Getting talent right: Critical factors for success

18 November 2016

Time after time, fast growth businesses have identified attracting and retaining talent as the major challenge to the success of their business.

Our 19th Annual Global CEO survey asked over 1,400 business leaders for their views. Issues around talent were high on the CEO agenda. In fact, 80% of tech CEOs are concerned about availability of key skills. 

Businesses and their leaders are facing some pressing questions about their future talent pipelines and people strategy. The pace of technological, political and economic change has left CEOs standing on constantly shifting ground. But this year’s survey has uncovered another obstacle. 

People want to support and work for organisations they can trust, who have similar values to them. Any organisation that fails to deliver what stakeholders are looking for will suffer. Tech companies are innovating at a rapid speed. But, for most, business innovation continues to dramatically outpace talent innovation. 

Fast growth companies are facing much the same issues. On Thursday 17 November I took part in our regular #PrivateBizChat on Twitter which focused on talent issues for start-ups all the way up to scaling and fast growth businesses.

The #PrivateBizChat was chaired by our Private Business leader, Suzi Wolfson and our panel of experts included Carol Lee, partner and leader of PwC's Technology, Media and Telecom valuations team and Marie Green, a Director in PwC’s Global Mobility team.

The UK is a hotbed of start up and scale up businesses, but one of the top issues is talent; from attracting and retaining staff, agreeing remuneration packages, what to do when things go wrong and when to bring in additional expertise to the board.

I wanted to share some key insights from the chat with you. Our first Twitter poll revealed the biggest concern for companies regarding talent was finding the right skills. This was rated above concerns about salary cost, Brexit and employment law. Interestingly our second poll revealed that equity incentives (e.g. share options) for employees are viewed as not vital.  It is more important to win the hearts and minds of employees than provide equity incentives.

With more emphasis on corporate values and a digital skills gap to deal with how do you tackle issues around culture, remuneration, employee participation and what should you be doing to prepare for any Brexit impact on talent? Overall, the message from the businesses participating in the Twitter chat was clear – keep calm and carry on, engage with staff, communicate with them, firm culture is crucial and ensure they are a valued part of the organisation - it’s definitely not all about the money.


Brian Henderson

Brian Henderson | Fast Growth Companies leader
Profile | Email | +44 (0)20 7804 9018


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