More and more companies and all kinds of organisations are being impacted by the lack of skilled professionals in the labour market. It is a multicausal phenomenon affecting all sectors and regions. Nevertheless, there are tools and methods that may help them successfully face the problem, and yet the way out shall be a joint initiative of all the sectors involved.

Talent shortage is a reality in all markets and companies at a global level. As companies’ need for skilled staff keeps growing, hiring well-trained professionals gets increasingly slower and more difficult.

Similarly, employee turnover due to the large current market demand is higher than ever, which makes the employment perspective for companies even more complex.

The situation in the Americas

In the most recent global survey on talent shortage carried out by Manpower Group with more than 40,000 people in 40 countries, 75% of employers report difficulties to cover vacancies, a 6-point growth in relation to the 2021 survey.

The breakdown of Manpower’s report data also shows that the countries in the Americas presenting the greatest problems to hire talent are Brazil (81%), Canada (77%), Guatemala (77%), the USA (74%) and Argentina (73%).

In the case of the United States, for example, there are nearly 11 million vacant jobs, while unemployed people all over the country are barely more than 6 million, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A complex and uncertain scenario

These difficulties have multiple causes and have been occurring for several years now. The drop in birth rates, demographic changes, the rise in the number of early retirements, millennials’ and centennials’ new motivations, and mainly the growing digitalisation of organisations boosted by the pandemic, have left many employers unable to find profiles that combine technical knowledge with soft skills.

Human Resources experts assure the global talent shortage phenomenon might worsen as years go by.

According to The Global Talent Crunch study, prepared by Korn Ferry consulting firm, the demand for qualified workers will largely exceed the offer by 2030, creating a deficit of more than 85 million workers.

IT, the most affected sector

This new work reality marked by talent shortage can be seen in all industries, but, undoubtedly, it is in the technology sector where the greatest impact has been felt.

In the last two years, the digital acceleration of companies and the proliferation of remote work provoked a significant increase in the demand for IT professionals of all specialties that the market has not been able to catch up with yet.

In Latin America, for example, nearly half of the existing vacant IT jobs —around 48%— cannot be covered due to the lack of professionals, as can be read in the last IT Talent report by PageGroup international consulting firm.

Talent retention and the use of technology: keys for success

In face of this gloomy scenario, what tools do companies have to cope with this talent shortage challenge?

One way is strengthening the currently available human resources. In view of the problems the market is imposing to hire new employees, companies must accept this shift in the work paradigm, and invest in training and developing their teams.

According to labour market projections, employees need to take refresher training every 3 or 4 years. Talent retention is a huge challenge for organisations, as it requires time, resources, and creativity, not only to support their development and training, but also to align their desires with the companies’ goals.

Technology is another basic tool companies can resort to in order to fight talent shortage as it enables more efficient management of their human resources. At present, the market offers premium solutions such as SAP SuccessFactors, a cloud-based solution that allows companies to manage their workforce more smartly, or the ones offered by Seidor, a member of United VARs, by means of a varied portfolio of solutions for human resources management.

The option of remote work

A different way for companies to deal with talent shortageis hiring remotely, which allows them to access highly trained professionals.

This tendency is increasing: in the global survey “Current trends in remote working,” carried out this year by KPMG with more than 530 enterprises in 46 countries, 89% of surveyed organizations claimed they have already introduced remote work policies or they are considering it.

A crucial challenge for companies

Global talent shortage, aggravated by the pandemic in the last two years, is a problem that shall be addressed jointly by governments and organisations, in order to bridge the existing gap, orienting learning and training towards the demands imposed by the labour market.

At the same time, it is a huge challenge for enterprises. Those that are better prepared and are able to develop smarter strategies to onboard new talent and retain their own will lead the way.

Nonetheless, many companies are including within their development policies and their Human Resources departments teams especially dedicated to making up networks and enabling spaces for discussion and analysis with government agencies, worker unions, educational institutions and even their own competitors to elaborate joint strategies that might help to address the issue with a holistic and multidisciplinary vision. The road ahead must be based upon the mutual collaboration of all key stakeholders. It is time to become aware of the fact that talent shortage is not just a problem of a few: there are no individual solutions to a global problem.


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