Talent a top operational priority

How CEOs support and attract talent is changing because of the challenging global economy and evolving growth goals. Attracting and retaining necessary talent is a top operational priority to achieve growth in the next three years.

Two-thirds of CEOs (71%) agree the ability to retain talent amid the pressures of inflation and rising costs of living are top of mind, as are the long-term impacts of the pandemic and geopolitical tensions on organisations. ESG approaches are deemed a key differentiator in attracting and retaining talent.

As recession looms, hiring freezes

An expected recession is placing significant short-term emphasis on hiring and headcount reductions: 39% of CEOs have already implemented a hiring freeze, and 46% are considering downsizing their workforce over the next six months. However, from a long-term standpoint, 79% expect their organisation’s headcount to increase over the next 3 years. CEOs are also still investing in their workforce, with half of those surveyed focused on boosting productivity.

Igniting a spirit of experimentation

Hybrid and remote working have had a positive impact on hiring, collaboration and productivity over the past two years. However, many multinational organisations are launching return-to-office plans to usher in a “return to normal” with 65% of CEOs envisioning in-office as the go-to office environment in three years.

As employee expectations of remote work shift, CEOs will have to focus on developing a better working structure that suits their people in what is still an emerging area.

Should the scope for in-office work increase, CEOs will still need to ensure that staff are able to engage in purposeful interactions. How do CEOs define what an optimal structure looks like? Active listening, empathetic communications and a commitment to finding the right balance over the long term will be key.

Exploring opportunities for growth

  • Experiment with ways of working: As organisations launch return-to-office plans, it’s important for CEOs to develop working structures that suit their people. It’s time to experiment and see what works best. Active listening, empathetic communications and a commitment to finding the right balance over the long term will be key.
  • Tell your ESG story: ESG approaches are increasingly seen as a differentiator when it comes to attracting and retaining talent. With many CEOs struggling to tell a compelling ESG story, it’s important for business leaders to articulate to stakeholders the steps they’re taking to address ESG in their organisations.
  • Build, don't follow: Organisations and their employees are constantly evolving, and leaders need to reinvent the enterprise workforce. The old talent management playbooks are out of date, and the challenge is that there aren’t new ones to replace them — yet. The way forward involves strategies that include reinventing the workforce, focusing on the social side of ESG, leveraging analytics and designing a nurturing experience.