Got Talent?

Competing for workers in the global marketplace

by Aaron Lazenby

Aaron Lazenby

Just after Oracle acquired cloud-based talent management company Taleo in 2012, I had a long chat with the company’s former vice president of research, David Wilkins. I was expecting an overview of the talent management software market—but I instead got an eye-opening barrage of statistics about the challenging environment managers face competing for workers in the global marketplace.

With the right talent management strategies many organizations can be inoculated against the skills malaise.

  • By 2018, the United States will need 22 million new college-educated workers and will likely see a deficit of 3 million workers with post-secondary degrees. (Source: Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce)
  • Before the end of the decade, China will see (at best) a shortfall of 70,000 executives capable of leading global expansion. (Source: “A Leadership Drought,” Human Resource Executive Online)
  • It takes up to 10 years to train personnel in complex skills. Without workforce planning strategies, by 2020 many managers will not be able to fill critical professional, technical, and managerial positions. (Source: Global Talent Risk—Seven Responses, World Economic Forum)
  • 70 percent of German companies report challenges finding the “right people.” (Source: The Global Talent Index Report: The Outlook to 2015, the Economist Intelligence Unit) 

There are more, equally harrowing numbers about the rising cost of training, unfavorable demographics, education shortfalls, and immigration barriers.

Despite these findings, managers are certainly not helpless against the headwinds in the global talent market. With the right talent management strategies, corporate culture, IT tools, and (of course) people, many organizations can be inoculated against the skills malaise. But it will require long-term vision and early action.

This issue of Profit looks at some of the forces at work in the market and some of the smart, creative efforts Oracle customers are making to address talent issues in their organizations. I hope these stories prove useful as we face the coming skills gap together.

Aaron Lazenby
Editor in Chief, Profit

    E-mail this page E-mail this page    Printer View Printer View