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12/14/2011    1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

The Human Age : Addressing Talent Shortage

Anuwat Raviwongse (Manpower Inc)

Despite the slow and uneven recovery from the global economic downturn and lingering high levels of unemployment in many markets, organizations around the world still report that they cannot find the talent they need when they need it. They are looking for evermore specific skill sets and taking longer to fill job vacancies as they wait for the economy to fully rebound and their businesses to get back to “normal.” But global economic forces have strained existing models and systems to such a point of tension that they are no longer sustainable. There will be no return to the pre-recession “business as usual.”

Part 1 – The Human Age: Talent is the Key Competitor

Instead, organizations are operating in the “new normal,” where the economic pressures of the last few years have forced them to do more with less, and they’ve discovered that they can accomplish amazing things despite reduced resources—as long as they have the right people in place. Talent is becoming the key competitive differentiator, and countries and companies with access to the right talent are positioning themselves to succeed in the rapidly changing world of work.

As we enter the Human Age, when human spirit and potential will become the driving force behind enterprise and innovation, having the right people in the right place at the right time becomes more critical than ever. Yet, as the global economic recovery continues, employers report increased difficulty filling open positions, despite an apparent surplus of talent amid high unemployment.

Part 2 – The Supply/Demand Mismatch: Talent Shortage Survey

This year, Manpower expanded its sixth annual Talent Shortage Survey not only to gauge where employers are having difficulty filling available positions, but also examine why organizations are facing a lack of talent and what they are doing to mitigate these challenges. The results reveal increased difficulty finding the right talent in the wake of global economic recovery with limited effort to systematically fill the gaps—and notable regional variances.

• ManpowerGroup research reveals employers in India, the United States, China and Germany report the most dramatic talent shortage surges compared to last year. In India, the percentage of employers indicating difficulty filling positions jumped 51 percentage points.
• Nearly one in four employers say environmental/market factors play a major role in the talent shortage—employers simply aren’t finding anyone available in their markets. Another 22% of employers say their applicants lack the technical competencies or “hard” skills needed for the job, while candidates’ lack of business knowledge or formal qualifications is the main reason identified by 15% of employers.
• Approximately three-quarters of employers globally cite a lack of experience, skills or knowledge as the primary reason for the difficulty filling positions. However, only one in five employers is concentrating on training and development to fill the gap. A mere 6% of employers are working more closely with educational institutions to create curriculums that close knowledge gaps.

Part 3 – Addressing the Talent Shortage: New ways of thinking

Winning in the changing world of work requires a new way of thinking about and approaching your workforce. To address the gap in the availability of talent and adapt to the changing world of work, organizations will need to adopt workforce frameworks that take into account Work Models, People Practices, and new Talent Sources. Examples of solutions include work labor arbitrage, virtual work models, and workforce mix.
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