The Talent ShiftLast word

The time to engage in a major rethink of the talent pipeline is now.

The Talent ShiftLast word

The time to engage in a major rethink of the talent pipeline is now.

Although the need to put a priority on talent planning has never been greater, devising a talent strategy rarely has been more complex. The breadth and depth of the looming talent crunch is growing clear. But many leaders, while seemingly recognizing the changing talent landscape, also believe that their own organizations somehow will be immune to major challenges.

Leaders who do grasp the situation’s gravity still struggle to make talent a priority. Organizational obstacles block leaders from long-term talent planning, while the rapid pace of technological change makes it hard for them to forecast the future. Technology itself can be a distraction, with leaders betting big that it will resolve problems due to worker deficits. All these factors help create a concerning inertia: Leaders around the globe have blinkered themselves to structural change, adopting instead a “business as usual” approach to the recruitment, retention, engagement, promotion, and development of highly skilled talent in dwindling supply and burgeoning demand.

Inaction is simply not an appropriate response to the talent crunch. While the new economy means markets move so quickly they are difficult to predict, organizations can survive by developing a vision and employing models and scenarios to plan and prepare for ways the future may unfold. Organizations must become more agile, responding to market changes as they arise if they are to survive in the future of work. Business leaders need to be nimble and receptive to change themselves, and to foster these traits in their company culture. This agility should enable the retraining and redeployment of vast swaths of the workforce, so companies not only can avoid mass layoffs as lower-skilled tasks become automated, but also so they create their own pipelines of highly skilled talent. Companies that fail to forecast, develop, and evolve their talent management strategies will stumble into the future of work blind to its realities, and without the time to make up lost ground. The time to engage in a major rethink of the talent pipeline is now.

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Understand the talent shift