July 2023
INAC UK | CEO Review

While 2022 was typified by a rush for talent as the rebound from Covid drove rapid restocking, 2023 heralded a shift in mindset as a result of rampant inflation, economic uncertainty and a slowing economy. While underlying skills shortages continue to exist and questions remain over the depth of bench-strength across many businesses, caution has returned with a redoubling of efforts to understand what talent and potential truly resides within their business while only hiring key, critical skills for the future in the external market.

Different sectors are grappling with different challenges, whether that be the need for greater customer centricity within logistics and transportation or long-term sector-wide technical skills shortages in the nuclear and defence markets. What is clear is the need to think differently about
the skills challenges in front of each organisation with the status quo unable to deliver in the current environment. Creative and agile approaches to talent acquisition are being sought and the need for clear attraction and retention strategies are becoming increasingly important as candidates continue to retain much of the power. While the environment may be changing, underlying skills shortages and a technological evolution will continue to drive the need to identify and entice top talent who may be happily embedded in their existing roles.

Diversity also remains a top priority for many organisations, not just in terms of gender or race, both of which maintain a focus, but also in term of neurodiversity and a true diversity of thought to create truly high performing teams. In many sectors this diversity can be a real challenge due to embedded cultures and a perceived lack of diverse talent therein. In these circumstances, enlightened leaders are looking beyond the obvious and seeking fresh talent from out-of-sector based on true leadership behaviours rather than just experience in sector. Where this is not possible, leaders are looking for hidden gems within their organisation and ensuring that strategic plans are in place for succession planning to retain and develop diverse talent from within.

Candidates have also evolved their thinking and are much more often seeking opportunities to work with a business where not only is the cultural fit so important but also who they will directly be working for. Leaders today need to be able to set a clear vision for their organisation but also show how each and every candidate has a part to part in achieving that success. Where IQ was a key factor in leadership this has evolved to EQ and KQ with leaders demonstrating empathy and authenticity. Leadership of the past would struggle in today’s environment and therefore the role of caching and development has taken an even greater position in many businesses’ approach to leadership development.

We at Holmes Noble have not just witnessed these changes but have been actively supporting our clients in developing solutions to these challenges each and every day. Whether that be talent assessment to understand that true capability of the existing organisation, enabling transformation programmes or developing new market entry requirements, we are partnering with our clients to extract the most from both their existing and potential talent pools to deliver their strategies globally.

I welcome this opportunity to share with you a brief snapshot of our views and successes throughout the first half of 2023 and look forward to supporting our clients, new and old, throughout the rest of the year and beyond.

Amy Speake – INAC UK

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