By Jim McCoy, Vice President and RPO Practice Lead, ManpowerGroup Solutions
With 39 percent of U.S. employers experiencing difficulties finding people with the right skills, the struggle to fill vacancies threatens to negatively affect business performance. This is not just a U.S. issue—globally, the number of employers that believetalent shortages will negatively affect their business has increased by nearly a third to 35 percent.
With today’s rapid demographic, technological, political, economic, and social shifts, talent shortages are widespread as compression of business cycles affects skills cycles. Employers are waking up to the fact that talent shortages limit their ability to compete, yet they are frustrated by the lack of a simple solution. Now more than ever, companies require an agile workforce whose skills can adapt to meet evolving needs, and to ensure maximum productivity in an unpredictable business environment.
By working as a strategic partner to the C-suite, and taking actions internally and externally to boost agility, HR leaders can fuel an organization’s competitiveness for years to come.
Inside: Creating a Culture of Talent Development
Investing in the development of existing talent is a cornerstone of a successful business. Enabling on-the-job training that is aligned to business needs, and ensuring commitment to coaching from all levels of the organization will create a culture that nurtures high-potential, agile talent.
Organizations can enhance innovation and creativity by encouraging cross-disciplinary working, and encouraging and rewarding internal role changes. People who thrive in such an environment are those who,collectively, create an adaptable and agile business that is able to respond to certain uncertainty. And, don’t forget, you’ll need to teach people how to teach and mentor—this doesn’t come naturally to most managers.
Outside: Driving Agility
In addition to establishing and nurturing a culture of talent development, HR leaders need to collaborate with academic institutions and training providers to ensure their organizations have a sustainable pipeline of agile talent that meets fluctuating workforce needs. HR leaders have a vested interest in ensuring curricula are properly aligned to workforce needs, and the tools and experience to recognize where systemic changes are required to evolve workforce development.
In addition looking to the outside to identify and nurture emerging talent pools, HR leaders—who are increasingly stretched—may turn to external workforce solutions providers to help identify, attract, and retain critical talent. In an environment where each single hire is carefully considered, and every individual worker counts, partnering with an expert RPO (recruitment process outsourcing) provider can take the pressure off an organization’s internal resources while putting the recruitment process in the hands of an expert who can help employers develop an agile workforce to be “dialed up” or “dialed down” to respond to current business needs. A good provider also should be able to help extend your training reach. At a minimum, it can train managers to make smarter hiring decisions to reinforce your development objectives.
Boosting agility requires HR leaders to think smart and long term; however, there are quick and simple, yet high-impact changes you can make to drive change now.
10 Steps to Boost Agility
In this ever-evolving economic and business landscape, successful organizations are characterized by their ability to adapt to the latest trends in technology, innovation, and shifting consumer demands. An adaptable business requires an agile workforce, with the soft and hard skills to reflect the changing needs of employers.
When looking to the future, the only certainty is uncertainty, and as HR leaders, it is our responsibility to develop a workforce that can not only survive in this environment, but flourish.
Jim McCoy is vice president and RPO practice lead at ManpowerGroup Solutions. For more information, visit http://www.manpowergroup.com.