Talent shortage emerging as a top risk for organizations
- The talent shortage jumped from third to first place as the emerging risk for organizations worldwide going into 2019, according to 137 senior executives in Gartner, Inc.'s latest Emerging Risks Survey. Gartner found that the talent shortage surged past "accelerating privacy regulation" and "cloud computing" — the top two risks in the Q418 — to become the highest risk in Q418. The survey showed that organizations can't find enough specialists in privacy regulation, cloud computing and other high-risk areas, making the talent shortage their highest risk.
- Most of the survey respondents (63%) said that a talent shortage, or talent risk, was their organization's major concern. The industries in which the talent shortage was described as one of the top five risks included retail and hospitality, consumer services, industrial and manufacturing, financial services, and the government and nonprofit sectors. "Organizations face this talent crunch at a time when they are already challenged by risks that are exacerbated by a lack of appropriate expertise," said Matt Shinkman, Gartner's managing VP and risk practice leader. "Previous hiring strategies for coping with talent disruptions are insufficient in this environment, and risk managers have a key role to play in collaborating with HR in developing new approaches."
- Gartner recommends that HR and risk managers team up to define which areas in their organizations face key talent risks; employers hire a data protection officer to handle digitalization-related risks; and organizations create sound talent analysis and data-collection techniques and identify real-time risks.
It's nearly unanimous in study after study: the talent shortage is the top concern for employers across the globe going into 2019. A new XpertHR survey cited finding high-quality talent as the top challenge for HR professionals in 2019. And a recent Conference Board report identified CEO's biggest worries in 2019 as the talent shortage, along with a possible recession. Hiring right has always been challenging, but the tight labor market, with low unemployment, and the demand for more specialized skills, such as privacy regulation, have made the search for the appropriate candidates an even greater task.
Mitigating the talent shortage might require organizations to shift their focus from solely recruiting to training, upskilling or reskilling workers. This tactic could require hiring candidates who might not have all the desired skills and qualifications, but who could perform the job well with appropriate training. Partnerships between business and academia have formed for that purpose.
The time needed to train or upskill new hires won't likely meet the needs of employers who are looking for talent that can come onboard and "hit the ground running." These employers will need to expand their search for specialized talent beyond traditional talent pools, such as tapping into professional organizations for potential candidates, recruiting from faraway regions or hiring highly skilled gig workers. With money being the top motivator in looking for and accepting job offers, employers might need to review their compensation practices to make sure their wages are competitive enough to appeal to top talent. Employers also might need to offer benefits that are in high-demand among employees and job seekers, such as flexible work schedules, remote work options and paid family leave.