Companies have long recognized the importance of developing talent within their organizations. For decades, corporate universities and life-long learning programs have sought to lead internal talent development. In the overall architecture of talent management, however, development has often taken a back seat to recruitment, compensation, and performance management.

As businesses struggle to fill critical positions at many levels, and as the requirements for the leadership pipeline change rapidly, companies are putting renewed focus on building capabilities, not just finding them. The "war for talent" is shifting – and is becoming the "war to develop talent."

What’s driving this trend?

Struggling to fill talent gaps. Even though unemployment is stubbornly high in many parts of the world, businesses continue to struggle with sourcing the talent they need to fill key positions. Organizations are having trouble finding the right skills on the open market, and much-needed positions are going unfilled. In the US alone, 3.6 million jobs were unfilled as of December 2012.2

Raising the bar on talent development. The pace of change in technology and innovation is driving companies to develop talent. The old ways will continue; campuses will be searched and sifted, talent will be sourced and poached. But leading organizations increasingly understand that technical, managerial, and executive leaders must be developed from within.

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