Managing a workforce is becoming an upward challenge for businesses with several interconnecting risk factors, not least of which is securing the services of the talent needed to support development and profitability. Talent scarcities continue to increase and are hindering employers’ ability to distribute value for their customers. There are several issues surrounding the short supply of talent.
The first issue that surrounds talent in short supply, is the increasing disparity between supply and demand (World Economic Forum, 2015). There is a host of factors that contribute to the growing disparity between available talent and the skills required by businesses. Demographic trends, geopolitical issues, and political, social and economic instability are contributing factors to the disparity in talent supply. To give an example for social and economic instability, majority of professions that are hiring do not offer wages that match with preferred or required education. Some jobs require you to have a bachelor’s and/or master’s degree but do not properly compensate you in return. In order to pay back student loans, maintain a healthy lifestyle and raise a family, people need livable pay wages. The talent deficiency in risk can begin anywhere from data and business analytics to risk technology to regulatory change program management. According to Deloitte Cybersecurity, recruiting, developing and retaining top talent is the number one problem for most chief information security officers (CISOs) interviewed.
These shortages in talent are felt all over the world in every region and industry sector. In 2014, ManpowerGroup surveyed more than 37,000 employers in 42 countries and territories and found that one out of three employers are having difficulty filling open positions due to the lack of applicants having the appropriate technical capabilities, experience and soft skills. In their 2018 survey, 45 percent globally said they couldn’t find the skills they need. “Globally, 56 percent of employers say communications skills, written and verbal, are their most valued human strengths yet 27 percent of employers say applicant’s lack the human strengths they need.” This has been reported to be the highest in over a decade. “More than half (54%) of the executives surveyed reported a shortage of candidates with the right skills, and half said that weak recruiting strategies and insufficient training programs compounded their talent search conundrum” (Culp, 2014).
These issues impact national and global financial institutions and highly regulated industries. Especially those with backgrounds in risk management, compliance and internal audit which are predominantly pursued. According to a report published by the World Economic Forum in 2015, Global Risks reportedly ranked structural unemployment and under-employment among the top 10 risks facing the world over the next five years in terms of both likelihood and impact. The report warns that this increases the risk of social instability and can have a negative impact on “equality, employment and wealth creation. The multidirectional cause-and-effect relationship makes it harder to address the related risks” (World Economic Forum, 2015).
For numerous businesses, these talent deficiencies can delay their risk mitigation and the implementation of business objectives where risks are inherent. With new information out to help tackle the talent shortage nationally and globally, organizations are considering developing and retaining talent with precise skills who can also interact efficiently with wide-ranging businesses. Many companies lack identifying and developing sustainable risk management talent but are now shifting focus to develop a more comprehensive approach. “In recent months, some of the largest financial institutions have announced plans to hire thousands of people in compliance-related positions to help improve their risk and compliance programs” (Wall Street Journal, 2014).
Another way groups can tackle the problem is upskilling people in hard skills through technical accreditations, internships and programming courses. Employers are realizing that a combination of soft AND hard skills is the perfect blend in order to reach new talent pools and attract more people on the margins into the workforce. It is also important to have incentives that better benefit the employee. Studies show a healthy workplace environment improves productivity and reduces costs related to absenteeism, and turnover (R, 2018). Having and maintaining a healthy work environment, along with ideal salary, is a powerful attraction tool for new talent. “Solving such a complex problem with multiple causes will require a complex solution aimed at multiple fronts. At the very least, companies cannot be content simply to partner with local educational institutions and professional organizations. They must also thoughtfully develop and deepen their own talent management strategy” (DHL). ManpowerGroup suggests organizations that want to overcome today’s growing global talent shortage and win in the digital age, organizations need integrate four components into their work force strategy: build, buy, borrow and bridge.
With building, learning must be a two-way deal: vital for people to stay employable and critical for corporations to develop needed talent. ManpowerGroup suggests in order to solve talent shortages that companies offer training that is a combination of in-person training, blended or e-learning. Companies can achieve this by utilizing assessment services and investing in leadership assessment and development. With buying in a constricted labor market, ManpowerGroup recommends employers to work harder at recruiting applicants who communicate a strong value proposition with clear purpose and pleasant values (ManPowerGroup, n.d.). In order to achieve this, companies need to outsource recruitment processes. Permanent Recruiting and staffing would help as well. ManpowerGroup found that pay rate alignment eases talent shortages. Organizations need to match existing skills, plug gaps for short-term projects or quickly find expertise they don’t have, it’s time to tap into other talents. This is when companies should use the burrowing method. To achieve this, organizations must have alternative workforce solutions and liable workforce management. This includes temporary staffing, project solutions and IT outsourcing. This helps promote groups of talent inside and outside the organization. Lastly, the solution of bridging, helps people depart or advance to new roles within the organization. This allows leaders to have a duty to find pathways so people whose skills no longer fit can either bridge to varying roles within the company or transition easily to roles outside of the company.
If I had to make recommendations on how to solve the talent in short supply, I would look for talent in-house. With research, I found this to help retain staff and prevent the emergence of feather skills shortages. Most employees value development opportunities and thus, help increase loyalty to the company. You cannot do so without adjusting the hiring criteria of the positions. By adjusting the hiring criteria, it delivers an affluence of benefits, improves the diversity of the workforce and introduces a fresh outlook to problem-solving.
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