The 21st Century Talent Crisis Irony

Can your Global Organization find Plenty of Workers, but still have a Shortage of Talent?

It has been a difficult few years for business. Global financial crises, recessions, energy price spikes and currency swings have made it one of the most difficult business environments since the Great Depression.  However, compared to seventy years ago, the world economy is much more connected and interdependent than ever before. The world is “flat” to echo the term popularized by Thomas Friedman. So when one region sneezes — whether it be a European countries’ debt crisis or the American mortgage market collapse — we all catch the cold globally.

Of course, this interdependence is not limited to the bad times — as economies around the world recover there is an “upward spiral” effect on businesses and governments everywhere. Even though we haven’t fully recovered yet, there are positive signs out there. One of those signs is the labor market — after years of very high unemployment in most regions of the world, companies are beginning to remove hiring freezes, and in some cases, starting to aggressively seek out new talent.

According to PWC’s 14th Annual Global CEO Survey released in February, 83% of CEOs, in response to changes in the global business environment, anticipate changing their strategies for managing talent over the next year. This same report notes that a combination of an aging workforce and a mismatch in the skills of emerging “Millennials” causes 64% of CEOs to fear that talent shortages will constrain their company’s growth.

What irony! For a number of years many workers have been seeking jobs, and now when employers are now ready to hire, these same workers may not be the right people to employ! Will this talent crisis threaten (or at a minimum delay) an overall economic recovery?

The PWC survey notes that in response to this threat companies are targeting key talent pools such as the Millennial generation and deploying more staff overseas to plug skills gaps and transfer knowledge. In fact, 59% of CEOs are planning to send more staff on international assignments than ever before. This focus will undoubtedly involve an investment in Business English skills for their global workforce.

Although talent management has arguably always been one of the most important areas of successful business management, it is clearly more critical and challenging than ever before. The need to effectively attract, train, deploy and retain skilled employees is
heightened due to our ever “flattening” world and the mobility of today’s workers.

GlobalEnglish research shows that, on average, a person with low English skills loses two hours of productivity per week. Two hours! Compounded across an entire organization, that productivity loss equates to painfully inefficient operations and lost business opportunity. Without an existing supply of workers already highly competent in key areas such as Business English proficiency, companies need to take the initiative by investing in the training and support methods necessary to ensure there is a match between the strategic needs of their global business and the communication skills of their workforce.

Looking to bring your global workers’ communication skills into the 21st Century? Check out some of the client success stories on our website or download the Bridging the Talent Crisis White Paper co-authored by the HCI institute and GlobalEnglish.

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This entry was posted in Building a 21st Century Workforce, Employee productivity, Enterprise productivity & performance, Global talent management strategies, Workforce Management & Performance and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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