Talent Management In an Economic Downturn

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.