The world of work is shifting, which present special challenges for firms looking to hire and develop quality team members. Fortunately, there is a way to leverage the power of standards and competency development tools to mitigate some of the uncertainty and experimental elements of bringing on new talent. By adhering to a strong standard internally, firms can reduce their chances of making poor hires and increase their odds of growing top performers.
The modern staffing climate and business environment combine to make firms feel as though hiring and developing staff will be a continual struggle. Yet there is no need to feel like a victim of forces beyond one’s control. Instead, by stepping forward with a solid plan, it is possible to trim costs and improve the talent base.
Germany is the epitome of a first-world, highly industrialized nation. Its working age population is declining and the fertility rate is below replacement level. Talent shortages, particularly for highly skilled, well-trained workers, are a persistent complaint due to high levels of competition for the limited pool of available workers.
Germany’s case is continued in other developed nations. The most extreme case is in Japan, where 90 percent of hiring managers reported difficulty finding qualified talent for open positions. With more and more skilled workers aging out of the workforce, finding replacements is a palpable challenge.
Ethiopia, on the other hand, is a nation routinely held up as a volatile and developing country. It has an extreme youth bubble typical of African nations, with a major portion of its total population not yet in the workforce and a high national fertility rate. Talent shortages are present now due to the unavailability of a deep pool of well-qualified workers, and the education-business disconnect is likely to hit the millions who are coming from under the youth bubble into the workforce.
Second in a series on Team Building.
Modern staffing challenges cross industries and international borders. More than 34 percent of nearly 40,000 companies in a 39 nation survey of hiring practices reported being unable to fill positions due to a lack of quality talent, according to ManpowerGroup International’s 2011 Talent Shortage Survey. The reasons given for the talent gap included a lack of hard or technical knowledge, a lack of experience, and a lack of proper qualification or certification to do the desired work.
Instead of tangible goods, many firms are now in the business of intelligence and services. What drives the bottom line is no longer manual labor – it’s mental power that is the engine of growth. Firms depend on analysis, innovation, and creativity to move the bar, and this requires a dramatically different talent force than what was required in previous generations.
Pure genius, however, is not necessarily the answer. Firms have to hire intelligent, adaptable workers who can not only keep current with a changing economic climate but also work well with each other in the realities of the present. Soft skills such as communication and sales are in high demand, as are advanced technical competencies and analytical abilities. Without sufficiently adept workers to fill these gaps, businesses struggle to thrive and expand in the knowledge economy.
 Harnish, Tom. “Be Flexible To Modern Staffing Challenges.” Open Forum March 25th, 2011. Retrieved August 4th, 2011 from: http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/managing/article/be-flexible-to-modern-staffing-challenges-1