This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

August 29, 2012

The New Geography of Talent

Major market shifts are changing global business. In addition, economic realignment, advances in technology, the globalization of markets, changing demographic trends, new customer needs and increased competition are fundamentally reworking how companies operate in virtually every industry and region of the world. Proof of this new world order is in the trade numbers---the total of the world's exports and imports account for more than twice what they did 20 years ago.

These structural shifts have reshaped both the supply and the demand for talent across the globe. To cope with this changing business environment, employers now demand new skills* from their employees. In spite of having 40 million workers in the industrialized world are unemployed (International Labour Organization), executives and managers looking for new workers often say they are unable to find candidates with the right skills to fill their open positions.

The recruiting sources are also realigning. More employers in the developing world have been growing their own talent, instead of importing it or sending their young people away to study. As a result, the new Towers Watson (Global Talent 2021) forecast shows that over the next decade, new regions of the world will generate a welcome surplus of talent. By contrast, other regions---like the US and much of Europe---will address the critical need to "reskill" their labor forces to meet the new demands of our highly digitized and interconnected world.

"The demand for workers is already more pronounced in emerging markets, thanks to continued brisk growth in most of these economies. The most dramatic jump in demand . . . will be in emerging Asia, where the need for new employees will rise 22 percent. Other emerging markets that will see above average growth in demand are Latin America (13 percent), Middle East/Africa (13 percent) and Eastern Europe (10 percent)."

To make their organizations more effective, HR leaders will need to rethink their techniques for leading talent and ensure alignment with their organization’s new strategic objectives. In most organizations, HR is still stuck in mire of being transactional and reactive. For larger organizations, HR being much more analytic and data-driven will provide the foundation for HR to be a strategic partner to the business, to help drive business results.

* Next week’s Herman Trend Alert will focus on these highly valued "new skills".

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