This week, my organization the Career Advisory Board announced the results of our sixth annual Job Preparedness Indicatory survey, which identified gaps between the skills and traits candidates have and the skills and traits employers seek to fill open positions.
Gaps were measured by assessing skills that are most important but least common among entry-level, mid-level, and senior-level job candidates. This year’s research of nearly 500 US-based, senior-level hiring managers also explored how organizations are developing the necessary skills and competencies in their workforces, as well as their level of commitment to strategic talent development and management.
Senior hiring managers are lukewarm in terms of how effective their organizations are at talent management and competency development. In this survey, few were willing to boast that they were employing sophisticated recruitment, development, and retention practices. Only 13 percent of respondents, for example, said that their companies’ talent development initiatives are very well-aligned with overall business strategy, and only 11 percent said their initiatives help “a great deal” in providing employees with the skills they need to be successful.
In order to ensure that employees are adequately trained to do their jobs, 80 percent of respondents rely on on-the-job training, 34 percent on formal mentorship, 31 percent on one-off online learning programs, and 30 percent on one-off in person learning programs.
Furthermore, only 12 percent of respondents indicated that their organizations align talent development initiatives to retention strategies “a great deal,” and only 11 percent said their companies very effectively align employee competency development to advancement at all levels. Seventeen percent of respondents said their organizations place a great deal of value on leadership development training, and only 13 percent place a great deal of value on succession planning.
Perhaps most significant, however, our respondents shared that the feel that their organizations are weak when it comes to tracking the return on investment (ROI) of talent development initiatives. Only eight percent said they do this “a great deal,” while 21 percent said they do it “a fair amount,” 31 percent said they do it “somewhat,” and 40 percent said they don’t believe that they do it at all!