Talent Gap in the Organization

rear view of a businessman training business executives at a seminarBusiness today is getting more complex than ever. Globalization, advent of information and fast-moving mobile technology and newer business models are making managing business ever more difficult. While the trend has always been towards increasing complexity, the kind of speed with which things are changing in the business world is staggering, if not outright overwhelming. What the extent of the talent gap is and how these can be fixed is something we ponder about in this article.

Nature of the ‘talent gap’

The talent gap is not just a regional phenomenon; it encompasses all corners of the world, in every region and across every sector. There is a dearth of high-tech talent across the board, especially in the Western world where the need for this kind of talent is more. In other parts of the world, there is a dearth of talent in the infrastructure space. Others don’t have enough healthcare talent. Talent shortage is in fact a common denominator throughout the world.

A survey by the Manpower Group shows that of the 10,000+ employers surveyed across the world, including the Middle East, 34% find it difficult to fill jobs with the right kind of talent. Skilled trade positions seem to be the most difficult position to fill in the Middle East, in contrast to sales talent in Asia and engineering talent in the Americas.

Even staggering numbers are reflected in a study by Deloitte, which states that 71% of industry representatives feel that retaining critical talent is their most important worry. Apart from a shortage in skill sets, the talent gap manifests in high attrition rates, which can undermine business growth.

So many jobless, yet so many jobs to fill

What is even more disturbing is the fact that there is widespread unemployment as well! How can there be a dearth of talent alongside a pool of people who wish to work but are out of jobs?  In fact, the World Economic Forum has found through research that the Middle East has one of the highest percentages of unemployed youth. Well, the gap is what we can term ‘talent gap’. Those who are out of jobs do not have the right skills to fill the need of the jobs in the industry and businesses.

How can we bridge the talent gap?

It is critically important to develop strategies within your organization to bridge the talent gap. What are these strategies? Here are some pointers which might help:

  1. Training & Development program: Several organizations have a dedicated training & development program while others do not have any program at all. And for those who have, they do not have a structured and effective approach to implement training and development. Having a well thought-out training and development program can go a long way in bridging the gap. Alternatively, engaging with reputed educational and vocational training institutes helps identify talent and build a pipeline for the future. This can ensure that the talent funnel is adequately filled.
  2. Identifying the gap through periodic assessment of work performance: Identifying the gap between your employee’s performance and the desired level of performance can help resolve the gap faster and help bridge the talent gap in the long run. Until the organization understands what the gaps are, how can they be filled?
  3. Setting the foundation of well-defined key skills: By clearly defining the duties a position requires, identifying the skill sets, and the list of abilities of each task, matching your employees or candidates to job-specific competencies for the role becomes easier to manage.

Besides this, the business community should influence policy makers to make education more relevant and in sync with industry needs. Sponsoring a few programs and advising institutions on what the curriculum should be is advisable to address the talent shortage.

Leave a Reply