Businesses must act now to avoid a "talent retrofit"
Organisations across the UK are facing a leadership crisis according to new research out today from talent and career management specialist Right Management.
The research found that just one in eight (15 per cent) UK-based professionals think that their organisation has a robust leadership pipeline. This problem is being acutely felt at a senior level, with many companies experiencing a "talent retrofit" whereby business leaders are only receiving development and training after they have been put into leadership roles.
A shortage of talent at all levels was reported to be the most pressing concern for 34 per cent of HR professionals around the world, dropping slightly to a quarter (27 per cent) in the UK. Leadership planning is also a real concern, with a fifth (21 per cent) of UK respondents saying that a lack of high potential leaders in the organisation was their greatest challenge in 2013 and one in ten (11 per cent) saying that they routinely look externally before filling critical roles in their organisation.
The research, which surveyed 2,600 senior HR executives across 14 countries, found that organisations across the globe are facing the same leadership development challenge, with the USA and Canada being the least optimistic. Only four per cent of HR directors in the USA and seven per cent in Canada felt that their current leadership pipeline can cover most of their business needs.
Mark Hodgson, talent management practice leader at Right Management, said: "It's becoming increasingly clear that very few organisations have a structured or systematic approach to identifying leadership potential.
"It can take several months to hire at a senior level which could leave many organisations facing a 'leadership limbo' if they don't have potential high-level talent within their organisation. To combat this, it's vital that organisations align their talent agenda with the future needs of the business to ensure that they have a clear pipeline of talent at all levels."
He added: "Leadership development needs to happen before people are put into leadership roles; without this, businesses risk facing a 'talent retrofit' which could take years to really come to fruition."