CEOs Fear Lacking Talent in Coming Years

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Even with high unemployment rates, finding the right talent can be a major challenge for CEOs. That's the finding of a new poll, which found that while 47 percent of CEOs expect to see growth in the next three years, only 30 percent of CEOs feel they will be able to hire and retain the right talent needed to handle that growth.

Nearly half of the 1,300 CEOs polled by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the 15th Annual Global CEO Survey felt that lacking talent within their organization was a significant threat to the growth of their business. Almost 70 percent of CEOs also wished they could spend more time developing talent for their business.

That's because lacking talent not only affects the growth of organizations. According to the poll, 31 percent of CEOs said they were unable to innovate effectively in the past year due to lacking talent. Additionally 29 percent of CEOs stated they were unable to pursue opportunities or had to cancel or delay a strategic initiative in the past year because of lacking talent.

"CEOs across industries report that they are finding it difficult to hire and retain the 'right' employees. This in turn has created increased competition for this seemingly small pool of highly sought-after talent," Ed Boswell of PricewaterhouseCoopers said. "Given how crucial talent is to achieving a company's objectives, more CEOs are focusing their time on talent-related issues."

One way executives are attempting to circumvent the problems caused by a lack of the right employees is by developing talent within their organizations. According to the poll, two-thirds of CEOs believe future promotions will come from within the organization in the next three years. This has led a majority CEOs to place increased emphasis on making investments in developing their workforce. The survey also suggests that many CEOs are placing greater importance on human resources in an attempt to keep existing talent within their organizations.

"We are in a talent crunch that is being felt across the world," Boswell said. "In order to address the issue, CEOs are changing talent management strategies and looking for fresh approaches to attract, engage and retain a workforce that will remain loyal to their company."

The information in the survey was based on the responses of 1,258 CEOs in 60 countries.