Imminent Retirements Leave Skills Gap

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    Canada’s C-Suite is bracing for a high rate of retirement over the next five years and little has been done to fill the imminent void, says the ‘Odgers Berndtson Executive Outlook’ survey by Leger Marketing. As the country’s top senior executives prepare for retirement, Canadian organizations are faced with a significant threat – a massive skills gap that has the potential to stifle innovation and productivity. While senior executives are aware of the imminent skills gap, more than half admit to having no formal plan in place to address the anticipated shortage. Nearly half of all private and public sector organizations anticipate losing 20 per cent or more of their executive staff by 2017. This departure is further complicated by the reality that more than 90 per cent of respondents believe the next generation of managers is not ready to take over at the executive level. Fifty-two per cent of those surveyed say their organization requires specific expertise that they do not currently have in their company. “Dynamic leadership at the top is the corner stone of an organization’s ability to adapt to the complexities of the global market and ultimately to be its competitive best. The looming gap in leadership over the next five years poses significant challenges for organizations, especially for the public sector where the skills gap is more acute,” says Kevin Gregor, managing partner at Odgers. This lack of preparedness, coupled with the fact that a quarter of those surveyed believe that the next generation of leaders may need five or more years of mentoring to prepare to take over an executive role, has left many business leaders grappling with solutions that include recruiting from overseas and targeting executives at competitive firms. In fact, nearly one in five believe that their next executive hire will come from outside the U.S. or Canada.