Almost two-thirds of senior executives at global media and technology businesses expect internet convergence to create major human resources headaches.
According to a new study by global executive search and assessment firm Russell Reynolds Associates companies expect convergence to create "tough issues" around the integration and turnover of new employees.
The impact is expected to extend beyond the operational level. Almost two-thirds of respondents believe that the effect of convergence will be so profound that it will change the structure of boards.
Convergence is also expected to require companies to recruit executives, often outside their industry, who possess new skill sets.
Rhys Grossman, executive director at Russell Reynolds, said: "The majority (89 per cent) of respondents said that they needed to acquire new skills sets for convergence, with many believing they must look outside their traditional sector to get the right people.
"However, our research shows that recruiting, integrating and retaining this talent will be a big challenge."
The poll was based on the opinions of 125 senior executives in media and technology organisations across the UK, Europe, North America and Asia.
The results suggest that companies are ill prepared to deal with the human capital challenges of convergence; only 19 per cent of respondents believe that they are 'very prepared'.
Europe appears to be the least ready with only 11 per cent of respondents saying they are 'very prepared', compared with the UK (24 per cent), North America (20 per cent) and Asia (22 per cent).
The research suggests that there will be particular demand for a new kind of flexible talent with hybrid, cross-sector skills and a strong focus on consumers.
Technology companies were more affected by convergence than media companies, and believe there is a greater need to find new skills sets.
Media companies are seen as the most attractive sources of new recruits, in particular the online, TV, games and music sectors.
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