Most Canadian Firms Lack a Talent-Management Strategy

Only 43% consider talent management a top priority

Written by Kim Hart Macneill

A new report by Right Management, the talent and career management division within ManpowerGroup, finds Canadian firms lacking on the talent-management front.

“I think we have evolved to a place where managing talent up, down and across the organization is absolutely critical if you’re to succeed in your business strategy,” says Owen Sullivan, the division’s Milwaukee-based CEO and president of specialty brands at ManpowerGroup. “There needs to be a very clear tie between your business strategy and your plan to hire, develop and retain talent.”

The report, called “The Struggle Over Talent Management Strategy”, is based on a survey of 628 North American senior managers and human resource professionals. Only 43% of Canadian respondents say their organizations consider talent management a top priority, 45% consider it a secondary priority and 12% say it’s not a priority.

Sullivan says part of the problem is that organizations don’t approach talent management holistically. Nearly half, 46% of Canadian respondents, say their companies have a series of separate HR processes instead of a cohesive strategy. An additional 26% have a strategy but face implementation challenges like insufficient budget resources or a lack of focus and clarity. Only 11% of respondents report having a fully implemented talent strategy.

Another reason organizations don’t make talent management a priority is that CEOs don’t see the business case, says Sullivan.

Canada, like many other countries, is facing a talent war. An aging population coupled with low birth rates and a strong economy will leave firms competing for top talent. At the end of the day, he says, it will be “very costly and disruptive” for firms that haven’t kept their employees invested and engaged.

He suggests companies make talent management a key aspect of their business plan by determining what skills and capabilities the workforce needs for the plan to succeed: “Fill the gaps by hiring the right people for the right positions, the right leadership. Make sure everyone feel a like a part of a plan that’s easy for them to see.”

Download the full reportOriginally appeared on