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Talent: arguably the greatest challenge for CEOs

Justin Rix Justin Rix

Investing in talent and skills is a top priority among high growth businesses. Even with this focus on investment, one in two of high-growth businesses say it is hard to find people with the right skills.

Typically in the remit of the HRD, in these times of uncertainty finding that talent is now arguably the greatest challenge facing CEOs and their organisations. This is the central theme of our people power report, which raises critical questions for all organisations. Do you have the skills to ensure your business is future fit? Of the 1000 businesses we surveyed, 92% revealed that within the next five years they’ll need people with skills they don’t currently have.

In our people power report [ 2857 kb ] we outline the biggest challenges facing leaders of organisations today, and in the near future. Accompanied by our research with 1,000 fast-growing organisations about their talent and skills strategies, we include key issues to consider when developing a people strategy and examples of businesses who are doing it really well.

People power: fuelling your growth through talent and skills Download the report

Challenge: competing for in-demand talent

Business leaders must continue to develop innovative talent strategies. With 88% of high-growth businesses expecting an increase in competition for talent in the next year, you have to look outside traditional recruitment routes to effectively compete with more established players in the market.

“Job seekers today behave like consumers, visiting an average seven different job sites and reading six to seven reviews before forming an opinion about an organisation. Candidates expect a level of transparency and authenticity, so they want to hear from real people working at an organisation.” Joe Wiggins, head of corporate communications EMEA, at Glassdoor.

Among 16 to 25-year-olds the four most important attributes in prospective employers include a fair salary and benefits, a clear future career path, responsible and ethical business practices and making a difference to society. With millennials making up over a third of the workforce the challenge is now, how do you make your business attractive to them?

Challenge: equipping your people to be more than machines

Technical skills are not enough, businesses need talent with a growth mindset.

People who are creative, collaborative, adaptable and innovative – the skills that every fast growing business needs. And it isn’t just about new people. It’s important to also recognise and maximise the untapped talent within your existing workforce, including older workers and those returning from maternity leave, or career breaks.

Challenge: seeing past academics and looking for potential

Building diversity and inclusivity into your workforce will strengthen your competitive advantage. In today’s volatile market, the more diverse the skills, ideas, views, and experience you embed in your business the more resilient, and as research has shown, the more profitable it will be.

Apprentices are a great example - another source of future talent and skills – whether considering new hires or looking to grow your people. The Apprenticeship Levy is a tool that can be leveraged to access diverse talent.

Challenge: keeping talent in a rapid growth environment

Having identified and invested in new streams of talent and skills, your business needs a strategy for retaining them. Companies that understand what truly engages people and what they really value have the best retention rates. Increasingly it is less about transactional benefits and more about learning opportunities and personal development, business values and culture, and purpose.

Download 'People power: fuelling your growth through talent and skills'  [ 2857 kb ]or get in touch with our talent solutions team for more information.