Corporate Leaders Fear Talent Shortage

In an increasingly service- and skill-driven economy, talent acquisition, development, and retention are immensely important for companies that want to stay competitive in the long run.


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And whether the risk of talent shortage or just the awareness of that risk has grown, a recent Gartner survey shows that the global talent shortage is now the top emerging risk facing organizations. It came in third in Gartner’s previous Emerging Risks Survey.

Talent Shortages Top the List

The survey polled 137 senior executives in the fourth quarter of 2018. The results found that concerns over “talent shortages” are now greater than concerns around “accelerating privacy regulation” and “cloud computing,” which made up the top two risks in the previous survey from the third quarter of 2018.
“Sixty-three percent of respondents indicated that a talent shortage was a key concern for their organization,” says Gartner. “The financial services, industrial and manufacturing, consumer services, government and nonprofit, and retail and hospitality sectors showed particularly high levels of concern in this area, with more than two-thirds of respondents in each industry signaling this as one of their top five risks.”
Faced with such shortages, there are a handful of potential options that companies may have for addressing the issue.

Position the Company as a More Attractive Destination for Existing Top Talent

Whether it’s from offering competitive salaries or stellar benefits, one obvious solution to the talent shortage is for companies to do what they can to make sure they get a sufficient share of the talent that already exists—and that they keep that talent. Ensuring benefits meet employee needs can help,

Develop High-Potential Individuals

There’s widespread recognition today that employees increasingly value the opportunity for development. Another option employers have, then, is to provide those development opportunities—both for employees with high potential and for those who currently lack the polished skills they could have.
This could be done in a number of ways—from selecting employees to participate in apprenticeship programs to internal talent development paths.

Using Existing Talent More Efficiently

Finally, to the extent there are simply only so many talented individuals available to your organization, you must be able to utilize their skills as efficiently as possible. This means eliminating low-value-added work through efficient processes.
So much of what makes a modern company successful is the human capital driving productivity, creativity, and agility. The Gartner survey highlights how top executives from a variety of industries are becoming increasingly aware of this.