This paper talks about the talent mismatch caused by skills shortages around the world. The paper reports on the difficulty experienced by employers all around the world in recruiting highly skilled workers who meet their strategic or long term goals. It cites the jobs noted by Manpower Group’s 2011 Talent Shortage Survey for which positions were hardest to fill by the employers all around the world. This paper also highlightsmajor business trends that are converging into a workplace.
This paper also suggests employers to develop long-term recruitment strategies, sound job training strategies and appropriate retaining strategies. While it also suggests workers to have long term career planning that includes assessment of major skills required in the marketplace, strengths and areas of interest to ensure employability in ever changing work environment. Keywords: Talent Mismatch, Talent Shortage, Difficulty filling jobs, Labor shortfall, Talent Gap The demand for skilled labors in the global marketplace over the past decade and a half has been growing rapidly.
Despite global economic meltdown, recession and colossal rate of unemployment in many countries the demand for talented individuals in the marketplace has not declined, instead the demand for highly skilled labor has been rising. However, on the supply side, due to talent scarcity, many jobs are left unfilled. According to the recent survey conducted by human resource solutions firm Manpower (2011), 52% of UScompanies reported difficulty in filling out the jobs. Remarkably, the data from the previous year, 2010 stated just 14% companies had difficulty in filling out the jobs.
Similarly, a report by World Economic Forum in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group titled “Global Talent Risk: Seven Responses” stated that the employability will become a huge problem worldwide in coming 20 years; it stated that currently, only 25% of Indian and 20% of Russians are deemed employable by multinationals. Furthermore, a talent shortage survey conducted by Manpower group in 2011 showed that employers in countries like Japan, India, Brazil, Australia, Taiwan, Romania, US and Argentina has some of thehighest rate of difficulty filling ut the jobs with Japan leading by 80%, followed by India 67%. Similarly, 54% of employers in Brazil and Australia also reported difficulty in filling out the jobs while Taiwan, Romania, US and Argentina reported 53%, 52% and 51% respectively. What is important to notice is that all the employers in these countries cited “lack of available talent” as a main reason in difficulty to fill out the available positions.
The research conducted by the Manpower group revealed that, globally one out of three employers experienced difficulties in filling positions due to lack of available talent. These data show certain trends in the job market. First, the data implies that employers are finding it very difficult to fill in the jobs. Secondly, it suggests that talent crisis is creating problems for human resource management professionals to find so called “theright candidate for the right job”.
Clearly, what we are seeing is a talent mismatch(Tammy Johns Harvard Business Review 2011). It simply means that employers are not able to find the right candidate for the job or the job seekers aren’t well suited for the available job in the marketplace. To sum up people available do not have the talent needed. There is a mismatch between the talent offered and the talent required. So what makes it difficult for employers to find the perfect employees who would exactly fit for the job? Who is to blame?
Is it the poor human resource management within an organization who is unable to devise a sound job description and thorough job analysis or is it the lack of skilled and talented work force in the job market whose talents and skills completely mismatches with the requirements of a prospective employer? This paper aims to find answers to all these questions. This paper will focus on explaining the current trends in the job marketplace. The paper is written to highlight the causes of talent mismatch and enumerate other, environmental factors (political, demographical, technological etc. that are converging into a workplace and further elaborate on why talent mismatch exists in the marketplace and propose solutions for human resource management professionals and the workers to deal with this issue to better prepare for long –term growth and success in this ever changing business world. The paper has been written after a through literature review, of various website articles, journals, periodicals and other published material related with talent mismatch in order to gain more insights, ideas, to find answers to why talent mismatch exists and to analyze what kind solutions are there to deal with the issue.
Academic databases such as Academic Search Complete, Business Search Complete, Science Direct and Google Scholars were used with keywords-talent mismatch, global talent crisis and talent shortage while reviewing the literature. However the paper does not emphasize the issue of talent mismatch on one particular organization or a country. It takes into account the overall situation of talent scarcity around the world. The paper also doesn’t delve into the role of government in handling talent crisis. 1. 2 Global Trends: “The world of work is changing” The world of work is changing and these changes are taking place due to changes in various environmental factors mainly four, technological, demographical, rise of customer sophistication and individual choice” says Melanie Homes, vice president of Manpower Group. As demographics of certain economy changessuch change are directly influencing or are converging into a workplace. For instance, work force in countries like Japan and Korea are ageing. In such countries there are not as many workers coming into work force as there are retiring, creating huge pools of talent shortage.
