Digital drive creating war for executive talent

Executive Talent 2025 reports digital is driving demand for both agile leaders and agile organisations

Attraction and retaining talent is the top issues facing businesses today, according to a new report, with 43 per cent of CEOs globally citing lack of talent and skills as a barrier to future innovation.

Executive Talent 2025 reports digital is driving demand for both agile leaders and agile organisations, increasing focus on developing next generation leaders, and fuelling a critical need for diversity in the C-Suite and at board level. 

The study, undertaken by the global Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC), said digital transformation tops the business agenda of organisations for 2019 and the digital drive is creating a new war for executive talent.

AESC President and CEO, Karen Greenbaum, said business leaders understand their organisations must be increasingly agile in order to seize the opportunities of digital and thrive in a rapid and often uncertain global business climate.

“They seek innovation and know that diverse talent is critical to bringing new perspectives and fresh thinking to their organisations. They are also looking to the next generation of leaders for the talent they need,” she said.

“Organisations risk losing institutional knowledge and years of management experience as the Baby Boom generation exits the workforce in many markets around the world. All of these key business issues are talent issues.”

Seventy-three per cent of business leaders plan to provide focused development to next gen leaders in the next five years, and 71 per cent plan to work with an executive search firm in the next five years.

Other findings include organisations are also revisiting their business models and racing to tap into disruptive technologies to better serve their customers, and in the process, expand their portfolios of products and services. These forces combined place a tremendous new demand on talent.

Organisations are finding their employee value propositions are the greatest challenge to attracting the right talent; and leaders report diversity within their organisations as fair, but those who publicly report their diversity data are doing better.

The study identifies opportunities for business leaders to assess how their talent strategy aligns with their digital transformation goals. It also provides new insight on what organisations can do to better attract diverse talent and develop tomorrow’s generation of leaders.

“C-suite leaders understand that their boards must have a robust board recruitment strategy to attract the diverse board talent they need and with the right skillset, which increasingly includes marketing, technology and even cybersecurity, in addition to the more traditional management and finance skillsets of directors,” the report said.

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