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Talent drought set to get worse

Findings from an independent survey of more than 840 senior HR leaders from across the globe reveal that over a half (53%) believe that there is a shortage of talent quality, with 84% admitting that it is harder than ever before to attract and retain talent.

The survey commissioned by Lumesse, a global leader in talent solutions, and undertaken by research specialists, Loudhouse, highlights that over three quarters (76%) of respondents agreed that a shortage of talent will be the biggest threat to their business in the next two years. Furthermore, specific industry sectors that demand highly skilled employees, such as the pharmaceutical and financial industry, feel the dearth in talent most acutely. Yet, currently only one in ten (9%) classify their approach to attracting and retaining talent as strategic and optimised and, as a result,fewer than half are very confident that their organisation can effectively address what they have identified as the three main recruitment and talent sourcing challenges:

– Only 41% felt confident in identifying potential internal candidates

– Only 40% felt confident in tackling global sourcing

– Only 36% felt confident in employer branding to help recruitment efforts

These three challenges represent a 360° spectrum of needs, internally and externally, domestically and internationally. The research also found that HR leaders are pessimistic about identifying and hiring the right skills in the future with (68%) agreeing they are experiencing a lack of visibility into what these needs will be in 12 months’ time. Stephan Schmitt, CMO, Lumesse said, “The talent crisis is very real. Demand is growing for very specialised and skilled workers to help businesses compete in tough global markets. When the pace of change is rapidly increasing, and new tools and technologies are disrupting the way we do business, these skills are absolutely necessary. Yet, HR leaders do not feel confident in their ability and that of the organisation’s to address this change.”

Schmitt continues, “HR leaders need to take a strategic approach to ensuring that the right processes and plans are in place to capture talent at both a global and local level. There is no silver bullet – no same approach will work for every company – but leaders should review and streamline their technology and applicant tracking (ATS) systems, automise social engagement to build a talent pipeline, and strengthen internal learning and development processes to ensure that they can adapt skillsets to changing business needs. This will help them to get better insight into data to inform talent decisions, connect with talent across multiple channels and ultimately strengthen their talent pipeline for the future.”

Commenting in response to the latest ONS employment and pay statistics published today, Mark Beatson, CIPD Chief Economist, says:”The new figures suggest that the recent increases in employment may be starting to level off, which appears to be hitting the short-term unemployed and young people in particular.  The government needs to ensure that it maintains an adequate level of support for people becoming unemployed alongside its quite justified focus on support for the long-term unemployed and other disadvantaged groups in the labour market. The target to increase the number of apprenticeships is welcome, but they are only part of the solution because apprenticeships aren’t suitable for all employers.

To combat this, we need to see national programmes complemented by more local initiatives that can meet the needs of local employers and get more young people into work.

“The three-month average rate of wage growth remains unchanged at 2.7%. However, this disguises a ‘tale of two workforces’; where the living standards of workers in sectors such as manufacturing and public sector are falling further behind other booming sectors such as construction and finance.  Inflation is unusually low and many firms are still not having pay reviews either because they see no need to put wages up, or are awarding low pay rises because they say they can’t afford to pay more.  Looking ahead, there is also a question of whether some employers might change how they set pay in anticipation of the proposed National Living Wage, especially in low paid sectors.

“This period of low inflation creates a window of opportunity for firms to complement rising investment in capital equipment with increased investment in their own people; especially given the welcome increase in the investment allowance announced by the Chancellor.  This doesn't mean spending a fortune, what matters is relevant learning opportunities delivered in a way that suits employees and – most important of all – jobs designed to give employees the chance to use these skills.”

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