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Executives Greet New Year With Concerns About Leadership Shortages Amid Shifting Economic Realities

January 6, 2012 12:00 by Ann Pace

(From PRNewswire) -- Many executives foresee leadership shortages in the year ahead and are looking at programs to accelerate leadership development within their companies, according to new research from Deloitte. The Deloitte report, "Talent Edge 2020: Redrafting Talent Strategies for the Uneven Recovery," identifies a number of significant trends driving corporate talent strategies and tracks how companies are responding to shifting economic realities.

"The standout findings from our research are two-fold: the near universal agreement about the existing and potentially growing shortage of executive leadership and the significant regional differences in talent needs around the globe," said Alice Kwan, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and talent services leader. "Talent leaders in today's business environment are taking responsibility for their futures by focusing investments and capabilities on rebuilding and developing new talent programs for leaders and critical employees within their organizations."

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A Look at the History of U.S. Unemployment

November 17, 2011 11:00 by Ann Pace

(From PRWEB) -- Fisher Investments released a “Jobless Recoveries” infographic depicting historic unemployment rates following recessions. The examination of seasonally adjusted national unemployment rates against official recessions during 1929-2011 reveals interesting results. As the data shows, unemployment rates typically remain high even after the economy begins recovering from a recession.

“Historically, unemployment peaks after economic recovery is underway and even longer after a stock market recovery's begun,” said Research Analyst Michael Hanson. “Unemployment will likely stay elevated for a time, but history tells us that doesn't have to hold back stocks or economic recovery.”

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Worker confidence in employers plunges - survey

October 5, 2011 13:50 by jllorens

Oct 4 (Reuters) - U.S. workers are much less optimistic about their companies' outlook than they were three months ago, according to a quarterly survey by Glassdoor.com, a website dedicated to workplace issues.

The online poll of about 2,300 U.S. adults found 33 percent feel better about their company's outlook over the next six months, the lowest level of optimism since December 2008. That marked a 7-point drop from the second quarter survey, while the number of people saying their company's outlook has worsened moved up slightly to 14 percent.

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Categories: Human Capital | News | The Economy

Employee Loyalty Not Recession-Proof

March 29, 2011 15:28 by Ann Pace

(From Business Wire) -- As the U.S. economic outlook continues to improve, employee loyalty is on the decline, according to MetLife’s 9th Annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends, released today. According to the study, 47% of employees report feeling very strong loyalty to their employer, down from 59% just three years ago. Yet many employers may be caught unaware by this downward trend since they believe their employees feel the same loyalty toward them today as they did several years ago. About half (51%) of surveyed employers today believe that their employees have very strong loyalty to them, and half believed the same in 2008.

While employers of all sizes saw productivity gains over the past 12 months, proving that many were able to “do more with less,” this short-term gain may have come at the expense of employee loyalty. While 43% of larger employers (with 500 or more employees) and 38% of smaller employers (with fewer than 500 employees) reported productivity gains in 2010, more than one-third (36%) of employees hope to work for a different employer in the next 12 months.

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Risk of Losing High Performers Increases Post-Recession

September 30, 2010 14:30 by Ann Pace

(From PRWEB) -- A new study shows, North American employees are twice as likely to head for the door as they were before the recession, according to the latest findings of global consulting firm BlessingWhite.

An alarming 19% of high performers who scored low on job satisfaction indicate plans to leave. Another 48% are non-committal, saying they’ll “probably” stay.

Christopher Rice, President and CEO of BlessingWhite, explains, “In attempts to survive the recession, organizations handed employees more work to complete with fewer resources. Now employees — especially the high performers — may be burnt out or under challenged, and they are seriously considering leaving at elevated rates.”

Rice cautions that leaders should think about how to create growth opportunities and assign meaningful work to keep their top employees from walking out the door. “High performers, after months of heroics for their employers, are finally stepping back and asking, ‘What about me? What about my career?’” If management doesn’t present employees with the opportunity to pursue personal development or to engage in work that’s interesting or worthwhile, these individuals are going to take their knowledge and skills elsewhere.”

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Forgotten Boomers Again Looking to Retirement Post-Recession

September 28, 2010 17:30 by Ann Pace

(From Business Wire) -- The first of 78 million baby boomers turned sixty four years ago, and 2008 was supposed to see a huge number of retirements. But then the economy faltered, housing values plummeted, retirement portfolios shrank, and boomers who thought they had planned for financial security decided to postpone retirement for a few years. Now that those boomers are turning 64 and the economy is recovering, employers better start giving serious thought to the wave of retirements that is sure to come – if not this year, soon, predicts MRINetwork®, one of the world’s largest search and recruitment organizations.

“When the first boomer began to draw benefits, the Social Security Administration dubbed it the start of ‘America's silver tsunami,’” says Tony McKinnon, president of MRINetwork. “It didn’t happen at that time, but it may be happening soon. And while it may not be a tsunami, it will cause some major turbulence in the workforce.”

