEXSUS)
  • Catalogue of Books: Ferdinand Postma Library (North-West University)
  • ResearchGate
  • Academia
  • Google Scholar

13. Data collection and Analyses

Leedy and Ormrod (2010:153) support a data analysis approach in which raw data from interviews is organised, categorised, integrated, and summarised to obtain reasonable insights into a specific research problem. Facts regarding a given case were arranged in a logical order, data was branded into meaningful categories, relevant documents and other data were reviewed for specific meanings in relation to the research, patterns were recognised, and conclusions were reached. This thematic analysis aided in the identification, interpretation, and recording of patterns in the interview responses. Data analysis, according to Leedy and Ormrod (2010:153), entails organising, perusing, and identifying categories, as well as data integration and summarisation. Data analysis, according to Zikmund et al. (2013:459), is the transformation of raw data into intelligence.

Each interview was recorded and transcribed. The written submissions of the four transcripts were submitted to an independent analyst. The analysis was done through Burnard and Neumann Strategies of Data Analysis:

Figure 1.1 below illustrates how the analysis followed the recommendations of Burnard and Neumann strategies. It outlines the planning, data collection and data analysis, elaborating how the coding was done and how the original data were compared with the original. It further shows how the data was used to integrate the different subjects together.

Figure.1.1: Creating a report and presentation of the result

Source: (Bengtsson, 2016)

14. Findings

The leading causes of losing highly skilled staff of the Mossel Bay Municipality to the open job market

Table 1.2: Leading causes of losing highly skilled staff at the Mossel Bay Municipality

Why are people leaving Mossel Bay municipality Personal reasons why you are staying at the municipality Retention strategies for staff to stay at the municipality
  • They do not have a purpose in the Municipality anymore
  • Relocating
  • Salaries not satisfactory
  • Lack of recognition
  • Lack of appreciation.
  • Too much pressure in the workplace.
  • Strained relationships
  • Management issues
  • A person’s career path
  • People that do not share that culture or cannot accept or grow into the culture of the Municipality.
  • No development is done
  • Salary structure.
  • If you do not conform to the processes of the policies and procedures
  • Financial constraints.
  • Covid-19 caused work fatigue
  • Influence of the politicians in the administration.
  • Promotion, getting more senior posts at another institution.
  • People are unhappy with the style of management.
  • Retirement
  • There is a larger demand than there is a supply of competent municipal officials.
  • Firstly, work satisfaction is important
  • Contributing towards society,
  • The organisation gets managed well
  • The career advancement opportunity to manage all settlements.
  • Incentives/salary.
  • Treated well
  • Motivation to achieve
  • Great HR Department
  • Encouragement of leaders must be solution focused
  • The working conditions are better than other municipalities.
  • Receiving great support from leaders and directors
  • Great support from MM, the Mayor, the Deputy Mayor and my councillors
  • The municipality must find a balance between service delivery and keeping its resources happy.
  • Good working relationships in municipality
  • Retirement succession planning
  • Promote in-house succession
  • Provide job-rotation,
  • mentorship and coaching.
  • Start work related conversations
  • Promoting compensation benefits or compensation related benefits
  • Motivating the heads of departments and the people within the corporate services.
  • Don’t have an Exit Management Policy
  • Have an exit interview
  • Use the performance system for that
  • Create growth opportunities for people
  • Create new career paths
  • Do training programmes like conflict management, people skills, management that type of training and have interventions
  • Our salary scales are on par with the market

From Table 1.2 above, the nineteen participants were asked to identify reasons why they think employees leave the Mossel Bay Municipality, why they might stay within the employ of the Mossel Bay Municipality, and strategies of keeping the staff working at the Municipality (staff retention). The majority of reasons why employees leave the Municipality relate to issues with management styles and career development (no development, lack of appreciation, lack of recognition, workplace pressure, management issues, lack of purpose). The second most mentioned reason ties in with monetary issues (salary structure / financial constraints).

Other reasons in the minority relate to retirement, relocation of individuals and administrative issues. To the contrary, some participants indicated that the reasons for staying within the employ of the Municipality are the good incentives and salaries. Others indicated reasons relating to good management style (support from leaders, staff are treated well, motivation to achieve) and a sense of purpose (work satisfaction and making a contribution to society). It is thus clear from the above that opinions relating to the development, compensation structure, and management style within the Municipality may be subjective or not seen as equitably distributed amongst the various post levels within the Municipality.

However, from the column indicating solutions to keep staff working at the Municipality (staff retention), the importance of these concepts is clearly indicated once again. Mentioned in the majority of answers is a combination of elements relating to development and management style (good working relationships, growth opportunities, training programs, coaching & mentoring, job rotation, succession planning). The necessity for a Talent Management Framework and the implementation thereof at the Mossel Bay Municipality is thus clearly highlighted by the major factors mentioned in this study thus far – management/leadership style in combination with development initiatives across all levels.

15. Recommendations

Throughout the construction of this study, the researcher set out to investigate the primary issue of Talent Management and suggest a plan by building a framework that is directed by a retention strategy rather than just investing resources in human capital growth. This retention technique aims to attract qualified workers and then prevent them from leaving for the open labour market. The researcher wanted to establish a strategic integrated talent management framework for implementation using the Mossel Bay Municipality as a case study and reference point.

