Talent Tsunami

Navigating the Global Talent Tsunami: Rethinking Strategies to Find the Right Talent

It is possible to navigate these turbulent talent tsunami waters, but, according to Robin Erickson, Ph.D., Vice President, Human Capital at The Conference Board, it ultimately comes down to how we rethink our strategies as employers so that we can not only find the right talent but upskill, reskill, and retain that talent.

Robin Erickson, Ph.D. joined us recently at the FuelX Talent Mobility Conference in London, where she shared the latest research findings and insights on the topic of “Navigating the Global Talent Tsunami”.

The Current Talent Shortage

Despite an economic slowdown, job openings and voluntary quits are still historically high in the United States and this is not just a U.S. issue. According to Manpower data from over 40,000 employees in 40 countries throughout all regions of the world, 75 percent of those surveyed report talent shortages, the highest percentage in 16 years.
The survey also identified the Top 5 In-Demand roles for hiring managers:

  1. IT and data
  2. Sales and marketing
  3. Operations and logistics
  4. Manufacturing and production
  5. Customer facing and front office roles

Erickson pointed out that talent shortages are impacting most industries, but research from The Conference Board with two focus groups in the U.S., two in Europe, and one in Asia offered up three (3) insights and 11 recommendations for strategies on how to cope with them.

Talent Shortage Talent Tsunami

How to Cope with Talent Shortages

Rethink who can do the work

• Seek skills instead of experience
• Hire for potential
• Look for transferable skills
• Consider untapped populations

“As work becomes more project-focused and skills become the currency of employment, job roles as we think about them today may actually go away.” – Robin Erickson, Ph.D.

Rethink where, when, and how work gets done

• Be as flexible as possible where the work is performed
• Question when the work needs to be performed
• Extend flexibility to hourly workers too

Rethink talent acquisition itself

• Make everyone a recruiter
• Create an alumni program
• Reconsider salary increases because higher salaries alone will not be enough to attract talent

Talent Shortage Talent Tsunami

A Culture of Talent Mobility

Rounding off the end of her presentation, Erickson finished by answering an important question about how we can properly foster a culture of talent mobility. She said:

“This may not be very popular, but I believe we need to hold our leaders responsible and it’s either carrot or the stick. You can either incentivize leaders for creating a team where people can move on, or you penalize them if they don’t move anyone. That’s part of valuing your employees. If you have a manager who can’t keep anyone on his or her team, they probably aren’t a very good manager, so don’t keep them in that position. You’re not doing the employees a favor and you’re not doing the manager a favor… It’s really important to say that we need to be more holistic when rewarding our leaders. We need to reward them by growing and helping employees move on (in the organization).”

For those organizations who want to not just survive, but thrive in the new future of work, their overarching culture will be critical to their success. Yes, they will need to create and nurture a culture of internal talent mobility, but as Robin keenly points out, “it has to be a culture where everybody buys in from the leadership managers all the way to the employees.”


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