Talent Wars: The Struggle for Tomorrow's Workforce

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The war for talent is intensifying. In the developed countries of the world, businesses are finding it increasingly tough to recruit and retain skilled employees. Ageing populations are only part of the problem. Even where the workforce continues to grow, as in the US, the gap between the skills companies need and those being provided by educational institutions is widening. Developed-country firms, moreover, are now facing stiff competition for the best people from an unlikely source—emerging markets. Nearly two-thirds of executives in this Economist Intelligence Unit survey conducted for this study expect employee recruitment and retention to become tougher over the next three years, and over one-fifth see this as becoming "significantly harder". It is no surprise, then, that talent management is moving up the corporate agenda. These are among the key findings of this research brief, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by SAP, into the nature of the talent challenge in developed markets and how companies there are implementing talent management strategies.