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Lack of Talent Concerns Global Businesses

Impending Baby Boomer retirements, a widening skills gap driven by declining educational standards, and outdated and ineffective approaches to talent management are combining forces to produce a ‘perfect storm’ that threatens the global business economy, according to new research conducted by the Human Capital practice of Deloitte Consulting LLP and Deloitte Research.

In a recent US survey of human resources executives nationwide, conducted by Deloitte Consulting, more than 70 percent of the respondents say that incoming workers with inadequate skills pose the greatest threat to business performance over the next three years, followed by Baby Boomer retirement (61 percent), and the inability to retain key talent (55 percent). These survey findings are underscored in Deloitte Research’s report, “It’s 2008: do you know where your talent is? Why acquisition and retention strategies don’t work.”

“The overwhelming accumulation of data, including Deloitte Consulting’s new research, points to an inescapable conclusion: the widening skills gap, particularly among the categories of workers who disproportionately drive companies’ growth and performance, is a global phenomenon that will create unprecedented challenges for businesses,” said Ainar Aijala, vice-chairman, Deloitte Consulting and global service area leader of Deloitte Consulting’s Human Capital practice. “The confluence of demographic and social trends – the full force of which will begin to be felt in as little as three years – will leave behind companies that do not begin to rethink and redesign their approach to managing human capital.”

In only three years, the first wave of Baby Boomers will turn 62, the average retirement age in North America , Europe and Asia . According to the Deloitte Consulting survey, one-third of US companies expect to lose 11 percent or more of their current workforce to retirements by 2008.

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