Global Trends In today’s global economy, the health of talent development and important metrics in learning (such as budgets, learning hours, and content) may vary dramatically across borders based on such factors as economic conditions, widely accepted practices, government regulations, educational systems, globalization, availability of technology, and industry mix. Organizations can gain more meaningful insights by benchmarking their practices against others in the same region, and multinational organizations may benefit from tailoring their talent development practices to the unique conditions in each region. 

To this end, ATD recently completed its first truly international assessment of talent development outlooks, resources, and practices. The published research, Global Trends in Talent Development, offers comparisons along key metrics across regions (Asia-Pacific; Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); North America; and Latin America). A total of 1,373 organizations participated in the study, and the survey was available in eight languages. 

Key Trends in Global Talent Development 

Talent development professionals in every region agree that the most important trending topic in their field is linking learning to performance. Meanwhile, the most pressing challenge is building a culture that supports talent development initiatives. 

However, there were differences across the regions in what was viewed as the most important learning content area. In North America and EMEA, the top content area was interpersonal skills (such as teamwork or communication). In Latin-America, the top area was professional-specific or industry-specific content. And in the Asia-Pacific region, where fast development and turnover have led to concerns about building leadership pipelines, managerial and supervisory content was the top area. Executive development also ranked more highly as a content area in the Asia-Pacific region than elsewhere. 

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The number of learning hours did not differ significantly across regions, with a worldwide average of around 34 hours. However, budgets varied somewhat, which may be due to differences in the types of organizations in each region, since some industries may require more costly specialized training than others (for example, North America has a higher percentage of organizations in the healthcare and social assistance industry, but the Asia-Pacific region has more manufacturers, which typically have lower per-employee training costs). 

Finally, outsourcing activity varied across regions. On average, organizations in Latin America spent 43 percent of their total talent development budget on outsourced activities, compared with only 29 percent in North America. 

The full report is available for purchase at www.td.org/globaltrends

 The research report is sponsored by lynda.com, a LinkedIn company.