Managing talent has eclipsed risk as CEOs’ top priority, according to findings from PwC’s 14th annual CEO survey. Roughly 83 percent of the 1,200 CEOs queried from 69 countries intend to change their firm’s talent management strategy over the next year, and for 31 percent, these changes will be drastic. Behind talent management, the priorities are risk management and investment, with 77 percent and 76 percent of CEOs respectively anticipating changes in these areas. In 2010, risk management was the top priority for 84 percent of CEOs, followed by investment — 81 percent — and talent — 79 percent. The outlook varies from region to region. In Asia Pacific and the Middle East, 92 percent and 89 percent of CEOs, respectively, intend to make changes to their people strategy, whereas in North America, only 78 percent plan to do so. “Competition for talent is intensifying as recruitment activity picks up in some sectors and there are increasing difficulties finding staff with the right skills,” says Michael Rendell, global human resource services practice leader at PwC. “The survey findings are encouraging, suggesting talent will be reflected more in company strategy. HR professionals need to help CEOs see what can and should be done.”
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Recruiting is intensifying and sadly, skill levels have not kept pace.