According to World Economic Forum, in developed countries retirement of Baby Boomers will have significant impact on managing workforce quantity, quality and costs. United States for example, will need to add more than 25 million workers to its talent base by the year 2030 to sustain economic growth (World Economic Forum, 2011). Similarly, emergence of new economies such as Brazil, Russia, India and China also known as BRIC will further drive demand for well-educated professionals, technicians and managers.
Moreover,rapid proliferation of new and advance technology will highly influence the way people work, when they work, how they work and even who can work (Melanie Homes Talent Mismatch-The gap widens 2011). In addition, employers today will be looking for highly specialized skills that will enable their company to do more with less and meet the ever rising expectation of shrewd and smart customers, stacking up the demand for highly skilled and professional workers.
According to Manpower Group’s Talent Shortage Survey 2011 some of the most difficult jobs to fill are technicians, sales representative, skilled trades work (such as electrician, carpenters, machinist, mechanics, welders and plumbers), engineers, laborers, managers/executives, accounting and finance staff, production operators and finally secretaries, personal assistants, administrative assistants and office support staff. Figure 1. The World’s Toughest Job to Fill
Source: Manpower Talent Shortage Survey May 2011 DISCUSSION 2. 0 Reasons of Talent Mismatch The drivers of these skill shortages (Figure 1) are well known; ageing population, education- to- employment systems that are not producing enough graduates and employees with the skills necessary to fill important jobs, underinvestment in organizational training, and the shift to knowledge economy fueled by skilled, well trained knowledge workers (Eric Krell Human Resource Magazine 2011).
Similarly Manpower Group in their annual global talent mismatch survey (2011) reports that employers have difficulty filling out the jobs because prospective employee lacks technical or hard job skills, they lack business knowledge, some candidates simply seek more pay than that is offered while many lack experience. Furthermore, the same survey also states that prospective employee don’t possess the right personality and attitude to fit the job, they are not willing to work on contingent basis and some do not accept the job due to geographic location.
Moreover, (ASTD 2006)has identified four major factors behind today’s skills gap: (1) Jobs are changing (2) Workforce growth is slowing (3) Educational attainment is lagging the need for skills (4) Businesses are not leveraging their learning investments effectively. “Changes in the nature of business are leading to changes in the skills required of employees. Global competition, technology, and other forces place a premium on speed, innovation, and the ability to adapt rapidly to change”(ASTD 2006)
Figure: 2 Reasons for Difficulty Filling Jobs Globally Source: Manpower Talent Shortage Survey May 2011 However some authors argue that there is no such thing as talent mismatch; it is just the mindset of hirers, employers and human resource professional who are creating the talent gap. Kevin Wheeler of the recruiting site ere. net writes “We (hiring managers, executives, HR folks, and recruiters) set up expectations and define jobs based on what is traditional. We work from habit and past experience.
Some of us say that we cannot find qualified C# programmers, for example, when we all know that there are very few people with good skills in this area. Something different might be to rethink the job entirely so that it more closely matches someone we already know is available. ” Tammy Johns, a senior vice president of Manpower Group also reiterates the same concern that employers should construct work in such a way that they can hire available talents in the market rather than narrowly defining their job description. 3. 0 Impact of Talent Mismatch
Every economy needs skilled labor for their economic development. Strong labor force influences productivity and competitiveness of an economy. They are the source of growth and innovation. However, lack of up to date skills of a labor force in an economy can have an adverse effect on the economy. As a talent gap widens, organization can no longer grow or remain competitive because it cannot fill critical jobs with employees who have the right knowledge, skills, and abilities (Pat Galagan 2010). It is not just individual organizations or sectors that are feeling the consequences of the skills gap.
Communities, states, regions, and entire nations pay a heavy price when they can neither find nor equip workers with the right skills for critical jobs. (Pat Galagan, Bridging the Skills Gap 2010). In their book The Chief Learning Officer: Driving Value within a changing organization, authors Tamar Elkeles and Jack Phillips wrote that “Nothing is more devastating to an organization than not having a fully prepared workforce. An unprepared workforce can reduce profits, impede market share, create inefficiencies, lower morale, and/ or increase attrition.
