Industry leaders’ expectations regarding the importance of and investment in talent development have been fairly stable over the last year. That’s according to the most recent figures from ATD’s Talent Development Executive Confidence Index, 2017 Q2 (TDXCI). At 61.3, the current TDXCI score was 0.6 points lower than last quarter. However, the difference between the two was not statistically significant. 

While current score was lower than any in 2014 or 2015—during this period, it ranged from 64.3 to 68.8—it is important to note that it was still 6.2 points higher than the historic low of 55.1 from Q1 2009, which is a statistically significant difference. The current score was 8.6 points below the historic high score of 69.9 from Q4 2013, also a statistically significant difference. 

Changes in the overall health of talent development across many organizations and industries typically do not occur in isolation. Therefore, the TDXCI report discusses the state of various macro-level indicators that provide a snapshot of the overall condition of the economy. It is important to understand the extent to which changes in the economy affect the health of talent development, and to know the timeframe in which an economic change affects it. This knowledge can help talent development executives better prepare for potential challenges they may face. 

  •  The Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence, which measures CEOs’ six-month outlook for the economy, was 61 in Q2 2017, down from 68 in Q1 2017. It read 65 in Q4 2016, 50 in Q3 2016, and 52 in Q2 2016, which was a year ago. Similar to the TDXCI, The Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence is measured on a 100-point scale; scores above 50 indicate more positive than negative responses. Often, talent development executives’ expectations follow those of the CEOs’.
  • The June 2017 unemployment rate was 4.4 percent (June was the last month in Q2 2017). Analyzing historic unemployment rates and TDXCI data shows that there is a strong relationship between the unemployment rate in the last month of a given quarter and the score. When the unemployment rate drops, the score rises, which was seen this quarter. As more job seekers find employment, the talent development function plays a critical role in ensuring they have the skills necessary to succeed in their new jobs. 

Ultimately, the TDXCI is a composite score that takes into account four key indicators for how talent development executives believe the talent development function will change during the next six months:  

  • Ability to Meet Talent Development Needs 
  • Impact on Corporate Performance 
  • Perception of the Value of the Talent Development Function 
  • Availability of Resources.  

For a deep dive into the current data on the four indicators that comprise the TDXCI, download the complete 18-page report. TDXCI is free for ATD members.