Today I read with great interest a blog by Dr. John Sullivan, a well-respected talent industry expert. His post stipulates that the “War for Talent” is sure to return, and at Advanced Resources, we couldn’t agree more.
The initial War for Talent occurred in the late 1990’s and continued until the 2001 recession hit. “War for Talent” is a phrase that evolved from a ground-breaking study performed by McKinsey & Company. The study was chronicled by three McKinsey consultants who wrote the best-seller, The War for Talent. The book spoke at length about the projected shortage of skilled talent, the causes, the implications, and the strategies that employers needed to deploy to win.
Then, the dot-com burst happened. And the economy cooled. And it heated up again. And then it REALLY cooled with record unemployment numbers and a housing crisis. Even though our economy is making a sometimes painfully slow recovery, we agree with Dr. Sullivan about the eventuality of the next “war for talent” and what it will take to win.
As Dr. Sullivan states, the war is already at full intensity in Silicon Valley (and other hi-growth areas of the world), where companies have to compete ruthlessly to attract the talent they need to succeed. The intensity is sure to spread to all industries and all geographies, and Dr. Sullivan predicts the shift will happen more quickly because business is now far more global and far more digitally connected than ever before.
What does all this mean? Employers need to start thinking now about their talent management strategies. Is your recruitment sophisticated enough? How do you onboard new employees? Can you retain your best employees? How about your training? And how are you developing leaders in your organization?
Employees – you need to think about being, well, talented. Are you the best at what you do? Can you specialize your skills in any way? Learn a new language to make you more marketable? Can you develop technology skills that employers might need? Are you constantly learning and growing? Talented, skilled employees will be in high demand, which means opportunity for better compensation, benefits, job satisfaction, and career growth.
The current economy might have you thinking “how can there be a war for talent when so many people are still unemployed?” Remember, as Dr. Sullivan states “the war for talent is about a skills shortage, not a people shortage.” As experts with 24 years of success in helping our clients find talent, Advanced Resources has been at war before and we’re ready for war again.