Canadian Manufacturing

Almost half of companies struggle to build teams in rapid-growth markets: survey

Only 20 per cent of executives believe their companies manage talent effectively across all markets

TORONTO—Getting the right people in place is a linchpin to success in large, rapid-growth markets, but almost half of global organizations are struggling with it, according to an Ernst & Young survey.

The survey, Growing pains: Companies in rapid-growth markets face talent challenges, found 42 per cent of firms struggle to build teams in such markets.

According to the survey, only 20 per cent of executives believe their companies manage talent effectively across all markets, and less than one-third agree their top management team has an international outlook on decision making.

“This issue is increasingly important to companies here—especially as Canada’s recent invitation to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership could translate into incredible future opportunities in many emerging growth markets,” Ernst & Young Canadian managing partner for accounts and markets Jeff Charriere said in a statement.

“But getting a leg up on the competition means getting the right labour mix in place. That’s the crucial piece of the puzzle, and something many companies are still wrestling with.”

And it’s not just how companies are managing people, the firm says, but who they’re recruiting, too.

The survey found only 17 per cent of executives believe their companies are doing an effective job of attracting people with the right skills to align with their business strategies.

Overall, the survey found that tackling four key talent management issues can go a long way to supporting the future success of multinational organizations:

  • Top management teams lack international experience. Develop leaders from within, and mandate global experience for staff to broaden your company’s international footprint.
  • Lack of an internal management pipeline forces companies to recruit from rivals. Avoid recruiting from competition, which can lead to high turnover and salary inflation. Instead, focus on building internal pipelines early on that develop local talent.
  • Companies are unable to retain and reward high performers in different markets. Align employees’ goals with business objectives and promote incentives that reward high performers.
  • C-suite leaders and lower-level managers hold conflicting views on talent management. Establish uniform metrics that enable your company to compare talent management processes across regions.

“There’s no one-size-fits-all style of management,” Charriere said. “But the most effective mobile management teams will demonstrate sensitivity to local markets while being adept at harnessing diverse perspectives, producing better results and making their global mobility strategy more sustainable.”

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