Sticky Notes: Today’s Talent Wars

The talent wars are especially pronounced in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields; among the new emerging young workforce; and in more remote geographical areas.

Hiring managers report—at every level, in every industry, in every size organization—that hiring and retaining top talent is more difficult today than at any time in recent memory. There are three reasons why:

  1. Supply and demand: The rising demand for effective workers promises to outpace supply for the foreseeable future in nearly every field.
  2. Demographics: By 2020, individuals born in 1990 and later will comprise more than 28 percent of the U.S. workforce, with similar figures for Western Europe and Japan and an even higher percentage in parts of South America, Africa, and Asia, bringing with them an increasingly free-agent, transactional workforce. Concurrently, companies will be losing retirees who take with them the skill, knowledge, wisdom, institutional memory, and relationships developed over time.
  3. Shifting mindset: Today’s employees at any end of the age range are much less likely to buy into or be motivated by promises of long-term rewards.

The talent wars are especially pronounced in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields; among the new emerging young workforce; and in more remote geographical areas.

Ironically, as technology becomes more complex, it becomes easier to use (think artificial intelligence). But that doesn’t mean we can forget the continued importance of non-technical skills. Today, the toughest gap to fill is hiring humans with the non-technical skills necessary to fully maximize the potential of technology.

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