CDAO Community Pulse on the War for Talent

July 2022

Despite ongoing economic uncertainty – and the possibility of a recession – most CDAOs report that their companies are nevertheless having trouble filling open positions. Employee recruitment and retention remain at the forefront as a race for talent takes hold in 2022.

We asked CDAOs across Evanta communities what they think is causing the talent shortage and what they’re doing to combat it. Here is what senior data and analytics leaders told us about talent issues and the impact on their outlook for the remainder of the year and beyond.

What’s Causing the War for Talent?

63% of CDAOs indicate that their organization has more open positions now than in years’ past, with 22% reporting that the current level of open roles is typical of past years. When asked what they attribute this to, many data leaders say that it’s part of the evolution of the new world of work (63%) with the supply and demand for workers being out of balance (53%) as their second choice.

For the 12% of data executives who said there was another cause, these are some of their responses: 

Mid-level roles are demanding much higher salaries.”

We see a variety of reasons for leaving; no specific pattern.”

Organizations’ ability to adapt to the overall needs of the employee.”

How Long Will It Last?

34% of CDAOs think the talent shortage “will remain this way for the foreseeable future.” Another 26% of respondents believe this phenomenon will last for 12 months or more.

What About the Economy?

When asked if they think that finding and recruiting talent will be an issue even if there is a recession declared later this year, 63% of data and analytics leaders said yes, the talent shortage will still be an issue. 

What Are Companies Doing to Recruit Employees?

With regard to their main challenge being recruiting or retention, data and analytics leaders were divided, with 42% saying that recruiting new employees was the primary challenge and 42% reporting that recruitment and retention are equally challenging right now. They cite offering flexible work arrangements (86%) and promoting company culture (78%) as the top two ways they are recruiting new employees.

Interestingly, the top 3 recruitment strategies are similar to what data executives reported they were doing in our Great Resignation survey in October last year – except that flexible work has replaced company culture as the top area of focus.

How Are Companies Retaining Employees?

There are clearly three top strategies CDAOs are focusing on to keep current employees: offering more flexibility (69%), reviewing compensation and benefits (68%) and examining promotion paths and rates (66%).

In a similar vein to recruiting, the top 3 retention strategies are similar to what data leaders told us they were focusing on in our Great Resignation survey in October 2021 – except that compensation has jumped to the number two focus area from number four previously.

Is This a Sequel to the Great Resignation?

We asked CDAOs if they were thinking about the race for talent differently than the Great Resignation. Here is a sample of their comments: 

Every candidate that we interview has multiple offers. Very difficult to be aggressive and still stay within my budget. The budget hasn't changed, but everyone's expectations have changed.

The Great Resignation is a consequence of the race for talent – not the other way around. The Great Resignation would have happened at some point – COVID just accelerated it.”

I think the race for talent is primarily driven by the supply-demand imbalance, and the Great Resignation is more about a desire – especially among Gen Z – to be more fulfilled by their work.”

I think they go hand in hand. There are more opportunities for people to make a move now. [It’s] less about pay, much more about flexibility, growth opportunities, and leaving poor leadership.

If you are a CDAO navigating the war on talent, explore an opportunity to collaborate with your peers or join a community at 

Based on 60 responses to Evanta’s Community Pulse Survey, July 2022.


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