Institutions Literature shows that talent management is relatively new in universities despite its relevance for these institutions in offering a practical way of achieving a competitive edge. In a research study conducted by Rudhumbu and Maphosa (2015) in Botswana, it was found that talent management practices utilised in tertiary education institutions in this country are still lagging behind because the knowledge and capability to apply these talent management strategies is lacking (Festing & Schafer, 2014; Rudhumbu & Maphosa, 2015; Simataa & Pearse, 2018). In light of the above observation, this research seeks to provide knowledge and capability in the application of talent management strategies. Proper implementation of talent management strategies in tertiary institutions will ensure that these institutions enjoy a competitive advantage over other institutions. The effective application of talent management strategies at tertiary institutions will also ensure that these institutions cut costs of replacing employees who have left (Koketso & Rust, 2012; Mabaso & Dlamini, 2018; Musakuro, 2018).

Koketso and Rust (2012) posit that efficient talent management practices result in dedicated workers and thereby a substantial reduction in labour turnover, an increase in employee engagement and productivity, and talent retention. Many authors also note that most workers who show dedication perform better and are less likely to quit (Erasmus et al., 2013; Koketso & Rust, 2012; Mabaso & Dlamini, 2018; Shikweni, Schurink & van Wyk, 2019). Talent Management in Higher Education Institutions in South Africa Theron, Barkhuizen and du Plessis (2014) argue that there is a dire need to exponentially grow the number of university employees both globally and in South Africa. The major problems associated with universities‟ failure to implement effective talent management strategies include inter alia, brain drain, a gender gap, unattractive salary offers, and lack of adequate training, among others (Onah & Anikwe, 2016; Mabaso & Dlamini, 2018). Makondo (2014) reported that in the South African higher education context, the problem of academics leaving their employers is endemic because data indicates that a substantial number of academics leave many higher education institutions to join organisations that offer far better conditions of service, hence causing a shortage of knowledge workers (Selesho & Naile, 2014). Literature posits that the generation of “baby boomers‟ in organisations such as universities are soon to retire and as such these institutions will lose valuable skills, experience and knowledge when these vital employees exit the university. In addition, younger university employees may resign for the various reasons that have already been mentioned, thereby forcing many tertiary educations into a corner where they will be put under the spotlight.


Talent management within higher education in South Africa involves the strategic identification, attraction, development, retention, and deployment of highly skilled and qualified individuals in academic and non-academic positions. Discuss the importance of talent management in higher education institutions and critically evaluate the impact of employee engagement on talent management and the attraction/retention of skilled staff.
Your essay should specifically refer to the following aspects:

• Within higher education institutions across South Africa, multiple challenges hamper the engagement of academic and non-academic staff members. Explain the key drivers that affect the extent of engagement these higher education institutions can apply to promote better organisational engagement.
• Critically discuss four (4) push and four (4) pull factors that higher education institutions can utilise to their advantage that influence talent management within higher education institutions.
• Provide feasible recommendations on what higher education organisations within South Africa can do to attract more skilled/experienced academic staff.

Answers to Above Questions on Talent Management

Answer 1: When it comes to the importance of talent management in higher education institutions, it is highly important because it is associated with the strategic identification, attraction, development, retention and deployment of highly skilled and qualified individuals in academic positions and its effective management can result in the complement of competitive advantage. The impact can be positive on employees in terms of being highly dedicated, productive and less likely to leave the organisation.


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