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19% of Talent Managers Feel their Workforces have the Skills to Support Future Needs


Executive Search & Leadership Advisory firm, 6 Group, has conducted a global talent management survey across 13 different sectors with questions ranging from candidate attraction through to talent development.

Respondents included senior HR, Talent, In-House Recruitment and Learning & Development professionals who were asked to anonymously rate their organisation’s own approaches to talent management.

The aim was to find out whether companies had made progress in reshaping their talent strategies to become more future-looking (proactive) and less focused on the here and now (reactive).

Key results from 6 Group’s survey are included below:

  • 51% say their existing workforce has the skills and capabilities to support their current needs
  • Only 19% say their existing workforce has the skills and capabilities to support their future needs
  • Top Three Problem Areas Identified:
    1. Succession Planning
    2. Talent Pipelining
    3. Competency Assessment
  • Most common score (out of 10) respondents gave their organisation for developing internal talent: 6
  • Most common score (out of 10) respondents gave their organisation for engaging with external talent: 7

In a report from 6 Group on the results, the firm mentions that the ratings which respondents gave to their internal development and their engagement with external talent were fairly good. However, they state that they’re surprised to find that only a very slight majority (51%) feel their existing workforce was capable of meeting current needs.

Dan Solomon, 6 Group’s Head of Marketing & Communications, said:

“This likely down to many industries still experiencing widespread skills shortages across and the fact we’re still in the midst of the much-discussed ‘war for talent’.

“The statistic which shocked us the most was that only 19% of respondents feel their collective workforce has the skills or capabilities to support the company’s future needs.

“The question has to be asked, what’s causing the other 81% of people to hold a negative outlook towards the future and what is being done to drive significant change? We can confidently answer the first part of this question by looking at the first two issues of the top three problem areas identified in the survey; succession planning and talent pipelining.”

The firm’s report details that succession planning and talent pipelining are activities designed to strengthen long-term recruitment activity and that the data shows that the vast majority of respondents are worried about exactly this – the long term.

6 Group’s Managing Director, James Beazley, said:

“We know the problem and we know the solution. Create a robust and well-oiled talent pipeline, which is backed by a well-thought-out succession plan across all key business areas and the outlook begins to become a lot brighter. So, why aren’t enough people doing this? Or, if they are, how come it’s not giving them comfort about the capabilities of their future workforce?

“There’s likely to be a number of reasons. Talent pipelining can be time-intensive and requires continual maintenance which a company may not have the resources for. Succession planning is an intricate task which can involve an organisational redesign and rigorous, individual assessments of future leaders across an entire business. However, the challenges mentioned above do not dismiss the indisputable fact that strengthening how you acquire and manage your talent is absolutely essential for the future success of a business.”

James adds:

“Whether it’s through your own company’s initiative or in partnership with an industry specialist, define your organisation’s mid-to-long-term talent management strategy and implement the activities you will need to drive lasting change.”

About 6 Group: For over a decade, 6 Group has been a leading facilitator of transformational change for some of the world’s largest organisations. Across 2017 alone, they’ve conducted a number of organisational redesign projects, succession plans and leadership assessment programmes to support companies in becoming market leaders.

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During Nathan’s early career, he gained considerable experience from across many industries including Sales, Teaching and Retail, however more recently Nathan has delved into the world Digital Marketing and Publishing. Drawing on his past experiences, Nathan brings all aspects of his knowledge into Recruitment Buzz, possessing great research and social media skills.

Born and bred in Wales, Nathan is as Welsh as they come – living in the heart of the Valleys, Nathan proudly takes place as our resident Welsh speaker. However, Nathan’s knowledge of global understanding exceeds the Welsh borders, having lived in London, parts of the US and Ecuador.

Nathan is a self-proclaimed geek, having gained a degree in Natural Science via the Open University in Wales. In addition to his passion for science, he has a love for technology, nature, art and of course football!


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