Executives worldwide are faced with a relatively new impediment to growing their earnings and stature. It would be easy to assume that this impediment is the growth rate of the world economy, still staggering from domino effects of the U.S. real estate crash of 2008. However, the obstacle that analysts and managers worldwide are viewing as an increasingly menacing threat is the gap between the required business skill level and aptitude for new workers and what they actually possess. Called the Talent Gap, the trend could significantly limit innovation and progression at a time when companies need them both.
Companies need to be confident about their human resources in order to make strategic investments to tackle new and uncontested markets. Achieving a strong confidence level only occurs when companies consistently attract and retain competent workers with the ability to adapt and problem solve to benefit customers and civic institutions. In other words, a company’s ability to grow its business is tied to its recruiting effectiveness.
Competition for this kind of knowledgeable worker is as fierce as it has ever been and the primary reason for this is that there is now a considerable gap between the baseline skills corporations need and those possessed by entrants into the workforce. Baseline skills take an employee beyond collecting and recalling information; they lead to analysis of the data for decision making.
This means that an employee can learn and assimilate new information in a context that benefits a customer. While the problem manifests itself in different career categories across different nations, the core issue is one facing corporations worldwide.
The solutions being offered by corporate executives, economists and educators are broad and long-term. However, they do not answer an individual company’s questions about how they can attract the maximum quantity of impact talent now. How can a company reach students whose mix of skills and experience will provide them with the kind of long-term employee return on investment that has a positive correlation to company ROI?
Companies need to take a proactive approach and find talent to match their corporate temperament and goals. Any campus branding and/or communication to students should utilize authentic talent stories to paint an accurate picture of who they are. Authentic talent stories give the individuals that achieve success the opportunity to tell their story in their voice, which produces in a prospective employee’s mind a clear vision of what kind of person can succeed there. It effectively communicates what makes that employer unique.
Effective employer branding will ultimately help companies recruit the kind of students who are more likely to like where they work, stay longer and invest themselves into a corporate long-term missions and vision. Using communication measurements such as the Universum Student Survey and the Universum Ideal Employer’s Ranking, companies can take the subjective element of their brand and give it objective meaning to talented students looking for the right fit.
In order for companies to shift into a more proactive and subjective 360-degree brand approach to attracting and retaining the right talent, the effectiveness of the approach must be measured by objective recruitment key performance indicators. These indicators include employee longevity and the potential return on the investment made to recruit, train and retain them. This will help decision makers adjust strategies and resources according to the company’s need.
Corporations cannot wait for policymakers to address long standing global talent gap issues. They must develop their own strategies to find the kind of talent that can thrive inside their unique environment.
About the author
David is Univerum’s Global Vice President of Product and Head of Digital for the Americas