Most Employers Are Challenged to Build Leadership Pipeline

Few organizations, either in the U.S. or in any other industrialized country, have been able to build a robust pipeline of leadership talent for their organizations. Senior leaders and HR professionals tell us that they not are confident about internal talent development efforts or their capability of meeting key management needs. In fact, only 4% of U.S. employers report having an ample pipeline that will cover most of their leadership and management needs, according to new research  we recently conducted.

 

Most of the 650 U.S. executives participating in the survey (85%) indicated they instead expect to rely on a combination of internal talent development and outside recruitment. In addition, 11% U.S. organizations routinely look externally before filling critical roles.

 

According to our findings, employers outside the U.S. are somewhat more likely to feel confident about their management pipeline, while American companies lag industrialized countries. View the Infographic here.

 

HR professionals know that it is usually a challenge to find and recruit top people whether in a weak or strong job market. And it varies by level, industry, requisite skills and geography. Even so, the findings suggest most countries are challenged to plan for succession and build the requisite bench strength.

 

How are you able to fill critical roles in your organization?

 

(Percent responding: “We have an ample pipeline that will
cover most of our needs”)

 

Singapore

31%

Japan

30%

India

28%

Netherlands

23%

Australia

22%

Belgium

19%

Germany

18%

China

17%

U.K.

15%

Brazil

13%

France

10%

Norway

 9%

Canada

 7%

U.S.

 4%

 

 

One reason for the reported pipeline shortfall is that although many employers spend generously on growing future leaders they do not do so in a coherent or strategic way. Sad to say, I think many HR executives would tell you that their T&D efforts tend to go off in different directions, and aren’t always aligned with the organization’s specific business objectives. For many, there seems to be a distinct lack of cohesiveness in aligning the talent strategy with the business strategy.

What challenges do you face with your organization’s ability to build a robust leadership pipeline?

 

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