Prepare for an immediate talent shortage is the message from this
year’s Deloitte Technology Fast 500 CEO Survey.

Baby boomers, who make up the heart of the technology sector, are
retiring by the score — particularly in management. Companies are
scrambling to find and retain the next generation of talent to plug the gap:
“CEOs have made it their top personal challenge to develop the next
generation of leaders” said the report.

The survey says the looming crisis “has the potential to make the dot-
com talent crunch of the late 1990s look like a walk in the park”.
The majority of CEOs from Europe and North America placed “finding-
quality employees” as the most important factor in maintaining
growth, and a clear majority of CEOs world wide said that the first
key operational challenge in the next year was “Finding, hiring and
retaining qualified employees”.

“Technology companies, which rely heavily on top talent to drive
innovation, will suffer especially from this global problem” said
Deloitte technology media and telecommunications industry group
leader, Damian Tampling who thinks that the shortage will become a
crisis for the industry for decades to come, particularly in Australia.

The problem is leading managers to look at existing methods in a new
way for solutions: “As a result, we are seeing that views on
offshoring have changed substantially. Offshoring is now not seen as
cut-rate labour supply, but as a valuable source of talent that is
not available back home.” Tampling said. More than half of CEOs in
the Asia-Pacific region said that finding talent offshore was either
‘critical’ or ‘very important’.

The report indicated a wide spread of programs being put in place by
managers to entice talent and keep them happy in the workplace. Most
popular was financial participation programs, such as stock offers,
particularly in the United States and Asia. Internal leadership
training programs, focus on ‘career growth plans’ and employee perks
such as flexible working hours were also popular choices. According
to the report “what employees really want is a company that helps
them develop their capabilities, deploys them on assignments that fit
their skills and interests, and helps them connect with others
through meaningful relationships.”

Deloitte Technology Fast 500 CEO Survey is a review of what CEOs of
the fastest growing 500 companies world wide over the past twelve
months expect the next year to bring.

The survey also asked what areas CEOs thought would see the most
growth in the coming year, with Internet and intellectual property
being a clear leader in CEO’s minds world wide, with wireless
technology and business software also popular.