Chief executives awake to need for better talent management

The inability to attract and retain talent is now one of the top three concerns of senior business executives across the globe, according to research from consultancy Accenture.

Six out of 10 of the 1,000 chief executives and function heads responding to this year’s global survey, What Keeps Business Leaders Awake at Night, cited recruitment and retention worries.

This ranked as the third most worrying factor, up from fourth in 2004, and was only beaten by the health of the global economy (67%) and worries over competition (72%). Low employee morale (39%) and instability of senior leadership (35%) were other worries.

Despite concerns about the quality of candidates, 40% of executives planned to fill current positions as they are vacated in the next six months, and 38% plan to hire actively. Only 7% of respondents anticipate a hiring freeze, and 11% a reduction in staff.

Peter Cheese, head of Accenture’s Human Performance practice, said: “The fact that issues of people, culture and the management of talent have such visibility among top executives reflects the reality in most of the developed world that we are, increasingly, facing a shortage of talent.

“Attracting, developing and retaining the best talent requires more than good training programmes. It comes down to the way people are managed, the opportunities with which they are presented and how they are measured and valued.”

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