Press Releases

LONDON, U.K., September 19, 2019

Gartner Says Only 29% Of Functional Leaders Believe They Have The Right Talent To Meet Current Performance Needs

Gartner ReimagineHR Brings Together Senior HR Leaders in London to Discuss Talent Acquisition and Management

In today’s increasingly digital work environment, more than half of leaders report the digital talent gap is widening at their organizations, according to Gartner, Inc. Only 29% of functional leaders believe they have the talent they need to meet current performance requirements.

Gartner analysts are discussing talent issues and the role of HR in reimagining the future of work to drive performance across the organization in front of more than 500 chief human resource officers (CHROs) and senior HR executives at the Gartner ReimagineHR conference, which is taking place here yesterday and today.

“As organizations increasingly digitalize every facet of their operations, they are facing incredible difficulty accessing the right talent,” said Leah Johnson, vice president in the Gartner HR practice. “A recent Gartner survey found that only 24% of functional leaders report that they can quickly hire the talent they need with their current resources and processes.”

One reason organizations are finding it hard to get the right talent in the door is the hypercompetitive labor market; demand for talent is converging sharply on critical roles in the U.K. and U.S. Gartner TalentNeuron data on millions of job postings shows that 41% of all job postings by FTSE 100 companies in 2018 were for just 20 roles, the remaining 59% were for 641 other roles. Similarly, 90% of S&P 100 companies in 2018 were competing for talent to fill the same 39 roles.

In addition to issues with recruiting talent, organizations are also facing difficulty training their workforce. Only 31% of functional leaders report they can quickly develop the talent they need with their current resources and processes.

In order to close talent gaps, many organizations focus on talent strategies around recruiting and development. However, work design strategies focused on role structure, workflow and systems enablement can have a bigger impact.

“Our research found that while 47% of companies employ work design strategies, implementing them can increase an organization’s ability to quickly hire and/or develop needed talent,” said Ms. Johnson.

Organizations can better empower their employees to perform by leveraging the following work design strategies:

Mitigate skill imbalances by redeploying staff continuously across teams

Rather than focusing on optimizing individuals against every needed skill competency, organizations need to understand the capabilities of individuals in order to build teams, functions, and/or units with the optimal mix of capabilities that address business needs. After evaluating individual capabilities, business and functional leaders can focus on identifying and managing areas of need for specific competencies within the organization.

Focus workflows on value creation areas

Organizations can drive business productivity by reevaluating the priorities of all employees to ensure everyone is focused on the right activities. Leaders should start by identifying the high-impact activities that equal success in each role. Then managers need to be enabled to better support and coach their employees by eliminating low-value tasks, such as reporting and responding to one-off requests.

Leverage technology systems and tools to reduce talent dependencies

Thirty percent of functional leaders surveyed agree that their organization uses technology systems and tools to reduce their need for staff with specialized competencies as much as possible. To utilize technology more effectively, organizations must determine which tasks are repetitive and can be automated versus those that are cognitive and need to be owned by people. Next, the training and technology costs should be assessed before leaders recommend specific technology changes that can streamline processes.

Gartner research shows that while leveraging effective talent strategies can increase an organization’s ability to quickly hire and develop talent by 13%, work design strategies have more than double the impact, enabling an organization’s ability to quickly hire and develop talent by 32%.

“Ultimately, organizations will realize the greatest results by combining talent strategies and work design strategies, which has a 45% impact on the ability to hire and develop talent,” added Ms. Johnson.


About Gartner for HR Leaders

Gartner for HR Leaders brings together the best, relevant content approaches across Gartner to offer individual decision makers strategic business advice on the mission-critical priorities that cut across the HR function. Additional information is available at

About Gartner ReimagineHR

Gartner experts are providing additional insight into the labor and talent issues at the Gartner ReimagineHR Conference, which is taking place September 18-19 in London. Gartner ReimagineHR is the premier event for HR leaders around the world.

Join Gartner and senior HR executives at the next Gartner ReimagineHR conference, October 28-30 in Florida, to hear key insights and learn actionable strategies necessary to support organizational performance. Follow news and updates from these events on Twitter using #GartnerHR.

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) delivers actionable, objective insight to executives and their teams. Our expert guidance and tools enable faster, smarter decisions and stronger performance on an organization’s mission critical priorities. To learn more, visit