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May 23, 2013

Want to know what’s reeeeeeally going on in the world of work?

Right Management, the talent and career management arm of ManpowerGroup, has released a flurry of study results in recent weeks. Here are the highlights:

What’s the No. 1 Worry?

For the third year in a row, a lack of high-potential leaders is the top concern for U.S. HR execs, 32 percent of whom put it at the top of their list.

“The year-to-year consistency in our findings tells us that future leadership or lack thereof is top of mind for organizations nearly everywhere,” says Gerald Purgay, SVP of Right Management.

What’s the problem?

One reason for the lack of leaders is the fact that a disturbingly low 4 percent of U.S. employers have a sufficient talent pipeline to cover their leadership needs. In fact, the U.S. finished dead last among all countries who participated in the survey.

“The reality is that few organizations either in the U.S. or in any other industrialized country say they’re confident about internal talent development efforts or their capability of meeting key management needs,” says Purgay. “Despite the differences by country the findings suggest the challenge is a global one … preparing for management succession and building the needed bench strength.”

What are your competitors doing?

Adding insult to injury, the few leaders you have could be disappearing fast. Companies are reporting a sharp increase in competitor poaching. Nearly two out of every three employers (63 percent) now complain that other companies are targeting key employees, versus just 42 percent last year.

“Organizations have made strenuous efforts to hold onto their best people,” says Ron Sims, Practice Leader at Right Management. “But the new data tells us that competitive pressures have grown more acute and top talent is being targeted more than before. Many more employers now feel vulnerable to poaching by other companies, a trend identified by CEOs in every region of the world.”

Indeed, 64 percent of employees say they have been approached about a possible job offer over the past 12 months versus only 36% who were not.

What’s the solution?

In short, the solution is a strategic focus on talent and development, rather than the typical scattershot approach. Sadly, nearly half of all companies struggle with aligning talent strategy with business objectives. And nearly one in five say their talent and business strategies have zero alignment.

“A true talent management strategy encompasses a wide range of HR policies and process,” says Bram Lowsky, Group SVP of the Americas for Right Management. “These would include recruitment, assessment, training & development, retention and leadership programs. Aspects may vary from company to company, but ideally the key elements are closely aligned with the organization’s overall business objectives.”

For more solutions to these critical issues, click here.

This was originally published on Manpower Group’s Employment Blawg.