blue globe, white backgroundThe world is set to see some dramatic changes in the geography, distribution and demand and supply of talent. For example, according to research by Oxford Economics in their new paper Global Talent 2021: How The New Geography Will Transform Human Resource Strategy, they chart some quite dramatic shifts in the demand and supply of talent. For example:

  • 9 out of 10 of the developed territories, including North America, Canada, most of Europe, Russia, Japan, and Australia, will be facing severe talent deficits by 2021.
  • Yet many of the emerging nations, such as India, Indonesia, Colombia, South Africa, Brazil, and Morocco will be facing large talent surpluses.

In the coming years, employers, HR and resourcing professionals will face a topsy turvy world where there is a huge mismatch in talent; that is, there will be talent deficits in territories where it is most needed and talent surpluses in areas with less demand.

Therefore, one of the key challenges of global resourcing strategists of the future (of the near future) will be to effectively manage the skills shortages in the developed economies and to be able to mine the emerging economies for appropriate talent. The Oxford Economics Analysts predict shortages in many technical and managerial fields in developed countries, forcing firms to look at outsourcing/off-shoring knowledge work to unprecedented levels or training workers and/or engaging more closely with governments and educational establishments to develop trained workers in domestic or international markets.

New HR Mindset

The need for business transformation in this changing landscape of talent will combine to create a situation which demands a new and fresh HR approach and mindset, characterized by three different qualities.

1. Able to use more sophisticated analytical tools to make macro global decisions.

The Oxford Economics research shows that over the next three years, organizations will make more use of data from globally integrated HR information systems (HRIS), that is usage will rise from about 39 percent of firms to 47 percent. This means that in order to add value to their businesses in this new world, HR professionals will be increasingly expected to use logic-driven-analytics to make enhanced decisions about the supply and demand of talent.

This means HR leaders and resourcing strategists will need to be much more analytical in their approach to decision making.

2. Can optimize talent by deciding where to invest and where to cut back

The research shows that while 55 percent of companies today measure the ROI of talent management initiatives, this number will have increased to 63 percent in three years times. It follows that HR professionals will need to adopt an increasingly adaptive approach to talent management, which means they need to be able to use data to assess which talent management initiatives are most effective and invest more in these areas and understand which initiatives are not working and be able to cut back here.

3. Can move to a risk-averse mindset to a risk-aware mindset

This may be one of the biggest challenges for HR in what has traditionally been a conservative profession. The future business world is set to become increasingly volatile and uncertain, which means HR managers will need to move away from risk avoidance – or they will be frozen in a state of inaction – and move to a state of risk awareness and risk leverage.

HR leaders will need to be able to build risk awareness into their mindset and this will not only help them to understand what the HR risks are, but it should help them to understand what risks to take and not to take in the areas of talent sourcing and talent management. HR leaders will no longer be rewarded for avoiding risk but will be expected to be able to manage and leverage risk.

The global changes in the geography of talent are creating an ever more complex and unpredictable macro talent management environment; which will require future HR leaders to develop skill in economics, global talent dynamics/trends, intelligent deployment of talent management initiatives and the ability to both accept, operate and take decisions in a climate of risk. It seems like interesting times lay ahead for the future of HR and resourcing strategists and implementers.

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