A New Workforce: The Era of Talent Scarcity

talent scarcity
Today, traditional approaches to learning and development can’t meet the demands of the modern workforce. And because we are moving from the era of talent abundance to the era of talent scarcity, organizations can’t as readily hire the skills they need, making retaining top talent and empowering employees to develop new skills to thrive a top priority.
The workforce is undergoing a significant transformation characterized by technological advancements, evolving job roles, and shifting employee expectations:
Key Statistics:
  • Employers estimate that 44% of workers’ skills will be disrupted in the next five years.
  • More than a quarter of workers say they plan to change jobs in the next 12 months, with millennials (35%) and Gen Z workers (35%) being the most likely to do so.
  • One-third of workers believe their company won’t be viable in 10 years’ time unless it changes course.
  • More than half of employees say their jobs require specialist training.
  • Companies that excel at internal mobility retain employees twice as long as companies that struggle with it.

Adapting to Change

Change isn’t slowing down and won’t stop. As industries pivot toward the future, continuous and personalized learning will become a core strategic capability. Businesses will need to recruit from a much wider pool of talent, which in turn will create a much larger pool of diverse skills. This means the ability to hyper-target skill gaps will be more critical than ever. And, as business needs and roles continue to evolve, the enterprise needs to anticipate and fill skill gaps as they emerge.
Bringing workers along on the transformation journey is critical not only for employees but also for the enterprise. According to the World Economic Forum, the fastest-growing jobs are those of AI and machine learning specialists, followed closely by sustainability specialists and business intelligence analysts. Most of the roles WEF recognizes as emerging are related to technology.

reskilling & skilling statistics

The Role of AI-Powered Platforms

For almost a decade, the roles of data analysts/scientists, AI and machine-learning specialists, and digital transformation specialists have also been on the rise. Roles facing increased displacement include those of user support technicians, data warehouse specialists, and customer service workers. So how can companies help displaced workers and avoid the cost of acquiring new talent as these major shifts occur?
“In challenging economic times, there is a strong argument to investing in building critical skills.” Simon Brown, Chief Learning Officer, Novartis[2]

Building Strategic Capabilities

More than 80 percent of global leaders agree that an effective people strategy is a major driver of success. Those same leaders cite the ability to retain, train, and redeploy workers as a significant challenge.
To meet these challenges, L&D must build strategic capabilities that will enable them to:
  • Support a wider variety of skills and experience within onboarding cohorts as employees are reassigned based on skills instead of traditional career paths
  • Leverages the skills people already have and focuses on targeting very specific skills gaps to accelerate onboarding for new projects and roles
  • Supports a wider range of learning experiences, from the formal classroom to guided coaching, to on-the-go, and still provides a cohesive learner experience
  • Use data to anticipate and provide continuous guided learning based on the evolving nature of employees' roles

Winning Strategies

To adapt to talent scarcity, businesses should focus on the following strategies:
  1. Collaboration: Encourage collaboration across all levels and departments to break down silos and promote innovation. Connect systems and foster communication channels to ensure a seamless flow of information and tap into diverse talent pools.
  2. Business Acumen: Develop business acumen within the workforce, enabling employees to understand and articulate relevant business outcomes. This aligns teams toward common goals and ensures talent development efforts align with strategic objectives.
  3. Systems and Design Thinking: Adopt systems thinking to understand interdependencies and optimize processes. Use design thinking to create employee-centric systems and experiences that attract and retain talented individuals.
  4. Automation and Digitization: Leverage automation to free up employees' time for strategic work. Embrace digitization to access a broader talent pool and enable remote learning and development programs.
In the era of talent scarcity, organizations must adapt and collaborate to attract, retain, and develop top talent. By prioritizing collaboration, nurturing business acumen, embracing systems thinking, and leveraging automation and digitization, businesses can thrive in this new landscape. These strategies not only support talent acquisition and development but also foster innovation and long-term success in a competitive business environment.

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