Scarcity of leadership talent biggest HR fear

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New survey findings have revealed that a lack of high-potential leaders is the number one concern for HR leaders in 2012.

Recruitment firm Right Management canvassed the opinions of more than 600 senior executives and HR professionals and found the shortage of talent across all levels is reaching crisis point. Another top rated concern is the high instances of employee competitor defection, and according to Michael Haid, senior vice-president of talent management at Right Management “[these are] the kinds of concerns that HR people lose sleep over”.

Haid added that while defection to competitors is a worry, more and more organizations have to deal not only with the current lack of leadership bench strength, but also an increasingly disengaged workforce.


Most pressing HR challenges in 2012 Latest   Year ago
Lack of high-potential leaders in the organization 31% 30%
Low engagement and lagging productivity 26% 22%
Shortage of talent at all levels 23% 18%
Defection of top talent to other organizations 19% 30%

Haid said that more than three years of organizational contraction and less internal investment by companies into their own talent pipeline were central reasons behind the problems that are now emerging. “Lean times make it hard for organizations seeking to recruit, retain or develop future leaders. And they’re keenly aware of the tough competitive environment they’re in and the need to hold onto and build leadership.”

When it comes to concerns over talent defection, one-in-five said it was a central concern. “Losing strong performers to other companies which may be enticing to individuals who may feel stifled with their present employer [is a worry], however defection of top talent is indeed less of a concern for many employers then it was one year ago, Haid said.


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