Will your talented people stay after the recession?

Consultants Deloitte released the third segment of their five part study into talent trends this week.  The study aimed to investigate how business leaders are shifting their talent priorities in the face of the recession hitting the economy, and how they plan to overcome these difficulties and steer their companies to economic recovery.  The survey revealed a number of interesting points, including:

talent management

Optimism for the future. The optimism about the economic future amongst the managers surveyed increased for the first time in the study.  The number who believed the worst is yet to come nearly halved from March to May.

Fear of losing talent remains high. Nearly two thirds of all managers revealed that they are highly concerned about losing highly talented individuals once the recession ends.

Redundancies to come. Despite this fear, approximately 40% of managers revealed that reducing employee headcount was a top talent management priority, with cutting costs a strategic priority for over 50% of managers.

Focus on Recruiting and Retaining Critical Talent.
Despite cost-cutting measures, nearly half of managers surveyed (47%) surveyed say their companies plan to
recruit more critical talent to manage the current economic environment
- a significant jump since March (34%).

Younger Gen X and Y most important. Managers see greater turnover
potential among younger employees. Generation Y (under age 30) workers
were considered most likely to be on the move, with 63% of executives
predicting an increase or a significant increase in turnover among this
group, followed by Generation X (ages 30-44) at 46%. Only one in four
expect an increase in departures by Baby Boomers (ages 45-64) or
Veterans (over age 65).

Lessons to take from the study

Managing and retaining top talent is key to competitive success. The changing demographics of the British workforce means that effective talent management practices are essential. Left alone, people are quick to move on if they feel their professional development needs are not being met. CMI research shows that identifying high potential individuals and then ensuring processes are in place for developing their skills, is an excellent motivating factor and beneficial both in terms of recruitment and productivity. To drive British business forward, organisations need to attract and then be able to keep, the right people for the job.

The CMI is passionate about developing the talents of individuals in leadership and management roles, helping them to get to the top of their profession.  Equipping organisations with the tools to retain and grow talent, so they can maximise business success.

To support its members in doing this, the CMI provides qualifications in areas including Management and Leadership, and research which helps organisations keep abreast of the latest developments in terms of nurturing talent.


I think talent management is key in any organisation. A problem now is that there don't appear to be careers and a career structure as years ago. People are employed in jobs and can just as easily switch to other jobs using their transferable skills.In fact job switching now seems to be a plus.

Job switching is definately a plus these days - the experience someone gained working elsewhere is highly valued over the experience gained in working for your current company - which is sad really.

It is like acknowledging that you don't develop your own people as well as they get developed in other companies. Generally this is only an illusion though - but perception is reality. It also makes it easier jumping grades quicker without putting noses out of joint!

What shouldn't be missed in this though is the importance of developing all staff for their potential. The high flyers may stay or leave but you need the mainstay of the workforce to actually do the job. Developing and motivating them can have a significant impact on the bottom line.

Most of the time, economic downturns are short-lived so keep the bigger picture of long-term growth in sight. Keep your nerve. It's easier to invest training time for new recruits during slower growth periods. It's also worth remembering that if you dismiss employees during a recession, not only is there a cost, you will have to appoint someone to take their places when times get better - and that can cost a lot more money in the long run.