McKinnon observes that the recent preoccupation with a struggling economy and high unemployment rates has obscured the fact that demographics affecting the workplace haven’t changed. “As far back as 1960, the American economy has benefited from the strong growth of the 20-to-64 age group, historically considered the primary source of the labor force,” he says. “A demographic shift, however, is already underway that will result in a large increase in the 65-and-over age group and a decline of the 20-to-64 age group.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a labor force of 162.3 million individuals in 2012 and expects that the economy will require 165.3 million jobs to be filled, which translates into a significant shortage of workers. “This will have a huge impact on hiring in the years ahead,” says McKinnon. “Companies need to be aware of and take action as the search for top talent becomes highly competitive again.”

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Firms rebuilding talent pipelines

September 14, 2010 15:00 by Ann Pace

(From The Chicago Sun-Times) -- Employers appear worried that middle-management cuts they made to reduce costs during the recession could come back to bite them in the long run.

When asked for their concerns about top talent management, 62 percent of companies responding to a survey by Towers Watson cited ensuring the readiness of talent in critical roles; 60 percent said increasing investment in building an internal pipeline of talent, and 51 percent cited creating more movement, rotation and development opportunities for talent.

"Companies have had to downsize, and a lot of good talent has had to leave," said Jackie Greaner, North American practice leader for talent management at Towers Watson, a human resources and benefits consultant. "There has definitely been a shrinkage of available talent for the pipeline because there's a thinner and smaller talent pool."

With fewer levels in organizations, people are getting promoted into jobs that are bigger in scope and more complex, and it has become harder to ensure that people are prepared to effectively take on those roles, she noted.

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4 in 10 Working Americans Say Their Job Security is Improved from a Year Ago

August 31, 2010 11:30 by Ann Pace

(From Business Wire) -- Working Americans are a mixed bag of emotions when it comes to job security, the economy and worker happiness.

Short-term job security is improving. Contrast that with more workers who fear losing their job some day in the future. More Americans think the economy is on the upswing. But this is still a minority opinion contrasted against those who fear the worst is yet to come. And amid this uneasy atmosphere, slightly more workers – 61 percent – are happy on the job, up three points from last year.

These are some of the findings of the SnagAJob.com Labor Happiness Index, an annual labor study commissioned by the hourly job website, which includes 1,000 employed Americans randomly interviewed by telephone by third-party research firm Ipsos Public Affairs.

Thinking about short-term job security, 40 percent of working Americans say they are feeling more secure in their job than a year ago, a marked increase (11 points) over last year. Also good news, the number of Americans citing job insecurity has shrunk significantly to 35 percent, a group that was over 50 percent in last year’s study.

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The ‘Recession Era’ War for Talent

August 17, 2010 17:00 by Ann Pace

(The Financial Post) -- Things are looking up, but there’s still no shortage of headlines on the struggling economy – large lay-offs, double-dip recessions, and slow growth and recovery.

The Age of Persuasion produced a great piece on recession marketing – I’d recommend the whole broadcast if you have time, but the parts that tie in here begin around 18:05 (and a friendly warning to anyone who’s anti-Monty Python).

The real Take-Home Message of the program is that when times get tough, those who persist and push forward will be that much further ahead when the economy rights itself again. O’Reilly says of a food product manufacturer: “It fought to keep its place in people’s minds…the lesson: In a recession, the advertising landscape becomes a lot quieter and media rates drop. So, not only is a brand more easily heard, it can steal away business from the sector’s weakest players and gather momentum for when the recession ends.”

I’m not advocating stealing anything from anyone, but can HR take a page from Marketing’s playbook here?

Both job applicants and consumers make decisions in an increasingly noisy informational environment, and both are influenced by the organization’s reputation and brand, and the economic landscape.

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More Than Half of Large, Downsized U.S. Businesses Plan to Rebuild Their Workforces to Pre-Recession Levels by 2012

July 20, 2010 13:30 by Ann Pace

(From Business Wire) -- More than half (54 percent) of large U.S. businesses that reduced staff in the past 12 months plan to rebuild their workforces to pre-recession levels within two years, according to a study released today by Accenture (NYSE: ACN).

“The Accenture High Performance Workforce Study” found that among all U.S. companies surveyed, only 13 percent of executives said that they plan to reduce their employee base over the next 12 months.

“The outlook is improving,” said David Smith, managing director of the Accenture Talent & Organization Performance practice. “But as companies grow their staff, it is more critical than ever that they understand their skills needs and approach the expansion of their workforces strategically.”

The survey confirmed that companies are shifting their focus away from cost control and returning to growth. The percentage of U.S. companies focused primarily on cost control will decrease from 41 percent in mid-2009 to 18 percent in 2011, according to the study. And the percentage of U.S. companies focused primarily on investment in growth-oriented activities, such as hiring, will increase from 24 percent today to 37 percent within the next 12 months.

However, as companies focus on growth, a shortage of high-quality skills may be cause for concern for many businesses. Only 15 percent of U.S. executives surveyed described the overall skill level of their workforces as industry-leading.

“A lack of relevant skills may present a hurdle for companies as they position themselves for growth,” said Smith. “Companies need to rethink how they equip employees with the skills required to be competitive today. They must also consider new strategies for hiring and developing untapped talent currently available in the market.”

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