Furthermore, the motivation for this design came from the identification and analysis of the central problem statement, which was the fear that Mossel Bay Municipality would lose highly talented and skilled personnel due to the lack of a Talent Management framework, which the researcher identified through practical experience as a member of the field staff. This work-based data was supplemented by substantial reading and study in the topic of Talent Management, which is cited throughout the article.

Research Objectives reached:

To determine the leading causes of losing highly skilled staff of the Mossel Bay Municipality to the open job market.

Employees felt they no longer had a purpose at the municipality, according to the researcher. In interviews, they stated that there was a lack of appreciation and acknowledgement. These employees did not share the Mossel Bay Municipality’s culture, and they expressed dissatisfaction with the salary they were provided. They both claimed that no progress had been made, claiming that promotion and succession opportunities had hit a stalemate, with no further opportunities in their domains of expertise. Furthermore, some of the interviewees stated that they were under a lot of pressure from their superiors, who pushed them to extremes when it came to completing chores and duties.

To establish the philosophical and theoretical framework for talent management in the local sphere of government

The researcher evaluated the Organisational Support and Human Relations theory and confirmed that there are diverse definitions and processes T in the field of Talent Management.

To determine the statutory, regulatory and legislative framework for talent management in the local sphere of government

Throughout the study it was confirmed that a thorough understanding of the various pieces of legislation and statutory and regulatory requirements must be verified for the municipal workers so that these are discussed, and policy considerations were well thought through.

To establish the challenges experienced with the implementation of Talent Management practices in the Mossel Bay Municipality to sustain highly skilled staff 

The following key challenges were identified in this study:

  • There are significant skills shortages in the Information Technology, Finance, Performance Management, Civil, Electrical and Town Planning fields;
  • It was verified that there was evidence of incompetence amongst managers in identifying and retaining talent;
  • Mossel Bay municipality has a skills gaps combined with a mismatch between supply and demand for talent;
  • The municipality takes lengthy periods to train employees to acquire the requisite skills;
  • Line managers with a negative attitude towards talent management initiatives generally complicate the retention drive in the municipality;
  • The study confirmed through the interviews and document analysis that there was a high amount of disciplinary cases in the municipality;
  • There was evidence of low morale amongst staff; and
  • Inevitably, there were high costs emanating from the high employee turnover, employee engagement and staff productivity.

15.1 Recommendations

  • Based on the findings, where an array of qualified staff participants from the Mossel Bay Municipality were engaged on their perspectives around the development and implementation of a Talent Management Framework, along with the philosophical and practical perspective of the researcher, the following recommendations are proposed for Mossel Bay Municipality’s’ consideration:
  • The municipality should develop a Talent Management mind-set by equipping the Senior Management Team with basic competencies with allow them to coach for results, drive performance, inspire loyalty and trust, and consequently manage the diversity in the organisation.
  • It is recommended that the municipality develop a Strategic Framework and use it as a guiding principle to attract, develop and retain talented human capital.
  • There is an immediate need to develop a Talent Management Roadmap
  • In addition, there is a dire need to create an Employee Value Proposition
  • Implementation of the process could ensure that all employees have PDPs for development purposes such that the envisaged roadmap is designed to create a map to hold line management and employees accountable during the WSP process.
  • Develop a mentoring and Coaching System and introduce more programmes on mentorship and coaching.
  • Develop and implement a Succession Policy.
  • Identify talent gaps in the organisation.
  • Identify skilled staff in the organisation and create a talent pool.
  • Workshop Talent Management Framework Policy with all Executive and Middle Management staff.
  • Incorporate development targets into job description and/ or performance plans of senior staff.
  • Allow for greater flexibility in the responsibilities of the Director Corporate and Strategic Services to lobby for funding towards staff development in relation to bursaries and training by targeting both the Public Sector as well as Public-Private Partnerships.
  • Form a Corporate Team responsible for the implementation of the Talent Management Framework Policy.
  • Establish an internal Talent Management Forum that could later develop to include external role-players.
  • Increase accountability on employees to perform when they are nominated for training and should they accept the opportunity, i.e. formulation and agreement to a Memorandum of Understanding.
  • The same municipality should also introduce innovative ways in achieving training objectives if funds are not available which will ensure a new and different practice to support an integrated management approach.
15.1.1 Proposed Strategic Talent Management Framework for Mossel Bay Municipality

An Integrated Talent Management Framework’s primary goal is to ensure that the Municipality has the right people with the right skills and competencies in the right location at the right time. However, concentrating solely on the recruitment and development of talent within the organization as a means of achieving organizational excellence will not yield the intended outcomes; rather, success will be determined by the alignment and integration of all important components of Talent Management.


Figure 1.2: Integrated Talent Management Framework

15.2 Conclusion

The retention of key people and intellectual property could help the Mossel Bay Municipality engage talent and ensure that gained information, skills, experience, and expertise are continuously transferred and encoded. The war for talent is the most pressing issue, and the Mossel Bay Municipality must recognize that having personnel with the correct balance of technical and managerial abilities is one of the most important components in ensuring organizational effectiveness, efficiency, and success. To maximize the return on both employer and employee, Mossel Bay Municipal leadership must ensure that they are committed to retaining qualified people.



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