Talent management and the looming workforce crisis

The elephant in the room

There’s an elephant in the room. But don’t worry. The experts say it’s not going to get temperamental for 10 years or so. That’s my three sentence summary of “The Global Workforce Crisis: $10 Trillion at Risk”.

The report was just released by Boston Consulting Group (you can read the full report here). It’s full of interesting predictions for the state of the global workforce over the next 15 years. If you’re in workforce planning for a large multinational, it’s a resource to bookmark. You’ll get great value out of the workforce benchmarks for all major developed economies (hidden away in the appendix).

But let’s get back to that elephant. The picture for Australia isn’t pretty. We just don’t have enough workers. By 2030, this modelling puts the labour shortage at nearly 20% of the entire workforce! Only Germany, South Korea and Brazil are set to experience greater shortages.

Whether you believe these exact numbers or not, it’s hard to argue that we’re not facing a very real talent crunch. Our economy continues to grow faster than our population. We’re leveraged to any uptick in growth in the global economy. And we just don’t produce enough graduates across the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths professions. In the medium term, there’s a crunch coming. And it’s going to be very disruptive.

What to do?

Use this research to get in front of the C-level ASAP. It’s a fantastic opportunity to make the case for why best practice talent management is so important.

Here’s my recommendation. Print off this BCG report and find a large highlighter. Emphasise the following :

  • “If [Australia] continues on this trajectory and maintains its GDP growth of above 3.0 percent, Australia will likely experience a severe labor shortage by 2030.”
  • Then flip to the back and highlight the extent of the expected shortage in 2030.

You can see I’ve got things started for you!

Highlighting recommendations

It’s easy to connect the dots to what these numbers mean for the C-level. In this kind of environment:

  • It’s so hard to hire experienced talent, that there’s no choice but to grow great people.
  • Recruiters are calling every single week, so a lack of development quickly turns into to an exit interview.
  • Time to fill for specialised roles is astronomical, so poor retention translates to a significant P&L hit.

This is why great talent management can be such a competitive advantage for your company. In an economy that’s suffering from talent shortages equivalent to 20% of the workforce, the only companies that will thrive are those with best practice talent management.

In an economy this short on talent, best practice talent management isn’t a nice to have. It’s a requirement for being in business. Start getting your C-level to recognise this now. Because as we all know, it’s not quick or easy to build these competencies through the organisation. And by the time there’s a real crisis it’s going to be too late.

Are you concerned about the upcoming talent shortage in Australia? Jump into the comments with your thoughts and let’s start the conversation.

Photo Credit: Mike Scott (CC BY-SA 2.0)