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Managing Talent in a Turbulent Economy: Part One

Playing both offense and defense


This report — part one in a three-part study — features results from a pulse survey that polled more than 300 senior business leaders and human resource executives at large businesses worldwide.

Current Strategic Issues


Executives from around the world reveal how they are planning and managing their workforces in today’s extremely challenging economic environment in several major findings:

  • Senior executives have no illusions about the severity of the economic crisis or about the chances of emerging from it soon.
  • At the same time, they are taking deliberate actions to manage through the challenges. Executives are seeking to find the right balance between cutting headcount and workforce costs and focusing on strategic talent issues.
  • At the top of the strategic talent list, executives know they need experienced talent and strong leadership so they are focused on retaining the critical talent they have and attracting seasoned leaders.
  • A surprisingly large percentage of companies reported they do little to integrate workforce planning into all levels of their planning processes. And outside of workforce planning, companies are making only limited use of analytic tools and modeling in their talent processes.

Look for the results of the next two editions of this study in April and July 2009.

While playing defense is essential today, many companies recognize that playing offense is critical to their futures.

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