Pipeline for Canadian managers lags most countries: Survey

Just 7 per cent have an ‘ample pipeline’ that will cover most leadership needs

Only seven per cent of Canadian employers report having an ample pipeline that will cover most of their leadership and management needs, according to a global survey of more than 2,300 senior human resources executives in 14 countries by Right Management.

Eighty-five per cent of the 175 Canadian executives participating in the survey indicated they instead expect to rely on a combination of internal talent development and outside recruitment. In addition, eight per cent of Canadian organizations routinely look externally before filling critical roles.

According to the findings, employers outside of Canada are somewhat more likely to feel confident about their management pipeline. Only the United States, at four per cent confidence, ranked their leadership pipeline weaker than Canada’s.

Per cent of employers with an ample leadership pipeline

•Singapore (31 per cent)
•Japan (30 per cent)
•India (28 per cent)
•Netherlands (23 per cent)
•Australia (22 per cent)
•Belgium (19 per cent)
•Germany (18 per cent)
•China (17 per cent)
•United Kingdom (15 per cent)
•Brazil (13 per cent)
•France (10 per cent)
•Norway (nine per cent)
•Canada (seven per cent)
•United States (four per cent).

“The reality is that few organizations either in Canada or in any other industrialized country say they’re confident about internal talent development efforts or their capability of meeting key management needs,” said Gerald Purgay, senior vice-president of Right Management. “HR professionals know that it is increasingly difficult to find and recruit top people whether in a weak or strong job market, and varies according to level, industry, requisite skills and geography. Despite the differences by country the findings suggest the challenge is a global one… preparing for management succession and building the needed bench strength.”

One reason for the reported pipeline shortfall, Purgay believes, is that although many employers spend generously on growing future leaders they do not do so in a coherent or strategic way.

“Sad to say, I think many HR executives would tell you that their T&D efforts tend to go off in different directions, and aren’t always aligned with the organization’s specific business objectives. For many, there seems to be a distinct lack of cohesiveness in aligning talent strategy with business strategy.”

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