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Deloitte Survey: 56 Percent of Executives Predict Leadership Shortages

Middle East : 14 February 2011

Vast majority described the talent management programs as less than world class.

As Middle East and global businesses work to operate beyond the recent recession, the execs of these firms are recognizing that their development of talent needs to meet the challenges of both today and tomorrow. This issue, among many others, is spotlighted in the newly undertaken Deloitte survey series entitled Talent Edge 2020. Forbes Insights conducted the survey for Deloitte, covering over 300 executives from global firms that spanned various industries and included a sampling from the Middle East region.

According to Rana Ghandour Salhab, head of Talent and Communications for the Middle East division of Deloitte, companies will only be successful based on their ability to balance economic conditions with deliberate investments in fresh talent. There is a large amount of young graduates as well as experienced workers who are searching for career opportunities. The creation of jobs and the retention of positions will be critical to growth and stability across the economies of Mideast states. Salhab stated that only the 20 percent who classified the talent management at their firms as world class (in the Talent Edge 2020 survey) are headed in the right direction, investing in the creation of careers and presenting challenges to their employees.

Most of the senior execs and talent management staff that participated in Talent Edge 2020 stated that a proactive plan is required to retain their talent. However, when looking at the survey results it is clear that only the firms with a retention plan currently in place are past being anxious and doing something about it. Of the firms surveyed, 69 percent who have retention plans stated that an increased focus on compensation would be seen over the year, compared to the 48 percent of the firms without a retention plan that agreed with this comment. Also, 76 percent of firms with a plan will expand their benefits and 70 percent will experience a boost in non-financial incentives. In comparison 55 percent and 52 percent, respectively, of those without a plan will take these actions.

Almost six out of ten of those execs surveyed report that the voluntary turnover within their firm has grown over the last year and slightly more think that it will get even higher within the next year, according to Salhab. It was also worrisome that not many of the firms who participated have a clear view as to what drives turnover. To properly optimize the investments made in a firm’s talent, a retention plan must be put in place. Deloitte considers talent retention to be directly resulted from a firm’s talent strategy and gauges it by continuous reviews of worker satisfaction levels using surveys, paying attention and responding to any employee feedback and offering rewarding positions with room for career opportunities. Deloitte was recognized as a Hewitt Best Employer throughout the Middle East back in 2009. They are the only firm in the professional advisory industry that received this honor.

Other key elements of the Talent Edge 2020 included the finding that shortages are already being formed by a talent paradox. The expected talent surplus did not come as a result of higher jobless rates. The opposite has happened and many top executives expect more talent shortages.

Also, firms are facing rising challenges to foster development in tomorrow’s leaders. As the baby boom generation retires execs are facing concerns about the further development of leadership throughout the pipeline.

There is also a global race for talent. Markets that used to be considered emerging have now become areas of high growth. This has placed enormous demand on talent managers, with the need for fresh staff in new positions found in new areas. The longitudinal survey series that began with Talent Edge 2020 will continue tracking shifts within business talent trends and strategies as well as the priorities seen in the coming months. In the next survey edition a focus will be placed on these same elements but from the employee’s perspective. Publication should be this spring.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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