05/14/16 By Jennifer Brown

Building a Bridge over the Leadership GapWith the upcoming exit of millions of Baby Boomers from the workforce, there is a looming deficit of leadership talent ready and willing to take those jobs. First, from a sheer numbers perspective, there are not enough qualified workers for the number of upcoming openings.  Second, is the new trend where younger workers are avoiding climbing the latter to balance their work and personal lives as well as diversify their skills by switching jobs (sometimes complete career shifts). Another factor to consider is that employees are not staying as long as they used to (average tenure is around 5 years). To find the next generation of leaders, employers will have to rethink their succession planning and recruitment efforts.

Recruitment – It all starts here

When it comes to your talent initiatives, recruitment is the probably the most important. A common mistake employers make is hiring for skills and experience for the open position as it stands today. Take it a step further and hire for the future. What competencies and skills will your organization need in a year? In 3 years? Your focus should be on maximizing your talent potential. Hiring for tomorrow will help jumpstart your succession planning efforts from day one.

Developing Your Leaders In-House

When recruited effectively, your team should possess the specific industry and work experience required to lead or have the ability to learn and develop into those leadership roles. However, training and development is not what it used to be. Today’s employees are looking for personalized, on-demand career direction and learning opportunities:

• Online course offerings allow employees to train whenever and wherever they choose.

• Employees are seeking regular feedback on their career development.

• Mentorship programs are great to nurture ongoing career development dialog.

Are your training programs geared around the competencies and experiences needed for leadership? Is it user-friendly and accessible? If not, it may be time to revisit your training program and adjust accordingly.

With Millennials making up half of the nation’s workforce by 2020, the time has come to focus on the leadership gap. With the right mix of recruitment efforts coupled with improved training and development opportunities, organizations will be able to build a bridge over this gap and their leaders of tomorrow will emerge.

Need help developing your succession plans? Give us a call. We partner with our clients on all aspects of talent and performance management helping them achieve their talent goals.


photo credit Ambro via Free Digital Photos