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Keeping talented staff 'important' during the downturn

Retaining talented employees is still a priority for many firms, despite the pressures of the economic downturn.

That was the finding of a survey carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Of the 705 employers that responded to the poll, three-quarters said they had not changed their strategy for holding on to talented people even though the recession was biting.

In fact, almost one in five (18 per cent) reported they were actually placing more emphasis on identifying, developing and retaining talent.

Many employers said they were now looking at ways of developing more talent in-house (55 per cent) and focusing on essential development (45 per cent).

Although one in four employers said they had been forced to let some staff go, they had also made the decision to retain employees with key talents. Just 3 per cent of those that are downsizing are releasing key talent, while 11 per cent are taking the opportunity to recruit talent discarded by competitors.

Claire McCartney, the CIPD’s organisation and resourcing adviser, said: “It is essential that organisations avoid knee-jerk reactions and cost-cutting in the very areas that will make the biggest difference. Now is not the time to halt employee development nor is it the time to postpone or scale back talent management strategies.

“Managing, developing and motivating talented employees is even more important because it is the one thing that can differentiate organisations and ensure that they not only survive the short-term but thrive in the long term.”