Talent edge 2020: Redrafting talent strategies for the uneven recovery

Adjusting to the demands of today’s talent market

Talent edge 2020 -Jan 2012


Despite a new wave of uncertainty, many leading companies are pressing forward and reshaping their talent strategies. Many executives foresee leadership shortages in the year ahead and are looking at programmes to accelerate leadership development within their companies. At the same time, given the stalled economy, many companies are seeking new sources of growth and are tailoring talent plans to address differing regional needs to support effective talent strategies and business operations.

Key findings

To help shed light on how companies are adjusting to the demands of today’s talent market, Deloitte launched Talent edge 2020—a longitudinal survey series conducted in collaboration with Forbes Insights. This January 2012 edition of Talent edge 2020, Talent edge 2020: Redrafting talent strategies for the uneven recovery builds from the findings of two earlier studies: the first from a December 2010 report on executive attitudes and the second from an April 2011 report on global employee attitudes and talent concerns. The key findings include:

Companies are seeking new sources of growth in a stalled economy: When asked to rank their top strategic priorities, 38% of surveyed executives listed improving top- and bottom-line performance, followed by expanding into global and new markets at 33%.

Executives are looking to strengthen their leadership development pipelines and programmes: Approximately one-third (30%) of executives surveyed ranked developing leaders and succession planning as today’s top talent priority—the highest of any response in the survey. A nearly equal percentage (29%) predicted it will likely remain the top talent concern over the next three years.

As talent demands go increasingly global, the pressure is building to create talent strategies that can both scale (for size and efficiency) and focus on regional markets: Surveyed Asia Pacific (APAC) executives face urgent needs, with significant shortages anticipated in research & development (R&D) (68%), operations (64%), and strategy and planning (62%). Survey participants in the Americas see executive leadership and operations as the main talent gaps (both 56%), while business leaders in the Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region are far less concerned about shortfalls in talent.

Corporate talent programmes are falling short on performance and investment: Only 17% of executives surveyed believe their talent programmes are “world-class across the board,” while 83% acknowledge that significant improvements need to be made. Executives who call their talent efforts “world-class” are more likely to report —by margins of 20 percentage points or more—that their companies are investing in these programs at a “high” level.


Talent edge 2020: Redrafting talent strategies for the uneven recovery (PDF)