Rapidly Ageing Workforce and Global Talent Crunch: How Can HR Managers Deal With Uncertainties?

February 2, 20172:08 pm
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In the last few decades, we witness noteworthy shifts in global employment and the labour market. Rapidly ageing workforce combined with increasing talent crunch poses businesses with an imminent crisis. Such unfavourable conditions have made it difficult for companies to sustain, stay and find the right talents to meet job demands in sync with industry requirements. So how can HR managers deal with this uncertainties?

Based on a report by Stanford Center, in 2020, it is estimated that 25 percent U.S labour force will be comprised of older workers aged more than 55. The ageing workforce trend does not only happen in the U.S, but is also widespread across the world.

According to World Bank report in 2016, East Asia and Pacific are ageing faster than their global counterparts, with more than 211 million people aged 65 and older. This growing worldwide phenomenon could lead to a sharp drop in the size of global workforce.

Not just the global workforce is getting old sooner than expected, talent shortage also becomes one of the main concern for HR leaders across the globe. Talent shortage survey by Manpower Group notes that globally, 38 percent employers are facing difficulty in finding skilled and experienced talents to fill their job openings.

Japan, Peru, Hongkong, Brazil, and Romania are top five countries facing similar problems. Among the listed in Asia, Japan occupies the first place with 83 percent employers reporting lack of talent for skilled job roles. The country shows a significant gap from the second place, Peru with ‘only’ 68 percent.

See: 96% CIOs in Hong Kong Focus on Innovation as a Top-Most Business Priority in 2017

These alarming facts presented by global surveys and reports, urge HR leaders to construct effective strategies to deal with talent uncertainties. Below are some tips on how you can handle this issue:

Evaluate current workforce

Before devising an effective talent management strategy for your business, first you need to assess your current workforce’s potentials. Companies should recognise the quality of their talent pools. How will the retiring employees affect the team? Are you prepared for candidates to replace the vacant job roles? Do they have the necessary skills and knowledge about the business? Can they meet the expected standards? Conducting thorough evaluation of your current workforce squad will only help address, which part of the organisation is facing talent crunch and address the issue at hand immediately.

Invent new changes

Look around your workplace. How is the atmosphere? When was the last time the wall was repainted? When was the last time the company guidelines were updated? Are there any new regulations that should be implemented soon? How many more new hires are expected to join the workforce in the span of next two years? These changes though unavoidable, can have its impact felt on how business works and smooth functioning of operations.

By eliminating negative forces and maybe toxic workplace culture, managers should be able to encourage and create a workplace environment that will attract competent candidates to the talent pool. Additionally, you might even need to change your business game strategy, such as developing more flexible organisational structures or streamlining operational models.

Develop internal talents

Rather than investing time to wait for the perfect candidate to knock at your door, it will be better if you look for someone within the company or team who demonstrates high potential to be the ‘perfect employee’ your business is looking for.

If an employee shows capacity and strong willingness to learn particular skills and are able to fit in the company culture, do not hesitate to recruit them. When they officially become employees, you can always elevate their strengths by providing training programs, mentoring and coaching sessions for skills development.

Do not narrow down your talent pool. Look out and reach for wider audiences to seek more options of potential talent in the market whom you wish could be your next hire. You might want to draw inwards or perhaps collaborate with schools and colleges to establish training programs for prospective students.

In the next few years to come, businesses will face global talent shortage as more senior employees retire soon. Most companies do not pay close attention to the workforce demographic shift, until their key talents hand in their resignation letters and new faces turn up to replace the old workers.

It is time HR leaders start focusing efforts on understanding the new workforce challenges, change in workforce dynamics, need for skills upgradation and knowledge sharing from veterans to the millennials, to better prepare the next-gen talent for business uncertainties and yes, stable times in the future as well.

Read also: Increase in Unemployment and Redundancies in Singapore in Q4 2016