Friday, October 20, 2006

Economist issue highlights "the search for talent"

The October 7 issue of The Economist included a special report on "the battle for brainpower." You can read the front article here .

The article, as you would expect from The Economist, focuses on international aspects of talent search. Some gems I gathered:

- A recent
Corporate Executive Board (CEB) survey of international senior HR managers found that 62% worried about company-wide talent shortages.

- Hiring managers in another CEB survey reported that candidate quality has declined by 10% since 2004 while average time to fill has increased (to 51 days).

- While China has twice as many engineering graduates as the U.S. only 10% are "equipped to work for a Western multinational."

- Talented people, in many cases, need organizations less than organizations need them, particularly with the current job market and the shift in the means of production to computers and knowledge work.

- Candidates are taking advantage of websites like to research organizations and get the "real scoop." (Expect this trend to continue and for smart organizations to take advantage of this trend by offering more authentic information of their own)

- Paying a premium for stars has a (not so hidden) benefit: it attracts other talented individuals.

- Boosting your current worker's employability goes a long way toward enhancing your reputation and becoming a magnet for talent.

On this last point, the articles repeatedly emphasize that your actions post-hire, such as training and performance management, are as important, if not more important, to sustaining an organization's long-term ability to attract, hire, and retain talent.

A good reminder that organizations are systems and smart recruitment and assessment considers the entire
spectrum of HR management.

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