Looking back at the key talent trends of 2012

Dont Pigeon Hole StaffWhilst 2013 is now in full swing, many HR professionals are benefiting from looking back at 2012’s key talent trends in order to adapt and develop their strategy in 2013. Thereby helping them to attract and retain talented individuals in the future.

‘The key talent trends from 2012 revealed’ by Katie Barr, illustrated findings from the 2013 Talent Think Tank meeting. The Talent Think Tank is a group of HR professionals from a variety of organisations who debate and discuss current issues that are affecting the sector in which they operate.

Whilst hindsight is a wonderful thing, incorporating lessons learnt from previous years can be extremely beneficial, employers are then able to build a more stable and succinct strategy which considers their employee’s ever changing needs and expectations.

Here is a selection of some of the key talent trends identified by the Think Tank group…

Talent Identification

“The first question organisations face with talent retention is how to identify talent in the first place. In theory, all employees have talent. However, identifying who has potential, and who has international mobility are key factors in deciding on any retention strategy.”

Instead of setting a mould which every employee should fit to, companies should take an alternate approach, believing that everyone has talent  and aim to find the right ‘fit’ for an individual’s talent and skills; versus trying to pigeon hole the individual.

What makes people stay?

“Work-life balance became a topic of conversation, highlighting the need to ensure flexibility in working hours to suit the needs of different people. According to our attendees, exit interviews have shown that work-life balance is only a small contributor to retaining talent.”

Currently one of the biggest drivers is career development and opportunities. Young people in particular are struggling to balance their thirst for career development against their need to survive financially. Having to compromise on their job desires; employees are often found to be tied to a role which does not engage, excite or motivate them but remain in it for financial security. Employers who provide their employees with effective recognition and motivation programmes can focus more of their time on ensuring that employees are able to reach their personal potential whilst feeling engaged within their working role.

Is the grass always greener?

“Often talent within companies today thinks that the grass is greener on the other side. With this in mind, there is an opportunity for organisations to re-engage with the best talent that they’ve lost, later down the line. Creating alumni networks, and other external networking opportunities for existing employees, creates a different concept, towards a talent exchange.”

Is The Grass GreenerEmbracing the opportunities presented within social technology from a corporate perspective, for example, the sharing of success stories on social media sites is a great way to enhance industry awareness and also maintain a connection with talented individuals that you have worked with. The Talent Think Tank group recognised that people within organisations have grown tired and have identified the importance to continually adapt, grow, engage and retain talent. Advocating a sense of optimism within the working environment instead of cynicism can have a greater impact than you think.

It is apparent that many organisations are approaching the subject of retaining their talent in a complex, ineffective and one-size-fits-all way. Take the time to review your talent strategy’s effectiveness; by investing in programmes and tools which can develop your workforce’s potential in 2013.


John Sylvester

John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.

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