Skip to comments.Looming Talent Crisis Faces U.S. Companies
Posted on 02/17/2005 9:25:25 AM PST by qam1
RISMEDIA, Feb. 16 Impending Baby Boomer retirements, a widening skills gap driven by declining educational standards, and outdated and ineffective approaches to talent management are combining forces to produce a "perfect storm" that threatens the global business economy, according to Deloitte Consulting.
In a recent U.S. survey of human resources executives nationwide conducted by Deloitte Consulting, more than 70 percent of the 123 respondents say incoming workers with inadequate skills pose the greatest threat to business performance over the next three years, followed by Baby Boomer retirement (61 percent), and the inability to retain key talent (55 percent).
These survey findings are underscored in Deloitte Research's report, "It's 2008: Do You Know Where Your Talent Is? Why Acquisition and Retention Strategies Don't Work."
"The overwhelming accumulation of data, including Deloitte Consulting's new research, points to an inescapable conclusion: the widening skills gap, particularly among the categories of workers who disproportionately drive companies' growth and performance, is a global phenomenon that will create unprecedented challenges for businesses," said Ainar Aijala, vice chairman, Deloitte Consulting and global service area leader of Deloitte Consulting's Human Capital practice. "The confluence of demographic and social trends -- the full force of which will begin to be felt in as little as three years -- will leave behind companies that do not begin to rethink and redesign their approach to managing human capital."
In only three years, the first wave of Baby Boomers will turn 62, the average retirement age in North America, Europe and Asia. According to the Deloitte Consulting survey, one-third of U.S. companies expect to lose 11 percent or more of their current workforce to retirements by 2008.
"While the 'greying' of the workforce will independently create large vacancies across industries, additional factors, such as low birth and immigration rates in Europe and the single-child policy in China, present further perils to companies worldwide," explains Aijala. "Companies will also continue to face inadequate skills among an increasingly diverse, virtual, global, and disengaged workforce."
Life sciences, energy and the public sector will be the hardest hit with manufacturing, consumer business and financial services industries close behind. For example, Canada, Australia and the U.S. could lose more than a third of their government employees by 2010. The National Association of Manufacturers revealed in a recent survey that more than 80 percent of U.S. manufacturers face a shortage of skilled machinists, craft workers and technicians. Further, the U.S. Department of Education predicts that 60 percent of new jobs in the 21st century will require skills possessed by only 20 percent of the current workforce.
Among the many threats affecting the global workforce over the next few years, the exit of "critical talent" could be the most damaging. Deloitte Consulting defines "critical talent" as the individuals and groups who drive a disproportionate share of their company's business performance and generate greater-than-average value for customers and shareholders. These individuals are "critical" to their company's ability to meet strategic goals and objectives.
"When we talk about critical talent, we are not necessarily referring to the 'A players' or senior executives," explains Mike Fucci, principal and U.S. leader of Deloitte Consulting's Human Capital practice. "Critical talent represents those individuals who possess highly developed skills and deep knowledge of not just the work itself, but of how to make things happen within a company, such as the couriers within package delivery companies who have daily client contact and direct knowledge of the supply chain, or researchers and clinicians within drug companies."
Unfortunately, few organizations have talent management processes in place to address the impending workforce shifts that will negatively impact critical talent segments. In fact, only half of the organizations surveyed by Deloitte Consulting have identified a list of the critical skills they need for future growth. Even more alarming, more than a quarter of respondents say defining critical skills as a workforce tool is "unimportant."
"Employers need to focus quickly on understanding which skills will make or break their business, where those skilled individuals will come from, and how to keep these workers engaged and committed within the organization," Fucci cautions. "Only those organizations that respond swiftly and plan effectively will find themselves on top of these new challenges."
Traditional approaches to talent management frequently focus on acquisition and retention. When the talent pool tightened in the 1990s, companies responded by offering rich compensation packages and "hot skills" bonuses. The end result, however, was often disappointing -- recruiting costs soared while investments in training languished. In addition, such compensation packages were often matched by competitors, contributing to high attrition rates of talented personnel.
Despite the changing landscape, organizations still plan to increase their investment in traditional talent solutions for 2005. Approximately 60 percent of survey respondents plan to increase experienced employee recruitment, while 42 percent plan to increase campus recruitment. Additional investment will also be given to rewards packages for experienced employees (39 percent) and new recruits (30 percent).
