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Identifying Internal Talent to Ensure Leadership Continuation

in a Leading Energy Sector Organisation

Presented at the 2023 Virtual ACSG Conference

on 16 March 2023 from 10:45 - 11:30

Background to the energy sector organisation: Eskom is a strategic 100% state-owned electricity utility that supplies approximately 90% of South Africa’s electricity. The mission is to provide sustainable electricity solutions to grow the economy and improve the quality of life of the people in South Africa and in the region.

Objective of the project: As an extension of existing EVP and retention initiatives, two (2) talent development programmes were designed, developed, and implemented as part of a leadership continuation drive .

The objective of the project was to identify top talent from identified millennial hi-flyers at middle management and identify Senior Managers and General Managers for succession into the next organisation level.

Theoretical Foundation and Methodology Used: Eskom administered integrated online assessments which included a combination of psychometrics and leadership simulations to the identified population. The assessment competencies were mapped to the Eskom leadership framework to provide more context specific outputs.

Following the assessment process, talent mapping was provided to Eskom in order to assist in the plotting of individuals to a 9-box grid using both the assessment data as a measure of future potential to grow into larger leadership roles as well as final individual performance scores.

As a part of the process, employees received development feedback on their individual assessment results (with the support of their line managers), through an interactive online digital development portal which allowed them to create a development plan, which was then used by the business to assist with internal development.

Results, Implications and Conclusion: The entire talent mapping and succession planning process took place online and integrated assessment information was used by Eskom to identify leadership fit and development requirements for specific levels and positions. This assessment data was also then used to bolster the leadership recruitment process to ensure upfront role fit requirements were in place. Furthermore, integrated talent information was used to identify and fast-track talent, and to also develop individuals based on assessment results.

The use of objective assessment and performance criteria to map talent on the 9-box grid, enhanced the credibility of the talent review process and provided Eskom with a sound basis from which to make decisions about talent. Furthermore, the assessment data was used to map individuals to various Corporate Strategies, to assist Eskom with the deployment of individuals to help drive key strategic imperatives and business growth.

David Bischof is the Director for Business Development at Organisational and Management Technology (OMT). He is also the current Director for Assessments Standards South Africa (ASSA) as well as Chairperson for People Assessments in Industry (PAI), an interest group of the Society of Industrial and Organisational Psychology of SA (SIOPSA). He holds a Master’s degree in Research Psychology and is registered as both a Research Psychologist and a Psychometrist – Independent/Private Practice with the HPCSA.

As chairperson for ASSA and for PAI – David focuses on ensuring that testing exists in the South African context as a value adding, ethical and fair practice. David specialises in psychometrics as well as leadership assessments and talent interventions. development as well as high level local and international project management of Assessment Centres used.

David is also past chairperson for the Assessment Centre Study Group (ACSG). David has presented on numerous occasions at the ACSG and SIOPSA conference on best practice assessment and talent management approaches as well as global human capital trends.

Marita Becker is a registered and practicing Industrial & Organisational Psychologist and the Middle Manager Psychological Assessment within the Skills & Talent department of the Human Resources Division at Eskom. She has worked at Eskom for 14 years. Her responsibilities include the management of the psychometric assessment value chain and engagement with various stakeholders on all levels of the organisation. She provides professional services for various contexts such as recruitment, career guidance and talent boards. She conducts statistical analysis for trend identification, forecasting and estimation. Recently also became more involved within the Talent space through the utilisation and analysis of assessment information. She has supervised Psychometrists and Industrial Psychologist interns with the focus on exposure, tracking and ethics.

She completed her master’s degree in Industrial & Organisational Psychology at the University of South Africa. She also joined the SIOPSA interest group People Assessment in Industry (PAI).

Besides the field of Industrial Psychology, she is married and mom to a 4-year-old daughter.

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