Feb 14, 2017Laura Putre | IndustryWeek

Talent management is the most pressing issue for human resources leaders at some of the largest U.S. companies, a new survey finds.

survey by the law firm Seyfarth Shaw of 717 in-house legal and business leaders between December 2016 and January 2017–in a cross section of industries including manufacturing—mentioned the “war for talent” as the greatest challenge.

Concerns include attracting the best and brightest candidates in a competitive market; meeting workers’ expectations for flexibility, advancement and ongoing learning; and successfully integrating Millennials into the workforce.

In addition, 72% of respondents said that automation would most likely reshape their workforce, while 24% said it would reduce the size of the workforce. Only 4% said automation would increase their workforce.

The survey included an open-ended question: Why are you hopeful or fearful about the future of work?”

A third of the 30% who were fearful about changes in the next five years mentioned the new presidential administration. A fourth of the 70% who were hopeful mentioned the new presidential administration.

Other Key Findings:

The majority of respondents (55%) do not expect demand for independent contractors to grow.

The Department of Labor (35%) leads the group of U.S. agencies as the most aggressive employer “watchdog” for the next five years.

Most respondents (48%) believe that the Executive Branch of government will have the greatest impact on the workplace in the future.

68% of respondents believe there will be an increase in employment cases that reach the Supreme Court.