Growth, diversity, and recognition: protecting your organization’s talent pool from the growing skills crisis

August 28, 2019 | by: Lance Librorania

As the gap between employee skills and organizational demands get wider, HR leaders in the Asia Pacific face more unfulfilled vacancies and difficulty retaining talents. Businesses moving through their digital transformation have started replacing redundant activities with automated solutions, but workers are left untrained for more complex skills, contributing to the growing talent mismatch felt in labor markets across the globe.

The global talent crunch

Multiple labor market surveys and studies all point to the trend of a growing talent shortage across APAC — the annual Global Skills Index from Hays and partner Oxford Economics gave the region a higher Overall Index score, from 2017’s 4.8 to 4.9 last year, a sign of mounting pressure on businesses to attract and keep workers. Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, and the Philippines all dropped in the world talent rankings of Swiss business school International Institute for Management Development (IMD), while Thailand and Singapore saw stunted growth. Meanwhile, available data for Malaysia showed unemployment rates barely moved since last year. 

At least 16 European countries saw the same difficulty in satisfying job vacancies; 11,000 miles away, New Zealand reported its highest talent mismatch rate last year.

Digital transformation continues to morph the needs of organizations globally — how do HR leaders keep up with the pace? 

Investing on existing talent

Talent heads don’t have to look far: paying attention to employees to identify those with the biggest potential, then enriching and promoting them into seniority faster could help you secure your business’ future leadership, according to management consultant Deloitte. This focus on young and upcoming leaders fosters loyalty to your organization and also gives them a better chance to upskill and contribute more to the organization.

Embracing diversity

The inclusion of a wider range of age, gender, and race into more roles in an organization translates into a rich and diverse talent pool. Years of research on the level of diversity and inclusion in companies provides consistent results of success that correlates to workforce diversity.

Optimizing change

Managers and leaders are expected to have their finger on the company’s pulse and truly understand their needs. This is crucial in selecting tech solutions and suppliers: what fits your goals best? Josh Bersin’s HR tech report suggests choosing vendors that offer personalization and flexibility to cater to your needs and maximize what your company shells out for their services.

A worker deficit of 12.3 million in APAC was predicted for 2020 by strategic consulting firm Korn Ferry, likely to blow up to 47 million in the following decade if the talent mismatch continues. Businesses eyeing further growth must look after their talent pool; through HR tech, or succession and growth, or rich diversity, steering away from staff shortage remains a tall task for the HR leaders trying to ride out the skills crisis.