Talent Retention

25 April 2022

The Challenge of Talent Retention

The talent pool in some markets is highly competitive, with candidates receiving multiple offers simultaneously. This is, in part, related to the “Great Resignation”, where approximately 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021 while there were still more than 10 million job openings.

A survey run from Linkedin in 2021 on more than 2,000 adults in the U.S. found that 47% said the coronavirus pandemic changed how they feel about their careers.

While the Great Resignation was mostly driven by mid-career employees, Executives have also been seeking new opportunities at faster than usual rates.

Europe appears to be experiencing a different type of crunch, driven by long-term demographic trends.  Each year, the number of executives in the Baby Boomer generation are retiring at greater rates, while the next generation is considerably smaller. In fact, the pandemic has likely sped up this trend, with many Baby Boomers either being forced out of the workforce or leaving voluntarily in order to maximize their quality of life.

There is a shift in generations in the labour force, including the leadership roles.

Voluntary resignation trend in Italy 2017-2021 (Labour Statistics Office)

The Leadership Role

With new challenges and rapidly changing market conditions, organizations need to redefine leadership roles in their organization. That can range from areas of responsibilities and structure, but it is as much about the soft skills a leader brings to the table as it is about their industry knowledge and expertise.

Former Best Buy CEO, Hubert Joly , interviewed  by an MIT Research  in January 2021, observes, “All of us have to rewire ourselves for a new way of leading. What’s the purpose of work?  I’ve been CEO for 15 years, and the initial part of my time as CEO was much easier because it was purely about the business. But now it’s broader”

The Purpose Gap  

The same research reports that the 72% of respondents of more than 4,000 managers and executives interviewed , strongly agreed that it is very important to them to work for an organization with a purpose they believe in, but only 49% strongly agreed that they believed  in their organization’s purpose.

Digital Competences and Context Collapse

They require a new executive’s mind set and leadership style:

Profit Purpose & Values
Hierarchical Pyramids Network of Teams
Business knowledge Digital & Business Disruption
Directive Leadership Supportive Leadership
Rules & Control Trust and Self Control
Business Hours at office No boundaries home/work

Donatella Paschina
Associate Partner, Milan


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