The great global talent hunt.

Author:Tyagarajan, N.V., 'Tiger'
Position:Human Resources
 
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The core of a business is the talent underpinning it. Lack of such talent can impact businesses and pose grave challenges to every industry. As the global landscape changes, emerging as well as advanced economies are faced with a scarcity of employable talent. Increase in demand, longer lifespan affecting the age ratio at workplaces and unemployment among less skilled workers are key issues that are forcing organizations to think of groundbreaking ways of acquiring and managing talent.

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Starting at the very root, organizations need to collaborate more actively with educational and government institutions and make sure the education plan is aligned with industry requirements and focuses on skills that are most crucial for businesses today.

A sea change in the outlook toward learning and leveraging under-utilized sources can open new doors for organizations to discover talent.

According to a recent report by the McKinsey Global Institute, by 2020 employers could face a shortage of as many as 13 percent of highly skilled workers--that is 40 million less workers than they need. Developing economies could face a shortfall of 15 percent, or nearly 45 million, medium-skill workers.

The situation reflects a challenging and dynamic global context within which organizations are operating today. Various technological innovations including e-commerce, mobile applications, cloud computing and social media have altered the way businesses function, bringing technology to the forefront of daily operations.

The natural corollary to this is that the demand for high-skilled labor, trained in quickly evolving new technologies, has also increased. This demand is arising in a demographic context of increased life spans, older people spending more years at work, smaller family sizes and--in the more developed nations--less young people entering the workforce.

The trends that are currently being observed, the shortage of high-skilled workers and growing unemployment among less-skilled workers, have serious implications for societies, governments and businesses around the world. These include growing gaps in income between different sections of society and the reduction of productivity within businesses--productivity that is critically needed to drive growth in gross domestic product (GDP).

Organizations need to acknowledge the fact that the talent crisis is a global problem affecting advanced economies as much as newly developing ones. In developed countries, we are observing severe and increasing unemployment among young people without university degrees, as well as among older workers who do...

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