Talent Management In an Economic Downturn

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Deloitte Consulting is out with two reports on what top business leaders from around the world have to say about managing today’s most pressing talent issues.

It’s a “high-wire balancing act,” says Jeff Schwartz, principal of Human Capital at Deloitte, who adds that executives are seeking to find the right balance between reducing headcount/workforce costs and focus on strategic talent issues.

In “Threading the Talent Needle: What Global Executives are Saying about People and Work,” it looks like CEOs are playing a greater role in talent management. Two-thirds of the interviewed executives mentioned that their CEO is connecting more with employees around the globe — particularly those with high potential.

In the second report, “Managing Talent in a Turbulent Economy: Playing Both Offense and Defense,” 52% of the executives surveyed report their company plans to restructure jobs to lower costs and increase efficiency. In addition, 40% will try to attract more critical talent with hard-to-find skills, while 30% are looking to bring on more critical leaders. More than 25% will increase the use of flexible work schedules through measures like telecommuting and reduced work weeks to engage and retain key talent.