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Talent management named top global challenge


Managing talent is the most critical people challenge worldwide and will remain at or near the top of executive agendas in every region and industry for the foreseeable future, according to a new global study conducted by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the World Federation of Personnel Management Associations (WFPMA)

The study, which is based on a global survey of 4,741 executives in 83 countries, also found that managers saw improving leadership development and managing work-life-balance as other urgent priorities, after talent management. The report provides an analysis of 17 human resources challenges in seven major regions and suggests specific actions to address those issues.

“The study is the most comprehensive review of global HR practices ever conducted, and provides an insight into the current and future challenges facing companies,” said Florent Francoeur, president of the WFPMA.

Managing talent is seen as the most important HR challenge in nine of the 17 countries analyzed in depth, including the United States, Australia, Singapore, Japan and the United Kingdom, and was at least in the top three in 14 of the 17 countries — a reflection of increasing globalization and competition. To help address this challenge, executives from all regions expect their companies to boost global sourcing of talented employees. While few companies today are moving businesses to new locations to access people, executives expect this to be the most rapidly growing HR trend from now until 2015.

"It may become harder to recruit and retain talented employees than to raise money in an IPO," said Rainer Strack, a BCG partner and one of the report's authors. "In the West, work forces are graying, while in developing markets, companies have an unquenchable thirst for skilled employees. Creating a 'people advantage' will increasingly translate into competitive advantage."

Frances Wilson, CIPD international adviser adds: "Global talent shortages loom, even in these turbulent economic times, and companies must take steps now if they hope to address these shortages. To fully exploit global, highly skilled professionals, companies should source their talent throughout the world."

The report will be launched in full on April 14 at the World HR Congress hosted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) at London ExCel.


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