Jan 10, 2019

Are You Ready for the Talent Shift?

Did you know that economies around the world are facing a crisis of unprecedented proportions? It is one of finding highly skilled talent for the jobs available now and into the future.

The lack of skilled workers will affect all countries. Korn Ferry’s The Global Talent Crunch study showed that significant shortages would hit nations and companies as soon as 2020. The deficit could reach 85.2 million workers by 2030.

The study reported: “The global talent crunch is driven by a skills mismatch: There are workers available, but not enough of them have the skills that organizations need today and tomorrow.”

Korn Ferry stated: “Business leaders—8 out of 10 of them—told us they recognize their companies’ ability to improve workers’ skills and to redeploy their talent will be critical to success in the future of work. But few are taking necessary action. Leaders need to act now to identify the people in their organizations who have the right traits and capabilities so they can begin to build the workforce needed for the future.”

It is the world’s largest economy, the United States, that faces the most significant crisis. The study found that by 2030, the nation could face a shortage of 6.5 million highly skilled workers. The financial and business service industries will be the most severely affected.

Perceptions about Talent Shortage

The study found that:

  • 86% of those surveyed in the U.S. think there will be a talent shortage by 2030
  • 76% of those surveyed in Germany agree
  • 71% of those surveyed in the U.K. think there will be a talent surplus
  • 67% of business leaders surveyed found that pressure for short-term profits prevents them from planning for a talent deficit
  • 74% of HR leaders consider this a concern
  • 66% of CEOs agree
  • 70% of corporate leaders found that it was easier to plan for technology issues than to prepare for personnel and talent needs
  • 42% believe that the talent crunch will affect their profitability

Leaders prioritize tech over people

Too many business leaders falsely assume that technology is the panacea to all their future problems. The study found that 74% of business leaders believe that by 2030 technology will overtake people as their greatest value creator.

However, the reality is, that the percentage of jobs which can be automated by technology and replace people is much smaller than many people think.

The study reported: “In 2018, an Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report found that just 14% of jobs in OECD countries are highly automatable, although another 32% of jobs could substantially change in response to technology. Further, even if workforces shrink, people will not become irrelevant to organizations; the highly skilled workers who remain will become even more valuable.”

Which jobs will be critical?

Information security jobs are the most highly prized, along with IT, data, and digital development. The study reports that leaders emphasize the importance of digital product development, along with digital transformation, digital analytics, and digital marketing.

Does your company have the staff on board to handle these critical roles?

What should you do to prepare for this future?

The study recommends:

  • Companies need to retrain and retool workers.
  • More than half the leaders in the study deemed this a priority.
  • 82% of leaders said they hoped that the mass adoption of technology would cut the demand for skilled workers.

However, business leaders continue to be distracted by the promises that technology can solve their problems, and few are looking to the talent shortage as a real crisis to be handled.

Some of the experts believe we are witnessing the rise of the “augmented workforce.”

As Susan Steele, Executive Partner, Global Talent and Engagement at IBM, said, “We believe that new technologies are accelerating human performance rather than making it defunct. For example, some jobs are becoming automated, but a lot more are being enhanced through technology. If we hope to make the most of those advancements, we need people who are able to work at that interface, and right now those people are in short supply.

“To bolster the supply of these increasingly essential skills, organizations may want to review both their learning and internal mobility strategies to ensure they are focused on nurturing this new talent. An environment that fosters continuous development can yield tremendous benefits to the augmented workforce, but to do so, companies need to implement the right processes and technology as well as cultivate a growth mindset.”

Solutions: Innovative Recruiting and Hiring

How will your company hire the best people today and in the future, and guarantee that these employees will stay with your business and help it grow?

The study recommends:

  • Adopt strategies to increase your value proposition to employees.
  • Employ initiatives that can improve recruitment and the retention of the right talent.
  • Differentiate your enterprise from your competitors.
  • Design these programs with efficacy for cost and impact on staffing.
  • Bolster recruitment and hiring.
  • Consider increased salaries, look at what the competition is paying.
  • Attract and train young people to be agile workers.

You want your company to stay one step ahead of the talent shortage, so you need to consider all these recommendations carefully. Is your leadership team engaged with your recruitment strategies? Does your company have excellent training programs in place to improve the skills of your workers?

Conclusion: A Shift in Mindset

“The shifting talent landscape requires a shift in mindset. More than ever, companies need tech-savvy leadership— that is, leaders who understand how technology is about to transform, rather than replace, our workforce,” said Victoria Livingstone, Vice President, People, Corporate Functions, Liberty Global.

“In this context, HR functions will have a critical role to play, working closely with the executive team while connecting to strategic and R&D elements. They are best positioned to bring focus and direction not only to people development but organizational effectiveness. They should act as an internal consultant and bring ‘outside thinking’ into the company, keeping the leadership teams open to new methods and ideas. In the future of work, that is where the real value of the HR function will lie.”

If you are an HR leader or a CEO, now that you understand what the landscape of the future looks like, are you ready to adapt?

The future of your company may depend upon it.


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