The State of Talent Management: Not So Good to Just Plain Miserable

Regardless of your industry, your organizational size or location, chances are you will agree that people are the reason, or at least a significant contributor, to your successful performance.

However, preliminary results from Brandon Hall Group’s State of Talent Management Survey 2014 indicate that very, very few organizations (6%) believe their talent management practices are producing high-performance, world-class talent.

Further, more than one-fifth of organizations surveyed believe the voluntary turnover rate of executive leaders will increase or significantly increase over the next 12 months and almost a third (31.7%) believe the voluntary turnover rate of other critical talent segments will increase or increase significantly over the same time period.

To complicate the situation, almost half of surveyed companies (49.1%) anticipate a severe or moderate shortage in executive leadership. To make it worse, 29.3% of surveyed organizations do not currently have any talent retention plan in place. Organizations’ business growth goals are exponential, yet their enabling talent practices are just not close to keeping pace.

The dismal view extends beyond that of only the organization. From the employees’ perspective, there is a wide gap between the value their organizations are offering and what most are seeking — job security and stability, more attractive compensation packages and career development opportunities.

With this value proposition disparity and the accompanying employee disenchantment come increased business risk and threatened ability for organizations to meet today’s business needs and longer-term growth goals.

Likely then, it comes as no surprise that more than half of surveyed companies (54.3%) predict an increased or significantly increased focus on leadership development this year and the majority of companies (59.8%) plan to increase or significantly increase their focus on retention of employees with critical skills.

At least three practices underscore organizations’ strategic plans this year to fix their broken leader and employee development and retention practices. Of surveyed companies:

  • More than half (54%) plan to increase their focus on development of high potential leaders.
  • Almost half (42.8%) plan to increase their focus on coaching for all leaders and employees.
  • More than one-third (34.4%) plan to increase their focus on career-pathing opportunities for leaders and other critical talent segments.

Figure 1. Preparing Leaders of the Future


In addition to these three must-do talent practices, high-performance organizations with leading talent management practices take an integrated approach to managing talent and treat talent management as a business function. They:

  • Have retentions plans in place.
  • Define metrics to assess the business impact of their talent management.
  • Understand the learning expectations of a global and diverse workforce.
  • Build a learning culture that encourages transparent communication and innovation.
  • Enable talent management with technology to ensure a 360-degree view of talent
  • Step up actions to build employer brand.

While not all companies will create and execute equal talent strategies, all that are world-class execute on leading practice talent management. As we prepare to close our State of Talent Management 2014 Survey – you can still take it through April 10 — tell us how your organization ranks today, and how you anticipate it will rank in the future. Sharing your close-up view of talent today enables world-class talent planning and development for tomorrow and beyond.

Until next time….

Laci Loew, Vice President Talent Management Practice and Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

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