Skills and The Global Talent Shortage

Skills and the Global Talent Shortage

HR is being challenged to operate in exceptional circumstances. While economists perpetuate “the sky is falling” predictions, the realities of the labor market couldn’t be more contradictory. In the U.S., there are twice as many job openings as qualified candidates. Researchers at Manpower Group say three out of four businesses are struggling to find the skills they need. A recent report forecasts that by 2030, more than 85 million jobs could go unfilled because there aren’t enough skilled people to take them.  

These talent shortages aren’t exclusive to digital, IT, or technology roles. According to this recent study, the restart of the hospitality sector has close to 85% of operators facing recruitment and retention issues. From construction to education, whether in London, Dallas or Istanbul, every organization knows how critical the right skills are to their workforce. Yet, they remain perplexed as to how to solve this challenge.  

The key word here is skills. The world of work is no longer defined by a cradle-to-grave career path with a predictable laddered trajectory. Today’s workers want and expect to have control over their career paths, motivating organizations to refocus on learning, reskilling and upskilling programs that link to individualized development-focused outcomes. Global industry analyst Josh Bersin frequently refers to the rising skills gap crisis in talent acquisition and talent management. Creating an agile, talent-optimized workforce ensures resiliency and retention helps organizations thrive. 

Skills and The Global Talent Shortage

Before we examine a path forward, let’s be clear about the risks – what happens if you don’t take a skills-based approach to the talent shortage? Returning to the U.S. situation, where there are double the job openings as qualified candidates, imagine losing your lead software developer or the manager of your highest-performing retail location. How long will it take you to replace and then train these crucial roles? Every organization, at every level, needs to be thinking about succession planning as part of its talent retention risk strategy, and failing to know what talents and skills you already possess in-house, where they are, and connecting that intelligence to your future workforce strategy puts the business at a significant disadvantage.  

So, assuming you already know what skills you have across your organization, do you know how to best access, use, and deploy them? Is there a tech-powered platform that integrates seamlessly with your current HR ecosystem and helps you identify internal candidates for job openings? Josh Bersin says that 69% of HR professionals see putting skills at the core as a top imperative; however, it’s not feasible for a business to manage this info on spreadsheets. The right solution needs to be robust, scalable, easy to integrate, fast to deploy, and ideally supercharged by AI to ensure it is surfacing the right insights as your workforce grows. Such technology will help uncover skills gaps, drive reskilling and upskilling, and power internal talent mobility. 

Employees today have different expectations from their employers. Invest in the growth of your people and help them grow their skills with you. This will foster a strong people-first development culture that drives retention, resilience, and engagement. 

HR and economists aren’t dealing in the same currencies, where the latter struggles to predict future performance. But with the right mindset and a powerful talent marketplace solution, HR can now make well-informed strategic decisions while creating skills predictability for their organization. 


Fuel50 is the skills-powered Talent Marketplace solution that smart-matches your people to coaches, learning, vacancies, gigs, projects, and career journeys. Harness next-gen workforce data, power internal talent mobility, drive workforce agility, and future-proof your organization.

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