With the Talent Management 2011 Conference a little more than a month away, featured speaker Angela Gardner sat down for a podcast interview with HR Today’s Katherine Mehr to discuss some of the biggest challenges and likely trends this year. Gardner is senior vice president of talent acquisition for Fox Entertainment.

In the podcast, Gardner turns assumptions about the state of the talent marketplace on its head, especially the myth that this recession has been an employer’s dream in terms of acquiring top talent. In fact, there’s a crisis in talent acquisition, especially for highly specialized tech needs:

The biggest challenge that all companies are facing is the digital and tech growth. Obviously there are some companies that are more tech-focused than others, but it is an aspect that is filtering into all our businesses, whether it’s developing products or content that is available to people across a variety of platforms, or it’s figuring out how to market to those people, to advertise and sell. There’s definitely a growing digital component to everything every company is doing, and that is putting a big strain on finding and attracting tech talent. It’s a global problem…That’s the thing I spend the most time fretting over.

Gardner says a whole new arsenal of tools is necessary for HR professionals to have an edge in the current landscape of talent management. There is a new wave of networking, partnering and outreach building, with a focus of course on social media.

But more than that, she says, there’s now a need to find and work with candidates before they even get into their desired field:

We’re in a market that’s very competitive in certain areas. Our economy has been relatively weak for an extended period, but what we’re starting to see is that’s really coming back. The way that affects us is two-fold: there is more competition for candidates, but we also see more attrition internally. People that have been kind of hanging on within companies, because they’re afraid there might not be an opportunity for them outside, are actually having opportunities, and I think we’re starting to see increased movement in the marketplace.

Gardner will speak at Talent Management 2011, which begins April 27 in Chicago. For another perspective on talent management trends for this year, it’s worth checking out Mehr’s colleague Drew Stevens’ take on the top 10 trends.

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