Top Talent is Fleeing

July 26, 2011
75% of the companies surveyed reported losing high-performing employees during the past year.

Talent that companies had hoped to hold onto is in fact walking out the door. In a survey conducted by Right Management, 75% of the companies surveyed reported losing high-performing employees during the past year.

Only 13% survey respondents' organizations saw no departures of top talent over the past 12 months. Respondents from more than 268 organizations throughout North America responded to the poll which was conducted in June and July.

When a similar survey was conducted a year ago, only 54% of the respondents reported losing talent.

"We found that most organizations are finding it tough to hold onto their best people even when there are relatively few job openings," said Bram Lowsky, Right Management's group Executive vice president for the Americas. "Previous research findings tell us there's a furious war for top talent under way, constant poaching of high performers by competing companies and, overall, a very restive workforce. The latest survey shows organizations losing the employees they need, erosion that may accelerate once the job market picks up."

Modest turnover is always to be expected, conceded Lowsky. "The challenge is always to retain your best contributors, to target them for development and show them they have a future with the organization. It's really not enough to tell them to wait until the economy improves, especially if they're new employees and more impatient for opportunity and advancement. Employers are learning the hard way that they must take the steps needed to preserve their key competitive advantage, their talent."

Lowsky observed, "Top talent always has employment options. They'll usually find some place that they feel appreciates what they bring."

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