World-Class Talent Programs Aren’t Waiting for the Recovery

World-Class Talent Programs Aren't Waiting for the RecoveryPosted by Alice Kwan on January 20, 2011

How can we grow?
How can we build our leadership ranks?
How can we get the right talent in the right place?

These are the key questions senior executives and talent managers at large (+$500 million) companies are confronting in the face of lingering economic uncertainty and an uneven talent market. These results are from Talent Edge 2020: Redrafting talent strategies for the uneven recovery our latest survey in the Talent Edge 2020 series build from the findings of two earlier studies: a December 2010 report on executive attitudes and an April 2011 report on global employee attitudes and talent concerns.

What a difference a year makes! 2011 started with the prospect of an imminent global recovery and ended with fears of a double dip recession that threatened to create a long and sketchy global recovery. Perhaps most disturbing, according to the majority (83 percent) of the 376 executives surveyed for this report, their current corporate talent programs are not capable of meeting the challenges of growth in a stalled economy, leadership development and regional and country-specific talent shortages.

Fewer than one in five surveyed executives considered their organizations to be “world-class” in talent and more than four in five acknowledge the need for significant improvements and investments. This investment is critical: Organizations that self-report as “world-class” in talent are more likely to invest (by a two to one margin) in talent priorities and initiatives. Rather than sitting back and hoping a slow recovery will solve their talent challenges, these executives are devoting time and money to areas they feel are high priorities, such as workforce analytics, developing an operating model for the talent function and global workforce management, among others.

Is your company one of the talent investors or is it taking a “wait and see” approach? Do you agree with our survey respondents? I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read the latest report and comment about how your company’s talent strategies are evolving in these uncertain times.


Neil Nveras Alice Kwan, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, leads the firm’s client talent services in the U.S. She regularly leads clients through large-scale transformations with a focus on organizational, cultural, change management and talent implications.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

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