By Jim Wong, CPA | July 14, 2013

The Clear Focus Q3 Hiring Forecast results reveal the potential loss of key employees in the next 12 months. This was reported by 27 percent of accounting and finance hiring managers in the greater Chicagoland and Florida. Compared with results from the prior quarter, this number is up from 19 percent.

This shift in anticipated talent loss coincides with an improving economy, as top talent look to advance their careers, obtain higher wages, or seek a better quality of work and life balance by changing jobs.

This means top talent retention is more important than ever, and increasingly more difficult. According to Forbes contributor Panos Mourdoukoutas, this loss in talent may be preventable. He sights mentoring and coaching as key components in talent retention.

Top Talent in Search of the Next Opportunity
Research uncovered by Harvard Business Review, which interviewed 1,200 top young managers cites, “today’s most-sought-after, early-career professionals are constantly networking and thinking about the next step, even if they seem fully engaged.”

At the same time, talent development programs don’t meet the needs of top talent. This is a crucial gap within the talent retention process and one organizations often fail to recognize. This inequality in expectations can result in loss of top talent.

As part of the team that conducted the study, Monika Hamori points out “formal development, such as training, mentoring, and coaching” are highly valued by young managers, and they are underrepresented within organizations.

Talent Development Programs are Lacking
Considering the desire of top talent to be mentored and coached, why don’t more employers invest in talent development programs? According to Hamori and his team, employers may decide not to make substantial investments in talent because they are concerned it will not stay long term.

The problem with this reluctance is it can cause a vicious cycle of “companies [that] won’t train workers because they might leave, and workers leave because they don’t get training,” explains Hamori.

Choose Your Investment: Retention or Recruitment
When it comes to top talent, “Companies must either come up with the resources to meet the expectations of their talented employees or be constantly in the market to replenish them,” cautions Mourdoukoutas.

The cost and time associated with talent development and talent acquisition both represent significant investments. When you weigh each option, organizations have to determine which investment is more worthwhile and create a strategy to support it.

What steps do you take to invest in top talent coaching and mentoring? How do you plan to retain employees?

This article originally appeared on Clear Focus Financial Search.

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