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Talent Flight

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Its bad enough that employees are always able to search for greener employment pastures, but in addition to talent flight, companies are heading into a new era of talent scarcity. While the policy pundits deal with “overpopulation,” corporate leaders will be faced with the reality that the “average corporation will be left with half the critical talent it needs by 2015″ according to Claudio Fernandez-Araoz in a recent column in Business Week (December 7, 2009, p. 72).

As senior adviser in the global executive search firm Egon Zehnder International, he writes that the “number of managers in the right age bracket for leadership roles will drop by 30% in just six years.” And that is compounded by the growth, even modest, that companies will enjoy as we move out of a recession. He talks about the growing pull for talent out of Asia, and a coming “global talent war” looming on the horizon.

Companies may not be thinking, amidst the depressed economy we live with today, about the risk of talent flight, but we all know that situation is going to change.  It often seems the best people are the first to leave (more aggressive, restless, and they attract the best offers), so taking steps to keep them on board are critical. But this takes more than financial incentives and benefit packages.

BEST PRACTICE TIP — The best way (and the least expensive) to hold on to employees is to create a compelling workplace where staff are fully engaged in their work.  That’s the only “shortcut” we know of.  Call us.

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