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FLEXO Magazine : January 2010
www.flexography.org JANUARY 2010 FLEXO 27 KEY FINDINGS The key findings of the North American survey indicate that the industry faces what can only be called, quite candidly, a crisis in talent: • Talent leads the list of concerns for industry executives and they see it as critical for their companies' success. • While 73 percent of executives recognize the importance of better talent management, only 4 percent believe strongly that their talent management is well prepared for the challenges facing them. • More than 60 percent of respondents indicate that attract- ing and retaining talent is an issue for their companies. • Despite the enormous talent challenges facing the sector, most companies appear to be neglecting the human resources function. • More than 40 percent of respondents say that it is difficult to find top talent inside the industry. • The industry is losing the war for talent versus other sec- tors. Despite this discouraging picture, there are a number of concrete steps, discussed at the end of this report, which companies can take to turn the situation around. In fact, based on our experience, companies that develop and execute more comprehensive talent management strategies, linked closely to business performance, will not only survive, but prosper in this rapidly evolving industry. SURVEY SCOPE To gain insights into talent and leadership in individual companies and the industry as a whole, Heidrick & Struggles surveyed P&L holders (CEO/president/VP GM) and top HR ex- ecutives. Respondents include CEOs (23 percent); COOs, ex- ecutive directors, presidents, general managers (43 percent); human resources executives (19 percent); other (5 percent). The research sample includes respondents from a variety of material categories: paper-general (50 percent); pulp (27 per- cent); converted paper and paperboard products (43 percent); printing and label converting (27 percent); plastic, rigid and/or flexible (57 percent); metal (14 percent); glass (5 percent). About 45 percent of respondents are from large companies (annual revenues above U.S. $1 billion); 42 percent from mid- size companies (annual revenues between U.S. $50 million and $1 billion), and 4 percent from small businesses (annual revenues of $50 million or less). SURVEY RESULTS Top issues. When asked to name the top three issues fac- ing their companies over the next five years, 62 percent of re- spondents named talent, which, not surprisingly, was tied with materials costs (Figure 1). Addi- tional comments from respondents indicate that definitions of talent management vary widely, ranging from simple hiring and firing to training to succession planning. Energy costs, identified by 45 percent of respondents, rounded out the top three concerns. Inter- estingly, and of some concern, less than a fourth (23 percent) of respondents cited sustainability as one of their top concerns. This is particularly surprising since the customer base, primarily consumer packaged goods companies, is demanding more sustainable packaging. Clearly, awareness of these issues will enable some compa- nies to benefit while those who ignore these trends may suffer. Importance of talent. An overwhelming majority of senior executives see talent as critical for the success of their com- panies Almost three-fourths (73 percent) indicated that they strongly agree that attracting and retaining talent is critical for their companies (Figure 2). Nearly 20 percent said that they slightly agree, for a total of 93 percent of respondents who see talent as critical. Company capabilities in talent management. An enor- mous gap yawns between the perceived importance of talent and the ability of companies to address it. In one the most striking results of the survey, we found that while 73 percent of executives strongly agree with the importance of better talent management, only 4 percent believe strongly that their companies' capabilities in talent management are sufficient to meet the challenges of the future (Figure 3). Recruitment and retention. Attracting and keeping tal- ent is an issue for most organizations. Sixty-one percent of respondents indicate that attracting and retaining talent is an issue for their companies (Figure 4). Leaders who are struggling to find talent inside and outside the industry and to retain top talent cited a number of reasons for their difficulties. "Loca- tions, compensation and industry make it difficult to recruit," said one respondent. Another points out that a strong bias for recruit- ing only from within the industry also shrinks the pool of potential talent. Because the industry is in a "declining mode," said another, the career opportunities aren't at- tractive. A number of leaders also noted their companies' weakness INDUSTRY INDICATORS
Sustainable EOY 2009