Recently published results from a survey conducted jointly by Deloitte and Forbes Insight have indicated that for companies competing in the global marketplace, getting the right talent in the right place at the right time represents the most significant challenge today in terms of driving future growth.

In the first of a series of post-recession longitudinal surveys to be conducted under the program titled Talent Edge 2020, 334 business leaders and human resource executives at large businesses in the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa were polled on their evolving talent priorities and strategies.

41 percent of those surveyed identified 'competing for talent globally' as the most pressing talent concern, thus comprising the largest among respondent groups. This was followed closely by leadership development and succession planning, rated as the most critical HR challenge by 38 percent of the polled leaders.

Overall the report throws up an unexpected talent paradox in that despite alarming levels of unemployment in the US and some other global markets, companies are not only struggling to find the skilled workers they need to fill critical positions, but even find retention a significant concern. 37 percent of leaders surveyed saw 'retaining employees' as the topmost challenge before them.

As global growth centers increasingly migrate to the emerging markets, the imperative for more effective recruitment and management of a global work force captures growing mindshare of employers worldwide. More and more among them plan to focus on talent operations and technology, social media and collaboration, and global diversity management.

Interestingly, the quest for talent in emerging and global markets is cited as a more pressing concern by EMEA companies than by those in the Americas or APAC. Nearly half (48 percent) of surveyed EMEA executives described it as one of their organization's most pressing talent concerns, compared to 35 percent of Americas and 41 percent of APAC executives.

For both American and EMEA organizations, acquiring local talent in these markets is also likely to be a stiffly competitive process, as most companies in Asia and Latin America are more confident about growing organically, according to a recent survey by human-resources consulting firm Towers Watson. A majority of firms in these regions are looking at hiring as one of the key drivers for growth, thus setting up a keen contest for acquiring and retaining skilled members from the talent pool.