Global Talent Shortage to Cripple Industries, Tech Companies if Unaddressed

Forget artificial intelligence (for now), automation, and the increasing cost of globalized employment. What is bothering the CEOs and leaders of many companies today is the looming global talent shortage that, if left unaddressed, can end up crippling industries across the world. Ironically, it is the most developed nations — and not the emerging ones — that stand to suffer the most.

According to the Korn Ferry 2018 report, the U.S, Australia, France, Germany, and Japan can lose a total of $1.876 trillion in opportunity cost by the year 2020. The U.S. itself remains very vulnerable to the shocks that the gap will create — in about 12 years’ time, a deficit equivalent to six percent of its national economy or $1.748 trillion.

The Korn Ferry report is sounding the alarm. If many of the thousands of jobs are left unfilled, numerous economies from various nations in particular, and the global economy in general, will lose trillions of dollars in revenues.

Technological advancement, where the U.S. is leading as seen in tech hubs spread in Northern California, for example, can slow down. The manufacturing, financial, and business services industries are the ones currently wrestling with the consequences of the shortage.

Another global survey, this time from The Manpower Group, points out the high stakes: About 45 percent of the employers they surveyed admit that they find it extremely difficult to find the skilled workers they need.

As a result, a lot of jobs are left open. The number is five percent higher compared to the 40 percent in 2017, and there are no signs of the trend abating. Actually, the statistics of the global talent shortage have reached a disturbing all-time high in 12 years.

The Manpower Survey also enumerates the top 10 most in-demand international jobs that are having a tough time getting filled. Global mobility managers and HR recruiters alike should stock up their manpower pipeline this early with qualified professionals who can perform these roles, ranked below from highest to lowest:

  1. Skilled trades – electricians, mechanics, welders
  2. Sales representatives – for B2B, B2C, contact centers
  3. Engineers – chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical
  4. Technicians – control staff, quality control
  5. Drivers – construction, delivery, mass transit, trucks
  6. IT – administrators, cyber security experts, network, technical support
  7. Accounting and Finance – accountants, auditors
  8. Professionals in different fields – lawyers, project managers, researchers
  9. Office support – administrative assistants, personal assistants, researchers
  10. Manufacturing – production and machine operators

In their recruitment efforts of assignees, global mobility managers will be challenged if they are to source them from the following countries that have the most acute problems in talent shortage.

Aside from the aforementioned countries mentioned by Korn Ferry, the Manpower Survey reveals that China, Norway, and the U.K. are experiencing very high levels of talent shortage.

The problem and the threat it poses to the financial robustness of an organization has reached the boardrooms of the company CEO’s.

According to Relocate Magazine, many of them want to become involved in global talent acquisition because they believe that the hiring of qualified talent can determine their company’s future success or failure.

While global mobility managers might experience a knee-jerk defensive reaction to their CEO’s perceived interference, this move can only be a welcome one. It is about time that the executive management and their global mobility managers and HR recruiters work hand-in-hand to confront the talent shortage and respond to it.

There are no easy answers, but working with the data is a good start. Take note of the skills that are becoming scarce, start building your pipeline of qualified candidates as soon as possible, and stay away from talent-threatened places where competing for hard-to-find quality assignees can become a tough contest.