How to Hang On to Your High Potentials
85% companies do not have enough qualified successors for the key positions to continue the development story in Asia and North America. Your company may also be one. An HBR article supported by research reveals the strategies for executive search, retention, and performance-
he war for talent shows no signs of letting up, even in sectors experiencing modest growth. According to a global study we conducted, only 15% of companies in North America and Asia believe that they have enough qualified successors for key positions. The picture is slightly better in Europe, but even so, fewer than 30% of European companies feel confident about the quality and amount of talent in their pipelines. Moreover, in the regions where many companies are focusing their growth strategies—emerging markets—the supply of experienced managers is the most limited, and the shortage is expected to continue for another two decades.
One popular battle strategy is to institute programs aimed at “high potentials”—the people that companies believe may become their future leaders. The appeal is clear for both sides: Promising managers are attracted to companies known for strong development opportunities, and a well-managed talent pipeline dramatically increases the odds that a company will appoint great leaders at the top.
But these programs aren’t simple to execute. The selection criteria are often confusing. Employees are frequently mystified by who’s included and who’s excluded. Company leaders have to weigh the upside of putting top performers into developmental opportunities against the downside of temporarily distracting them from an enterprise’s immediate needs.