Threading the talent needle

What global executives are saying about people and work


Threading the talent needle

Most global companies and organisations recognise that talent management is essential to business success. However, the current economic crisis presents business leaders with some difficult and conflicting talent challenges:

  • There is immediate pressure to reduce costs while still motivating and retaining employees.
  • The priorities of core customers, services, and employees must be juggled while operational adjustments need to be enacted to make it through difficult times.
  • There remains a long-term strategic need to capitalise on the rebound and help ensure future growth.

To understand how leading companies are framing and tackling these challenges, we collaborated with Forbes Insights to conduct a series of one-on-one interviews with 28 senior executives, including Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), Chairmen and other senior members at leading global organisations. Threading the Talent Needle uncovers 12 key findings on how companies are tackling today’s immediate talent challenges while positioning themselves for longer-term success:

  • Companies are focusing extra attention on critical workforce segments and top talent.
  • Companies are making deliberate efforts to strengthen their employment brands.
  • Globalisation and emerging markets are shaping the talent agenda.
  • Innovation is a key growth driver in every part of the business cycle.
  • Companies are beginning to adopt non-traditional organisation structures.
  • CEOs are personally investing time and energy in talent.
  • The leadership pipeline continues to be largely focused on developing leaders from within the organisation.
  • Gender diversity at the executive level remains a challenging issue.
  • Managing a multi-generational workforce is a large and growing challenge.
  • Flexible work practices are already in wide use and continue to expand.
  • Companies are increasingly committed to social responsibility, in part because it helps attract top young talent.

For further information, download a copy of our report ' Threading the talent needle'. (PDF, KB)

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