"Acquisition and retention strategies remain important parts of talent management. Such strategies, however, attend to the "end-points" of the process and only offer a quick fix to these new workforce challenges," says William Chafetz, national practice leader of Deloitte Consulting's Organization and People Performance Services. "To survive the changing labor landscape, organizations must employ more comprehensive talent management strategies that reflect an understanding of critical workforce segments and satisfy the conditions those employees need to succeed."
According to Deloitte Research, talent-savvy organizations build strategies around what matters most to their critical talent -- their personal growth or development, their need to be deployed in positions and assignments that engage their interests and curiosities, and their connection to others in ways that drive performance for the company as a whole.
Many of the companies Deloitte Consulting surveyed seem to understand the importance of development and training their employees, with nearly three- quarters (70 percent) of respondents planning to increase investments for mentoring and coaching in 2005, e-learning (64 percent) and classroom training (49 percent). "It is a great sign that most organizations are committed to strengthening the skills and knowledge of their workforce, but they need to do more," states Chafetz. "No single part of the talent management process can sustain an organization or generate superior business performance on its own - organizations must adapt a new way of thinking and use critical talent as a competitive advantage and a long-term investment."
And this is a bad thing how?
Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effect Gen-Reagan/Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.
Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.
Outsource the Executives !!!!
If the job pool from which The Apprentice picks the "top" contenders is any indication, corporate is in big trouble.
I just saw the pics on the new "Bugs" and it sure shows that the Talent Pool for cartoonists is really waning!@
LOL! There isn't a senior executive at a public company anywhere in America who cares in the least about this "perfect storm". They feel that talent can always be bought on the open market when needed...and they are probably right, as long national borders are no barrier. Deloitte might as well be warning about an impending toilet paper shortage for all the traction this report is going to get in corporate America. ;)
What all these idiots fail to account for the the very large labor pool in the 40+ year old age group who are unemployed or underemployed. Generally speaking, this age group is savvy, seasoned, with good skills learned in school and in 20 years of being in the workforce, yet they are cast aside or not called back for the second interview because of their grey hair.
When I hear that most of my engineer, programmer and PhD friends can easily find jobs at a salary level that supports a family, then I'll say these companies have a problem.
Until then, they're just another whining set of clueless bozos who are not looking at the entire talent pool in this country. They're only looking at the 20-30 yo set, and only plan to pay a salary that not even many single people can use to survive.
for rank and file white collar staffers - US corporations aren't worried in the least, they are offshoring and laying off these workers in droves now, there is no chance of a "shortage" when you have a global labor pool available. The current frenzy of M&A activity will knock off hundreds of thousands more white collar workers.
Hey employers! Here's one big talent who knows what's going on.
cinives deserves a raise!
Dear "HR executives",
That's why there are such things as resumes and interviews. I'm sure you are perfect employees. So stop whining and do your jobs.
The whole point of this article is to argue for more H1-B visas, and more offshoring, not for hiring more American workers.
Our requirements for poeple with hard science educations, particularly those with advanced degrees, already puts the U.S. on the ropes. Many highly educated Chinese and Indian green cards are already heading home.
The public educational disaster, largely caused by the self serving teachers unions, have really harmed this country. Yes, we will have lots of folks with Phds in such things as African studies but forget mathematics, chemistry or physics.
I don't know what the answer is.
Many private schools and some good public grade schools with excellent teachers skilled in their art aren't going to fill the gap.
"The whole point of this article is to argue for more H1-B visas, and more offshoring, not for hiring more American workers."
Bingo! And Deloitte uses those visas as much as anyone!
That is EXACTLY what I picked up out of that article. Conservatives think so much alike, it's funny sometimes...
100 percent correct, wonder how some others failed to notice that. And FYI,
Deloitte Consulting Offshore Technology Group (DC-OTG) announced plans to double its staff strength in India this year from the current 1,000 employees, and also repeat the process next year. This announcement was made at the recently organised IMPACT Day celebrationsDCs global corporate citizenship initiative. A joint venture of Deloitte Consulting (DC), one of the worlds largest privately-held management consulting firm, and the software major Mastek, DC-OTG targets Fortune 500 companies worldwide across seven key verticals.
Talking about future plans, DC-OTGs CEO Raj Joshi said, At Deloitte Consulting, we see the India-based offshore model as an immense opportunity that delivers great value to our clients and based on this demand we target to double our staff numbers from the current 1,000 staff this year and also in the following year.
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