There’s been plenty of sound and fury surrounding the so-called "war for talent," a term popularized by a 1998 McKinsey and Company report. What began mainly as a concern about the perceived scarcity of managerial talent seems to have expanded into general anxiety about recruiting and retaining skilled workers in general.
It turns out that the famous Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee, is a fine place for brainstorming. On September 20, 2000, the Human Resource Institute conducted a seminar there in partnership with FedEx Corp. and International Paper. Called "The Future of Attracting, Retaining and Motivating Key Talent," the seminar included speakers Dr. Kathie Sorensen of the Gallup Organization and Jay Jamrog of HRI. Appropriately enough, the seminar was able to attract a group of talented HR professionals and recruit them into scenario-development teams. The result was a fruitful day of discussion and creation that generated, among other things, a set of scenarios about what the future may bring in regard to attracting and retaining key talent. This paper cannot, of course, convey all the information shared at the seminar, but it will try to highlight some of the seminar’s best ideas as well as incorporate other research from HRI. We’d like to thank everyone involved for bringing his or her unique talents and vivid imaginations.