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Talent Drain Hits UK Plc


Businesses in the UK are struggling to recruit, manage and retain key talent, a new survey reveals.

A lack of high quality staff at senior level together with an absence of procedures for managing talent is a significant problem, according to 1,500 managers.

The public sector suffers more than private industry, with local government and the health sector facing the greatest challenges in employing and retaining able workers.

The survey, conducted by the Society of Chief Personnel Officers (SOCPO) and leadership and executive recruitment consultancy Veredus, found that over half of the managers quizzed (55% in the public sector, and 58% in private) felt there was a shortage of talent amongst senior staff.

This has been blamed on a lack of management strategy: 83% of public sector leaders have no talent attraction plan. A figure that rises to a staggering 86% within local government.

This has not gone unnoticed: of the public sector leaders interviewed, 80% believe their company has failed to put enough effort into managing talent. Only 13% of these organisations have systems to fast-track talent, compared to just under a fifth (23%) in the private sector.

Over two thirds (68%) of senior public sector managers surveyed admitted to relying on “gut feel” to identify their best performers; and amongst health officials, this applies to almost three quarters (73%).

Alan Warner, SOCPO Lead Officer for Talent Management, said: “Talented people are the life blood of successful organisations. If we don’t ensure that we recruit, retain and develop the best people, we will struggle in the future.”


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