Finding talent a key concern for majority of global CEOs:PwC

by CXOtoday Staff    Mar 21, 2012

Talent constraints impacting innovation, as 31 percent of global CEOs say they were not able to innovate effectively in the past 12 months.

Talent remains a top priority for CEOs across the globe, and the challenge of recruiting and retaining talent is still a key concern, according to a study.

A report released by PwC US, “Delivering results: Growth and value in a volatile world,” key talent findings from PwC’s 15th Annual Global CEO Survey, reveals that 53 percent of global CEOs see the availability of key skills as a threat to their growth prospects.

“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,” said Ed Boswell, U.S. Advisory People and Change practice leader at PwC.

The study found that 68 percent of global CEOs wish they could spend more time focused on developing the leadership of their business and their talent pipeline.

“Given how crucial talent is to achieving a company’s objectives, more CEOs are focusing their time on talent-related issue,” Boswell said.

Even in a weak labor market, PwC’s research finds that 43 percent of global CEOs said their talent-related expenses increased more than they expected in the past 12 months. According to the report, this unexpected expense increase is a reflection of the major skills mismatch issue companies face today: talent shortages during high unemployment rates.

The findings suggest that talent constraints impact innovation, as 31 percent of global CEOs say they were not able to innovate effectively in the past 12 months. Additionally, 29 percent of CEOs said that they were unable to pursue a market opportunity or have had to cancel or delay a strategic initiative because of talent in the past 12 months.

According to the report, only a minority of CEOs are very confident that they will have access to the talent they need over the next three years. However, the challenges are acute in knowledge industries such as pharmaceuticals and life sciences, technology, and in heavy industries such as industrial manufacturing and automotive.