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Talent Gap

Talent Gap

Darby Giannone, Ph.D.

“There is a gap between a skilled workforce and the jobs that need them, but the way to fill that gap seems to rarely come up in a conversation…The training programs and the employers should be working together to create the workforce that’s needed…” Anna Snyder, Business and Community Liaison, Springdale Job Corps Center

What is the current status of skilled resources within organizations? What are the primary drivers for the changing business landscape?

Two basic dynamics have resulted in dramatic changes in the succession of the workforce over the last ten years: Mature employees staying in the workforce longer due to economic circumstances has delayed the rise of employees into management. Younger workers, due to downsizing and job stagnation, move from company to company to acquire new skill sets rather than working up to higher skilled jobs. This employment pattern has created a gap in valuable institutional knowledge – knowledge that leaves with retirees before it is conveyed to the next generation of workers. As industry knowledge and client-centric skills become more critical to success, businesses must rethink the backgrounds and profiles of future leaders as well as the core skill sets and professional profiles of the organization.

Primary Drivers of the changing business landscape:

  1. New Technology and Automation

    Automation and straight-through processing have enabled increased specialization and more efficient division of labor while allowing customers to communicate and interact at a more granular level. Thus technology is shifting the role of professionals away from administration or work flow –related tasks and increasingly toward higher level problem solving, data-driven decision making, and management of customer expectations. The result is a requirement for up-graded talent for entry level positions.

    Rather than removing the human element, technology has allowed skilled resources to now concentrate on higher value tasks. Decision making is now based on more granular and predictive data, placing a premium on analytical skills. As evolving technology platforms integrate and transform business processes, leaders and analysts must also change their views to reflect the new reality of a broader, cross-functional view.

  2. More sophisticated customers

    The demands of customers have shifted. Increased expectations and shifting behavioral patterns have transformed the customer experience into an interactive relationship. Consumers research businesses and products, have access to more information than ever and receive information in multiple ways. Expectations for communication and transparent information sharing are high placing a premium on businesses ability to understand consumer preferences and communicate effectively and persuasively. Consumer-centricity requires professional with the appropriate skills and behaviors to meet the evolving customer expectations.

  3. Changing workforce style and expectations

    Younger workers are attracted by the opportunity to use advanced technology and to shape meaningful outcomes through client-facing interactions. They have vastly different work styles and career expectations than the previous generation. Training and mentoring that challenges while providing feedback as part of a team dynamic is important part of working on multiple and meaningful tasks. Career paths must include work-life balance and consideration of social and environmental issues.

    One company’s solution: These young people are graduates who choose to do this job. The [workers] who have been here for years teach these young people, who in turn learn quickly because they have chosen to learn. As a result, the atmosphere in the workshop is now very alive. This dialogue between generations has created a new energy for us. To make couture something that is not exclusively linked to the past, we are opening a couture school that will give a new opportunity to young [people] who will want to do this job. We are convinced that there is a new generation attracted to this profession.  Pierpaola Piccioli, House of Valentino

    References:

    Renee Loheed, Express Employment Professionals

    Anthony Tempesta and Mary Kay Vona, PH.D., Financial Services, Ernst & Young

    Brad Eriksen, Attorney, Jordan Ramis PC Business Law


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