More importantly, it can affect the quality of service provided to customers”. 4. 0 Strategies to bridge the talent gap The ongoing talent crisis will put many employers under pressure to change their current recruiting strategies. Employers who are finding it difficult to fill out the positions need to understand that drastic changes in recruitment policies must be pursued if they are to recruit employees for the unfilled positions. According to American Society for Training and Development(ASTD 2006) “Business leaders obtain the talent they need by ecruiting experienced workers to fill specific skills gaps. But more and more, faced with the reality of rapidly changing skills needs, the efficiency of technology-enabled learning, and an increasing shortage of skilled labor across many industries, these leaders understand that they also must train and develop their employees or risk business success”. To be effective, employers need to understand what skill sets they need at the present and what skill set they would need in the future in each level of the organization.
In Harvard Business Review article titled Money Ball and the Talent Mismatch Facing Business,Tammy Jones, a senior vice president at Manpower Group writes that by constructing work differently to take advantage of the specialized talent that is currently available can create a huge competitive advantage. “In many organizations challenged by a very competitive business environment, it’s not enough to “hire for attitude” and “train for skills. ” Employees must come to work with skills that allow them to be effective immediately.
Starting with the selection process, savvy organizations identify critical skills and competencies that new hires must have, and they recruit for those” (ASTD 2006). Similarly Manpower Group states that hiring from a restricted pool of available workers, who may not possess the necessary skills and capabilities can bridge the talent gap. Kevin Wheeler of the recruiting site ere. net adds “Many available people are older or retired and have skills that have become obsolete or are not needed right now.
However, these people could be retrained for some of the open positions if we took a different attitude. Unfortunately most of us or most of our employers anyway, would rather spend money on search fees, agency fees, administrative overhead, and advertising rather than on intensively training people with decent basic skills. Granted, we cannot train people for every job because many of them do require experience, or time in the saddle, as they say, in order to be successful.
However, I think we could significantly lessen the labor shortage if we were willing to be a bit wider in our job expectations and definitions” In addition, a report by World Economic Forum in collaboration with Boston Consulting group titled “Global Talent Risk – Seven Responses” states that employers should extend the applicant pool by tapping women and older professionals, the disadvantaged and immigrants. Besides, creating pool of many applicants, employers can also bridge the ongoing talent mismatch by training their existing employees. Employees should treat training as an investment and should consider developing their existing staff.
Employers should be willing to provide training and development for the jobs they have a need to get done says Kevin wheeler, a writer at recruiting site ere. net. Employers should invest in employee development and focus on retaining their existing employees says Bram Lowsky, a senior vice president and manager at Right Management Canada. Many organization and employers does not take retention into account, they feel that lost talent can be replaced easily while they forget that those who leave take valuable experience and institution knowledge with them.
New recruits no matter how talented they are cannot replace or bring such knowledge into workplace therefore retaining and retraining existing employees can make lot more difference, consequently bridging the talent gap. In aweb seminar titled Talent Mismatch –The Gap Widens (2011) addressed by Melanie Holmes, vice president of Manpower Group she reiterated that by pursuing various strategies such as focusing more on staff retention in jobs where recruitment is difficult can help employers ease their burden caused by talent crisis.
She also adds that with advent of new technologies it is possible for employers to broaden their search for talent outside their local region and have them work without asking them to relocate. It has been noticed that colleges and universities are not producing talented graduates. Many employers complain that the fresh graduates from university lack hard skills or soft skills. World Economic Forum in their recent report stated that “What is needed is an adaptable but efficient education system that includes practical and theoretical skills, lifelong learning and up skilling”.
Therefore by partnering or collaborating with educational institutes and by developing curriculum that are aligned to employer’s future needs, can significantly, reduce the skills gap. Similarly by offering internship and vocational training opportunities employers can significantly improve their chances of finding employable candidate. From workers or employees point of view, they should be very proactive in acquiring skills in furthering their education and committing to lifelong learning.
They should understand that advancement in technology are shaping the world of workplace thus, they must learn to be flexible and must keep pace with new set of skills to stay competitive in the job marketplace. Moreover, employees should take necessary steps to increase their knowledge and skills whenorganization requires it. To sum up they should take responsibility for their skills and aptitude development in order to stay competitive in the job market. 5. 0 Conclusion: The issue of talent mismatch has gained much prominence and importance in today’s business world.
A result of the survey conducted by Manpower Group and recent report from the World Economic Forum and Boston Consulting group presents compelling evidence that talent mismatch gap in the workplace is widening. The changes in global business environment has triggered demand for talented individual however many jobs are still left unfilled due to lack of available talents in the marketplace. Many employers all around the world are finding it very difficult to fill out the available positions. Therefore, strong action is needed to address the issue of talent mismatch.