The War for Talent, Part 2

The War for Senior Executive Talent is just beginning to heat up. Interesting, and useful, information in the article, "Baby Boomer Brain Drain Looms."

–– The long-dreaded era of Baby Boomer retirements has finally dawned, and with the oldest Boomers turning 62 this year, the fallout may reach epic proportions in the early years of the next decade.

Where “age discrimination” used to be rampant, up-and-coming top–performing senior executives with a clear and compelling marketable value proposition will be in hot demand.

–– That means many companies will be hard-pressed to shore up their finance functions with leaders as experienced as those they have had until now.

Those passive candidates who are in demand will have even more opportunities coming their way, with salaries and incentives to match their potential to contribute.

–– The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that over the next 10 years there will be a 15 percent decline in workers age 35 to 54, concurrent with a 25 percent increase in demand.

Statistics validate that the War for Senior Executive Talent is indeed heating up!

And the importance of grooming successors is growing. Coaching, mentoring, and grooming those coming up behind you is the single most important thing you can do for the future generations (our children and grandchildren).

–– "We are seeing movement now, a real urgency that even 18 months ago did not exist," said David de Wetter, senior consultant for human resources transformation at Watson Wyatt Worldwide.

There is still skepticism about a shortage of talent in the States … just wait another 18 months. While commodity candidates may still be denying a shortage of talent, top–performing candidates will have their choice of opportunities.

Which makes me wonder how that will impact the current statistic that the average tenure of a CFO is currently a mere three years!

–– Another shift, according to de Wetter, is that some companies are moving away from grooming specific people for specific future executive roles in favor of a more fungible approach. The idea is to create leadership pools, composed of people who display qualifications as leaders that are transferable enterprise-wide.

This is such an interesting concept. Given the community– and colloraborative–mindedness of the Baby Busters and Mosaics, this strategy might actually work! “Leaders often remind us that what got us where we are is not the same stuff that will get us where we want to go.” George Barna

–– Losing any top talent is bad enough, but corporations face the very real fact that they will lose a majority of their top talent in a very short time span.

That projection should scare most companies while making A–players jump for joy. Of course, if you are a top–performing finance executive who can’t be found by the people who need to know about you … there might not be any reason for you to jump.

The War for Talent

This morning, as I was performing my morning ritual … perusing some of my favorite blogs as I sipped my first cup of coffee of the day, I was reading David Perry’s Guerilla Marketing blog.

David referenced an article by Sarah Needleman at The Wall Street Journal entitled “Tough Times Don’t Mean Tough Luck on Salary.”

Since there has been an ongoing conversation about the “war for talent,” or lack thereof, on My Linked In Power Forum, I found this article very interesting. A few excerpts that support the existence of a “war” include …

“If you have the kind of skills that are in short supply and are critical to a business’s bottom line, employers are often willing to pay ‘above and beyond the market average,’ says Ravin Jesuthasan, global practice leader at Towers Perrin, a Stamford, Conn.-based consulting firm.

Employers are also increasingly sweetening job offers for high-demand candidates, with benefits previously reserved for workers already in the company, such as flexible schedules and work-from-home arrangements, says Kenan Abosch, leader of the compensation consulting practice at Hewitt Associates Inc., a provider of human-resources services based in Lincolnshire, Ill. ‘If a company has someone they’re really hot to get, because it’s a pivotal role, they’ll go the extra mile,’ he explains."

If your skill sets are not extraordinary … meaning every one of your competitors brings the same thing (usually responsibilities) to a prospective company, you have been relegated to commodity status and there definitely is not a big battle for these candidates.

However, with a clear, compelling, and highly–coveted marketable value proposition, you may very well find yourself in the midst of a war with several great offers on the table … even in this tight economy.

2008 Executive Job Market Intelligence Report

Execunet has released the findings from its 2008 Job Market Intelligence Report, with some very interesting results. According to the report,

––“Increasing demand in the High Tech, Healthcare, Energy, and Business Services sectors, combined with a shortage of qualified talent and sustained economic growth overseas, is driving better than expected job growth at the executive level.”

––“Thanks in part to an aging workforce and global economic growth, the demand for executive talent continues to increase while the threat of a recession looms.”

––“more than 70% of search firm and corporate human resource professionals believe there is a shortage of executive talent, and two-thirds (67%) say the war for executive talent has intensified over the last year amid increasing economic uncertainty.”

––“Nearly all (86%) corporate human resource executives and 61% of search firms report that they do not routinely post positions with a total compensation of $200,000 and above on public websites.”

––“Recruiters don’t deny that age can be an issue, but 71% of search consultants say their clients are less focused on age than they were in prior years; and 57% of corporate HR executives say that when over 50, the candidate’s age is not a negative factor in hiring decisions.”

And very telling is the quote from Execunet’s CEO and Founder, Dave Opton …

“Unfortunately, many of the opportunities created this year will remain out of reach to those who fail to read beyond the headlines,” ….  “However, given the current pace of change, the consequences of ignoring opportunities to enhance your network and failing to closely monitor the marketplace are clearly rising.”