Employers are divided on whether a long-anticipated shortage of talent will soon emerge, according to a survey of 3,100 senior human resources executives by Novations Group, a consulting organization based in Boston.

While most companies have seen some signs of a talent shortage, 39 percent reported no such indications. At the same time, one-third of organizations have already taken steps to update selection and recruitment criteria. Nevertheless, 10 percent of employers expects no shortage of talent in the next decade.

With respect to a long-anticipated shortage of talent, how would you characterize your current approach to selection and hiring?

  • We have already seen some signs of a talent shortage and have taken steps to update selection criteria: 32.1%
  • We have seen signs of a talent shortage, but we will continue to hire at a normal pace in the year ahead: 29.1%
  • While we have seen no signs of a talent shortage, our organization will remain cautious on new hiring in the year ahead: 19.4%
  • While we have seen no signs of a talent shortage, we are convinced one will emerge before the end of the decade, and we will take appropriate steps: 9.7%
  • We do not anticipate a talent shortage in the next decade: 9.5%

The talent shortage continues to capture the imagination of employers worldwide, said Novations Group Vice President Tim Vigue. "But our survey shows there’s also widespread uncertainty on what’s going to happen and when. Some organizations are in a passive mode, while the smart ones are taking a hard look at their recruitment and selection procedures."

Uncertainty about an approaching talent shortage may also be reflected in a Novations’ finding about retiring Baby Boomers, Vigue said. "Again, organizations are divided, with as many taking steps to mitigate the loss of talent as there are others that expect no great talent drain as boomers retire."

With respect to retiring Baby Boomers, how would you describe the situation at your organization?

  • We anticipate a serious loss of talent and institutional know-how, but currently do not have any steps in place to mitigate this loss: 17.9%
  • We’re taking steps to mitigate our loss of talent, for example, by creating ways for baby boomers to gradually reduce their hours: 29.6%
  • We don’t expect an unusually large loss of talent with baby boomer retirements: 39.3%
  • Not sure: 14.1%

The Novations Group Internet survey of 3,100 senior human resources and development executives was conducted by Equation Research.

Founded in 1977 and based in Boston, Novations Group is one of the country’s largest performance improvement organizations and serves clients on four continents. For information visit www.Novations.com.