November 8th, 2012

Most Firms Need Leadership Development to Advance Talent Management Strategy

Author: Owen Sullivan, CEO, Right Management, President, Specialty Brands ManpowerGroup

As a leader, you know the importance of having a clear and actionable talent management strategy if you want your company to optimize performance. Yet, only 12% of major organizations have a fully implemented talent management strategy, according to a survey of 537 U.S. companies we recently conducted.


The survey found that little consensus has developed regarding talent management strategy. Twenty-five percent said they have created such a strategy but face challenges with its implementation. Similarly, 7% reported having a strategy but described it as merely a statement of objectives and/or philosophy. The largest group (44%) reported that they have a series of separate HR processes which are not integrated as a true talent management strategy. Twelve percent admit to not have any strategy at all. To me, this signals a need for leadership development to enable them to advance the organization’s talent management strategy.


It is our opinion that talent management requires an inclusive strategy where, among other things, recruitment, talent assessment, training & development, retention and leadership coaching are each closely aligned with the organization’s business objectives.


But our findings suggest there’s not much agreement on what a talent management strategy ought to be, even though most companies are convinced they should have one. The concept appears to vary from one company to another and putting any such strategy into action is also a problem.


The survey also explored the obstacles organizations face in implementing a strategy.




An interesting wrinkle among the data is that organizations may think theirs is behind the curve while other companies have made greater progress. Asked to estimate the proportion of companies that have implemented an actual talent management strategy and not merely a statement of goals and objectives, 34% of respondents believe as many as one-in-three have already done so. Another 12% even estimated that more than half of companies by now have a fully realized talent management strategy. But according to our same survey data, the reality is that far fewer organizations have a real workable strategy.  Unless there is a true linkage to an organization’s business strategy, then it is our belief that a company does not have a sustained talent management strategy.


How does your organization measure? Download the white paper “The Struggle Over Talent Management Strategy”.

Comments RSS

Name (required)

Email (required)