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Businesses have misplaced confidence about their ability to drive future success without updated talent strategies, survey shows

Skills shortage continues to be the biggest single talent challenge; nearly 40% of businesses report this problem

New Zealand businesses might be too confident in their ability to attract and retain the talent they need to maintain competitiveness, according to a new Deloitte survey.

The second annual Talent Edge New Zealand survey was conducted late last year and had just under 300 respondents from individuals in management roles across a broad range of economic sectors and company sizes.

Deloitte’s Richard Kleinert, who leads the Human Capital practice for the firm in New Zealand and for the Asia-Pacific region, says there appears to be a large disconnect between employer expectations of future turnover and employee considerations about job movement.

While only 9% of employers anticipated significant (greater than 20%) voluntary turnover in the next 2-3 years, just under a third (32%) of survey respondents are somewhat or highly likely to leave their current organisation in the next 12 months, Mr Kleinert says.

“Often it’s the most highly talented employees which are likely to leave first, and there seems to be a tendency to take experienced employees for granted.  Businesses need to take stock of their people management because a significant exodus of senior talent from an organisation can be tumultuous, disruptive and potentially very costly.”

Despite ongoing economic uncertainties, talent problems that impact on business results are being experienced by the vast majority (83%) of New Zealand companies, Mr Kleinert says.  The figure mirrors that of last year’s survey in which 81% experienced talent problems.

“The real problem behind this is skills, or skills shortages, which is by far the single largest talent challenge facing businesses. This problem is universally consistent across all sectors and business sizes, and poses a significant challenge for the country.”

Concern over skills was highest in the IT industry (55% reported it the top challenge), financial services (39%), professional services (35%), the public sector (33%) and manufacturing (31%).  How businesses plan around minimising these ongoing skills shortages will be critical to future progress, Mr Kleinert says. 

Another issue of significant concern was New Zealand employers’ limited understanding of what motivates and appeals to different groups or segments of employees.

“Many seem to rely on old HR programmes that haven’t been updated and tailored to meet the needs and expectations of employees from different age brackets, such as the desire among baby boomers for flexible work arrangements.

“Employers who don’t review their existing policies do so at their peril. The relentless shift of workplace demographics, continued globalisation, and the allure of overseas opportunities all create a burning platform for change.

“Proactive organisations have a great opportunity now to review their existing policies and practices through the lens of their future talent needs and to better and align and focus their talent strategies with their overall business goals.”

To read the full report, go to


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Matt Huntington
Deloitte New Zealand
Job Title:
Communications Manager
04 470 3771
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