- Businesses in Kansas City, Missouri are learning how to navigate the war for top talent in a tight labor market. More than 450 talent acquisition and HR leaders at companies including Cerner, Garmin, Hallmark, Sprint, H&R Block, Geico and KPMG participated in TeamKC’s third annual Training Camp Feb. 28.
- The initiative, spearheaded by the Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC), was formed to create custom resources to elevate the region’s efforts to attract, retain and develop top talent. The training camp provided instruction on the latest recruitment, engagement and inclusion strategies including the rise of artificial intelligence and innovative sourcing and pipelining. Keynote speaker, Risha Grant, an award-winning diversity consultant, provided an interactive presentation and a training session on how to best leverage diversity and inclusion tools to increase the bottom line.
- TeamKC currently serves a network of more than 1,000 talent acquisition leaders and 300 Kansas City area employers. The program "is a powerful competitive advantage for the KC region in attracting talented people and companies who need to hire them," Tim Cowden, KCADC president, said in a statement.
As a digital economy continues into the next decade, there is a high demand for employees who can leverage new technologies. Cities and states across the country are competing for top tech talent to help boost revenue, say experts.
A December 2018 study by The Brookings Institute on tech job creation found that tech companies have spread into Midwestern cities including Kansas City, Madison, Wisconsin, and St. Louis, Missouri. The cities have seen growth of more than 4% a year, according to the study. However, the creation of tech companies in the Heartland still can’t compete with Silicon Valley.
"The same top 10 metros captured almost half (49.1%) of the new tech jobs created from 2015 to 2017, with eight of these metros—including San Francisco, Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles, and Austin—all increasing their share of the nation’s tech work,” the study stated.
Due to technology adoption and a looming talent shortage, exec-level decision makers said they will face a skills gap within the next two years; and 59% said they will face a labor shortage within the same time frame, according to a 2019 Ceridian report. For that reason, there is a focus on upskilling workers. In Ohio, for example, employers are partnering with education and training providers. The state will reimburse employers that pay for employees to earn industry-recognized, technology-focused credentials.
In January 2020, the National Skills Coalition (NSC) selected coalitions from 10 states to join SkillSPAN, the Skills State Policy Advocacy Network, bringing the group total to 20 states. SkillSPAN is "poised to promote policies that support all workers’ career aspirations, boost local businesses, and help states build strong, inclusive economies," NSC said in a statement. A study discussed during an NSC panel discussion Feb. 5, 2020 in Washington, D.C. found that millions of workers in the U.S. have very limited or no digital skills.
HR professionals will need to focus on developing employee skills to help their organizations, according to a December 2019 Gartner study. HR leaders will also need to demonstrate the value of upskilling to managers and connect employees to learning opportunities, Gartner advised.