Dr. Nadeem Ahmed Khan, CRA
Pakistan Institute of Development Economics
War for Talent: Skills Gaps
In recently published report of “Talent Shortage Survey 2015” by Manpower Group, the working population of the world in declining and talent pools are shrinking. Technology is evolving faster than ever, changing the skills needed for jobs and shortening the life cycle of those skills. We are also seeing a bifurcation of the workforce — those with in-demand skills versus those with high-supply skills.
The immediate number is not the number of potential candidates, it’s a talent mismatch. There are not enough sufficiently skilled people in the right places at the right times. According to the report the top 10 jobs for which employers are having difficulty filling globally 1) Skilled Trade Workers (especially chefs/bakers/butchers, mechanics and electricians) 2) Sales Representative 3) Engineers (especially mechanical, electrical and civil engineers) 4) Technicians 5) Drivers (especially truck/lorry/heavy goods drivers, delivery/courier drivers, heavy equipment/ construction drivers) 6) Management/Executives 7) Accounting & Finance Staff (especially book keepers, certified accountants and financial analysts) 8) Office Support Staff 9) IT Staff (especially developers and programmers, database administrators, and IT leaders and managers) 10) Production/Machine Operations.
Talent shortages are on the rise globally. The problem is severe in Japan 83%, Peru 68%, Hong Kong 65%, Brazil 61%, and Romania 61% and Czech Rep 18%, Ireland 11%, Netherlands 14%, Spain 14% and UK 14% are the countries where the employers are experiencing least difficulty to fill jobs. A lack of available applicants/no applicants is the most common reason to face difficulty in filling jobs, the technical competencies, lack of experience, lack of work place competencies and looking for more pay than offered are the other factors which also have high percentages.
The talent shortages are impacting organizations ability to meet client needs, the most likely consequences are expected to be a reduction in ability to serve clients and reduced competitiveness/productivity, increase in employee turnover, lower employee engagement and morale, reduced innovation and creativity in their organization can lead to higher compensation costs.
The employers are pursuing to overcome talent shortages following strategies:
- People Practices: employers are revising their people practices to provide more training and development for existing staff. Most commonly, 13% training to develop new skills and 12% training to enhance existing skills.
- Talent Sources: employers are seeking to explore previously untapped sources, young people and candidates who have potential to learn and grow.
- Work Models: employers focus on their talent pipeline and redesigning existing work procedure by sharing work assignment between different employees. Unfortunately, a big percentage of employers do not pursuing any strategy to overcome talent shortages.
Governments, employers, academic institutions, labor unions and individuals are responsible to confront talent crunch they must form effective partnership to combat the talent shortage.