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Enterprise Ireland – a war on talent or a war on skills?

David Corcoran

The ‘War for Talent’ is a concept which has dominated the industry for the last twenty years and has shaped how many organisations view talent acquisition around the world. Contributor David Corcoran, Senior Talent Management Adviser – Enterprise Ireland.

As initially reported by McKinsey & Company in 1998, the war for talent explored the challenges businesses face when attracting, retaining and developing talent. While talent acquisition is a fundamental foundation for any business looking to grow, after twenty years, recent studies have reported a seismic shift from this ‘War for Talent’ to a ‘War for Skills.’

Companies are spending significant resources in recruiting new members to join their organisation, but as the skills gap has become ever more apparent. According to talent guru, Johnny Campbell, co-founder of Enterprise Ireland client company Social Talent, for organisations to move forward, scale and grow at an efficient pace, they need to focus their attention on enhancing the skillset of their current staff.

As the world undergoes this shift in terms of skills shortages and millennial talent for example, innovative Irish solution providers are at the forefront of partnering with progressive human resources and recruitment departments to help develop and retain staff.

The opportunity within
While it is sometimes necessary to recruit externally to bring innovation and new energy to an organisation, there is tremendous scope in focussing on the opportunity within.

By doing so, senior management can invest in their most valuable assets and by increasing efforts to train them and develop their skills, they can contribute to their long-term career progression, resulting in an increase in employee satisfaction and engagement across the organisation. Empowered employees will feel more valued and motivated to stay within the company rather than looking elsewhere, reducing the recruitment cycle.

Benefits to the organisation include a reduced expense and loss of time to the business from filling open roles. Crucially by placing employees are the heart of the organisation, the culture of your organisation will also be retained while boosting performance.

Workforce Development
With the ‘War for Skills’ saturating the working world, organisations will naturally always be faced with the possibility of key employees departing. Promoting from within an organisation will not always be an option and there will be a need to look outside into the competitive talent market. A challenge facing a number of organisations when looking to recruit externally is competition. Candidates will most likely be looking at multiple career options, so it’s important to consider what you can do to attract and secure the right talent. To save recruitment time for you and your business, an efficient response time between candidates is favourable and will work in your organisations’ favour.

An Irish skillset
In this new war for skills, having an innovative Irish company on your side could be a major advantage. In the past, global names such as Nestle, Microsoft, Pepsi, and Rolls Royce, have turned to Irish talent management solutions to help attract, manage, and develop their biggest asset – their people.

Over the last thirty years, Ireland has succeeded in establishing itself as a strategic hub for leading multinational employers, working across sectors as diverse as biopharma, financial services and technology.

To date, Enterprise Ireland supports 120 Irish talent management providers to help meet their global ambition. Client companies include; TTM Healthcare, Globoforce, Sonru as just a few examples. Although these companies work in different remits of the talent management landscape, they all work to develop disruptive technologies that provide innovative and flexible talent management solutions that organisations need, now more than ever, in this war for talent and skills.

Today, companies are taking advantage of the fact that there are no boundaries in technology, and the good companies are going to the ends of the earth to find good people. And once they find the top talent, companies such as those mentioned above are paving the way to help international brands to retain, engage, and develop them.

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