Are you struggling to find the talent you need? Be sure to retain the talent you already have.

The U.S. economy is in the fifth year of recovery, and Asian economies are rapidly expanding. The United States is experiencing growing labor shortages for programmers, software engineers, CPAs, health care workers and clinical researchers.  Finding critical talent in expanding countries such as China and Brazil is already daunting, and the Boston Consulting Group predicts labor shortages in Australia, South Korea, Germany and Switzerland by 2020.[i]

Are you prepared to retain your best employees and attract the future superstars you need to grow your business?

Research from McKinsey and Company, Towers Watson, Gallup, and The Blue Ocean Strategy Institute demonstrates that companies with comprehensive talent management systems in place are better at attracting new talent and retaining the talent they already have. Their research shows that companies with comprehensive talent management outperform companies without it in many critical business measures, such as shareholder value, productivity, operating margins, morale, turnover, safety incidents and quality.

What is comprehensive talent management?

Comprehensive talent management is an integrated set of human capital strategies that define the employee value proposition and enable the company’s purpose, mission and business strategies. Just as a company’s marketing strategy explains its value proposition to its customers, a company’s talent management strategy focuses on its future and current workforce.

The main components of a comprehensive and integrated talent management strategy are: employee branding and recruiting, performance management, employee engagement and wellbeing, flexible work arrangements, creating a learning environment and succession planning.  While each of these human resources verticals are independently important, the power of comprehensive talent management is when these H. R. verticals are coordinated to enable the company’s business strategies.  Comprehensive talent management, when implemented, has reliable measures and predictable results.

In their book, The War for Talent, McKinsey and Company highlighted the importance of comprehensive talent management and the direct involvement of management at all levels. In 2000, they reported that companies with high performing talent management strategies generated 22% higher shareholder returns than companies without.  McKinsey’s prescription to win the war for talent was for management “to embrace a talent mindset, craft a winning employee value proposition, rebuild your recruiting strategy, weave development into your organization and differentiate and affirm your people.”

Key developments have impacted the global workforce

McKinsey’s prescription still holds, but updates are needed. In the last 15 years, several key developments have impacted the global workforce: the emergence of Millennials, the rise of women in the developed world (and in many emerging economies), accelerating workforce diversity, increasing globalization, the Internet, employee ratings of your company on the Internet, and workforce demands for flexible work arrangements.  These developments require companies to rethink how they go about finding and keep the workforce talent they need in today’s fast changing and expanding economies.

Is your company ready to face the reignited war for talent? If you’d like to learn more about comprehensive talent management, please download my white paper: “Comprehensive Talent Management Systems” by going to my website, and to the Papers/Presentation column on my Home Page.

Victor Assad is a strategic human resources consultant and coach who works with key decision makers and human resources leaders on talent management, accelerating change, leadership development, and other strategic initiatives such as mergers and acquisitions, strategy implementation, and flexible workplace. Please e-mail Victor at or visit Victor’s website at

[i] [i] “Global Labor Shortage(September 1, 2014) DCR Trendline, Non-Employee Workforce Insight, Retrieved from

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