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World - Talent mobility strategy to combat skills gap

14 November 2011

One in four employers worldwide seeks solutions to skills shortages by looking to foreign talent in particular job categories. Engineers and workers in skilled manual trades are in high demand and these roles are most often filled by foreign talent, according to an insight paper entitled 'Borderless Solutions' published by ManpowerGroup, the world's third-largest staffing firm.

China, India, the United States and United Kingdom are the countries employers most associate with talent supply. But a shift in demographics and economics has altered the line-up of largest talent pools by region. Compared to the United Kingdom, Poland offers three times the number of job candidates.

Employers worldwide continue to encounter obstacles in recruiting abroad, typically with understanding visa and legal requirements and/or overcoming language barriers.

One in three employers is concerned about the impact of talent leaving their home market. These employers feel that businesses and governments should stem outward migration and build up workers in key categories back home.

Today, expatriates still play a key role at the management level. Employers in the Americas are most likely to have expat leaders.

The world's borderless workforce, the migration of talent across and within national boundaries, is growing rapidly in size. Employers who take a sophisticated approach to managing their talent supply and demand challenges by including a talent mobility strategy in their overall plan to combat skills shortages will position themselves to win the escalating war for talents.

Employers today must collaborate with governments and educators to create more dynamic sourcing opportunities, at least regionally. More work opportunities are surfacing across more global markets, but labour laws and educational opportunities have traditionally been local, retaining workers with the same skills in their own countries or regions. In effect, employers target 'talent corridors' when seeking specific skill sets.

Jeff Joerres, ManpowerGroup, Chairman and CEO, commented "identifying and recruiting talent across and within borders requires extremely intricate strategies that enable an employer to execute a business plan, while driving and sustaining a region's overall economic growth."

Darryl Green, ManpowerGroup President, Asia Pacific and Middle East, said "there are costs and gains of moving across and within borders and it takes collective thinking, resources and expert strategists for an employer to map a smart and sustainable workforce strategy that factors every single cost and gain. Wage inflation cannot be an employer's only driver in deciding where to base an operation or whom to hire."

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