Finding and retaining the right talent, and simultaneously managing costs, is a challenge for businesses of every size in every sector.

Getting talent right

The competition for talent is as fierce as ever. Many organisations lack the sort of information they require to make informed plans and decisions, such as information about returns on investment in human capital, staff productivity and employees’ views. Tackling talent issues successfully involves adopting a more strategic approach, based on a powerful employer brand. With better information, companies can also identify the kinds of skills they need, and where they need those skills, to realise their short- and long-term plans. One key step is to embed and integrate workforce planning into business planning from the start, rather than treating talent as an after-thought. This demands strong board support on talent sourcing and management, and close ongoing collaboration between HR and the business. Put simply, managing and capitalising on talent is no longer a role that can – or should – be left to the HR function alone. Talent strategy and business strategy must go hand in hand. Otherwise, there is likely to be a big gap between what you aim to do and your ability to do it.

Harnessing the power of human skills in the machine age

The right mix of people and machines in the workplace - and the implications not only for business but for wider society - is the critical talent question of our age. This is a delicate balancing act for CEOs in every sector and region. Automation and the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) brings the promise of increased efficiency, productivity and profitability within reach, if CEOs can work out how to best access their potential.

The logical conclusion to the relentless march of automation is that it will transform the role of people at work. Different skills will be needed, some roles will disappear and others will evolve. Some organisations will need fewer people but others will need more - we will see a rebalancing of human capital as organisations adjust. This has wide-ranging consequences for HR - the role of the function may even need a fundamental rethink.

The world of work is changing - are you ready? 

 More from the 20th CEO Survey

Focus on China

China's labour market is facing a mismatch of skills demand and supply. Our 20th CEO Survey shows that significantly high number of executives are worried about the availability of key skills and in particular,  recruiting people with creativity and innovation, leadership and problem solving skills is challenging.

Executives anticipate that development of robotics, big data and eventually artificial intelligence will lead to structural changes in the workforce in the next 20 years. Find out how they are adjusting their talent strategy to build a workforce fit for the future. 

More insights on China

Contact us

Johnny Yu

Mainland China and Hong Kong Consulting Clients & Markets Leader, PwC China

Tel: +[86] (10) 6533 2685

Xing Zhou

Managing Partner, North China Markets Leader, Beijing Office Lead Partner, Insurance Industry Leader, Diversity Leader, PwC China

Tel: +[86] (10) 6533 7986

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