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Navigating Talent-Centric Challenges in Professional Services Organizations

Navigating Talent-Centric Challenges in Professional Services Organizations

UPDATEDDec 05, 2023

Professional services is an innately people-centric discipline. Talent is the key driver of success in the industry. Your people and their skills are the lifeblood of your professional services organization. 

As such, managing and retaining the best and brightest talent poses one of the greatest challenges for leaders today. This is reflected in the 2023 edition of the Professional Services Talent Benchmark from Service Performance Insight (SPI). This report analyzes the experiences of 137 professional services organizations across the globe, shining a bright spotlight on some of the most pressing talent-centric challenges facing Professional Services Organizations (PSOs) worldwide. 

Let’s unpack these challenges and consider their impacts on the industry.

The Rising Cost of Talent

As detailed in the SPI Professional Services Talent Benchmark, the foremost challenge PSOs are wrestling with is employee cost. This isn’t surprising, as the hunt for talent has been increasingly strenuous over recent years, causing costs to surge. 

Higher compensation packages are now the norm, with organizations willing to pay top dollar for the best in the industry. Moreover, the expense associated with hiring, onboarding, training, and retaining employees, coupled with the higher turnover rates often seen in PSOs, significantly inflates employee costs. Thus, balancing the recruitment of high-quality talent with budgetary constraints becomes a critical task for organizations. 

While rising employee costs may appear detrimental, organizations must consider these costs as an investment toward securing a high-performing, talented workforce, crucial for success in a competitive business landscape. Employee costs should be juxtaposed with long-term benefits such as productivity, customer satisfaction, innovation, and company growth. By strategically investing in talent, organizations can stay competitive and achieve a healthy return on their investment.

Navigating Skill Development

The second and third greatest challenges faced by PSOs, as identified in the report, revolve around skills. With rapid technological advances, employees must regularly upskill or reskill to keep pace with industry developments. Organizations, however, are finding it hard to develop the talent necessary to explore new business areas.

Similarly, nurturing new leaders has emerged as another sticking point. An efficient leader inspires others, fosters a sense of camaraderie, and successfully steers the company in its strategic direction. The lack of leadership development suggests that organizations need to place a more significant emphasis on internal training programs or mentorship initiatives that help identify and groom future leaders.

Maintaining Vibrant Culture Through Growth 

Lastly, with the concerns surrounding the coronavirus and remote work diminishing, organizations are re-shifting focus toward fostering an excellence-centered, vibrant company culture. Establishing a strong company culture aids in talent attraction, engagement, and retention. 

But it can be difficult to maintain company culture through growth. High growth periods can be some of the most exciting at businesses, but when company culture fails to scale with the business, it can also leave talent feeling alienated from their peers and the business’s overarching missions and vision. Check out this blog with insights from Christine Dunham, Kantata’s Senior Director of People Development and Culture, to learn about best practices that can help strengthen a company culture.

Overcoming Top Talent Challenges

The top talent-centric challenges reflect an underlying paradigm shift. In this talent-focused era, organizations must prioritize processes and technology that enhance employee experience, development, and wellbeing and put them in a position to attract, retain, and nurture a robust and skilled workforce that propels business growth and success. Let’s remember, it is talent that shapes the destiny of professional services organizations.

Read the full Professional Services Talent Benchmark from SPI to learn how professional services organizations like yours are managing and optimizing their talent. And be sure to join our webinar with SPI’s Managing Director, Dave Hofferberth, to hear first-hand about today’s top talent-centric challenges and opportunities.

Read the Talent Benchmark

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