Original Research

Talent retention strategies: An exploratory study within the consulting industry in Gauteng province, South Africa

Calvin M. Mabaso, Malose T. Maja, Makan Kavir, Lesego Lekwape, Shereen S. Makhasane, Mbali T. Khumalo
Acta Commercii | Vol 21, No 1 | a885 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v21i1.885 | © 2021 Calvin M. Mabaso, Malose T. Maja, Makan Kavir, Lesego Lekwape, Shereen S. Makhasane, Mbali T. Khumalo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 June 2020 | Published: 09 June 2021

About the author(s)

Calvin M. Mabaso, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Business Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Malose T. Maja, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Business Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Makan Kavir, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Business Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Lesego Lekwape, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Business Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Shereen S. Makhasane, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Business Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Mbali T. Khumalo, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, College of Business Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: The consultancy industry globally has witnessed a paradigm shift over the past few years in terms of its nature, employee turnover and attraction and retention of talent. These changes have posed a challenge because the industry struggles to attain commitment from their employees.

Research purpose: To explore strategies to retain talent whilst ensuring performance in a consulting firm based in the south of Johannesburg, Gauteng province, South Africa.

Motivation for the study: Currently there is limited research on strategies to retain talent and enhance employee performance within the consultancy industry in South Africa. Exploring the experiences and views of consultants can assist consulting firms to develop effective retention strategies to retain talent whilst enhancing employee performance.

Research design, approach and method: A qualitative research method was adopted in this study. Semi-structured interviews were used to gather data. Thematic analysis was employed to identify patterns of meaning across the data set. Data coding was conducted on the themes that were identified. Different categories and subcategories were identified and analysed to determine themes and findings. Data collected were analysed and interpreted for meaningful conclusions. A non-probability sampling procedure was employed using purposive sampling. The sample included men and women, between 25 and 60 years of age, with a minimum of 5 years’ experience as consultants in the consultancy industry in Gauteng.

Main findings: The findings show the following strategies to retain consultants in the consulting industry: (1) rewards, (2) work–life balance, (3) performance management system, (4) improved training and development, (5) employee recognition and (6) career progression opportunities.

Practical/managerial implications: The findings of this study can be used by human capital managers to develop reward systems that will enhance employee performance and retain consultants.

Contribution/value-add: This study provided important practical guidelines that could be used by consulting firms to develop and implement retention strategy valued by consultants.


Keywords

rewards; training and development; career progression; consultants; employee performance; talent retention

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