Survey: CEOs are Actively Involved in Talent Strategies, but Have Trouble Finding Talent

Securing the best talent and the right talent is top of mind for all CEOs today. But it's by no means an easy task.

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In a recent survey conducted by Chief Executive magazine, nearly three-quarters of responding CEOs indicated they either had a deliberate talent strategy in place already or were currently developing one (46% have one; 25% are developing one). And these respondents indicated they were actively involved in both the development and execution of those strategies (72% were either extremely or actively involved).



For most companies, a key part of that talent strategy is the effort to attract and retain digital-savvy talent. But, while 40% of Chief Executive’s survey respondents indicated they were successful in this effort, more than half said they weren’t attracting as much talent as they need, and 9% said they had not been able to attract and retain this type of talent at all.

Behind their lack of success were two key factors: difficulty finding talent with the right skills (44%) and tight competition for the talent they’ve identified (39%). In addition, nearly a quarter of respondents said they found it difficult to bridge the gap between legacy and digital talent; smaller percentages cited issues bridging gaps between generations (17%) as well as gaps between technical and business teams (17%).


One approach some companies have adopted to appeal specifically to Millennial talent is what’s known as the Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE). Survey respondents were asked if they’d considered this approach. While 30% said they had (and 47% said they had not), a quarter of respondents said they weren’t familiar with ROWE. For those who had not implemented ROWE, 43% said they were concerned that the system made it difficult to manage a consistent corporate culture, and 41% felt that they would have difficulty measuring results. Nearly a third, while potentially interested in the program, doubted whether it could be scaled to work for a company their size. Only a quarter of respondents worried whether ROWE employees would get their work done. One of those respondents noted that “there are many non-tangible activities that are hard to measure, but if they don’t get done, there would significant negative impacts.”

To learn more about ROWE, see “The Results-Only Work Environment: How It Benefits More Than Just Millennials,” on, and listen to Greg Watt, CEO of WATT Global Media, tell the story of his company’s successful ROWE implementation at the CEO Talent Summit, October 13-14, in Cincinnati. Also at the Talent Summit, David Taylor, CEO of Procter & Gamble will take a look at how to create and sustain competitive advantage through talent, and former P&G CEO A.G. Lafley will describe “The CEO’s Role in Creating a Winning Talent Strategy.” For more information about the CEO Talent Summit, and to register, visit

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