HR News Update

Aging Workforce Creates talent gaps

Global Survey of 4,741 Executives in 83 Countries, Conducted by the Boston Consulting Group and the World Federation of Personnel Management Associations, Identifies HR Priorities of Today and the Future.

Managing talent is the most critical human resources (HR) challenge worldwide and will remain at or near the top of executive agendas in every region and industry for the foreseeable future, according to a new global study conducted by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the World Federation of Personnel Management Associations (WFPMA)/Canadian Council of Human Resources Associations (CCHRA). Key findings of the report, Creating People Advantage: How to Address HR Challenges Worldwide Through 2015, are being released in Canada today.

The study, which is based on a global survey of 4,741 executives in 83 countries, found that managers also rated improving leadership development and managing work-life balance as urgent priorities. The report provides rankings and analyses of 17 HR challenges in seven major regions of the world and suggests specific actions to address those issues.

"Our workforce is aging, and demand for talent is increasing. Finding talented, future leaders has become more difficult than raising financing," said Kilian Berz, Canadian Organization Practice Leader and managing director of The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). "Many Canadian companies serve global clients, but their leaders have limited global experience. It is critical to re-evaluate how to recruit." He adds, "This is also a big challenge for our own business." This will place exceptional pressure on the financial services, consumer goods and energy sectors.

With nearly 24 percent of the population projected to be older than 65 by 2031, the study notes that over 78% of Canadian companies expect that by 2015 - or earlier - they will be offering flexible employment options to attract or retain semi-retired or retired employees.

Managing talent ranked as the most important HR challenge in 9 of 17 countries analyzed in depth, including the United States, Australia, Singapore, Japan, and the United Kingdom, and was at least in the top three in 14 of the 17 countries - a reflection of increasing globalization and competition. To help address this challenge, executives from all regions, including Canada, expect their companies to boost global sourcing of talented employees. Although few companies today are moving businesses to new locations to access people, Canadian executives expect this to be the most rapidly growing HR trend through 2015.

"The study, the most comprehensive review of global HR practices ever conducted, provides piercing insight into the current and future challenges facing companies," said Florent Francoeur, Past-President of the WFPMA, one of the world's leading HR organizations, and President and CEO of l'Ordre des CRHA et des CRIA du Québec, the Quebec Human Resources Association.

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