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What Talent Wants

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Companies and countries will compete for the best and the brightest. Talent scarcity is driving the growth of an internationally mobile creative class that encompasses five  generations of workers. 

Competition for talent will come not only from the company down the street, but also from the  employer on the other side of the world. It will be a seller’s market, with talented individuals having many choices. Both countries and companies will need to brand themselves as locations of choice to attract this talent.

The millennials, a generation born digital, are completely at ease with technology and will have a much stronger impact on social behaviour than  we currently assume. As they enter the workforce, they represent a huge engine of transformation for  every institution — public and private.

What’s your perspective on the future?  How you think is how it shall be.  Are we standing on the precipice of doom and gloom or is this the vantage point of what could be the greatest potential the world has ever known?  Who’s your peer group what do you think?

Amid the doom and gloom that I hear every day from the Boomer and previous generations there is a ray of hope.  And that ray of hope is the talent of the Millennial generation which is positioned to utterly transform the world.  The Millennials have two enablers that previous generation did not have.  First, they have technology which places them on a trajectory of having the world’s knowledge at their fingertips.  Second, unlike previous generations who lived in a neighborhood, city, or state the Millennial’s live globally, always connected, and together.  The synergy of  technology, knowledge, and collaboration will give the Millennial generation a creative advantage possessed by no previous generation.

The Millennial worker will not necessarily “go to” a workplace as understood by previous generations.  They will work virtually and globally.  There may be “no place” to go work.  With an internet connection you are already there – where ever you are.  Will the Millennial workers have a domestic or country identity?  Why? If there is a global demand for talent and you can work (virtually) anywhere then how does a domestic or country identity make any sense?  Will countries be reduced to brands like Google and Apple that compete for talent?  To previous generations companies competed for talent that was local or at least in the same city, state, or country.  But when the demand for talent is global why not “go” to where the demand exists – no matter where on the planet the demand exists?  In the supply and demand for talent are country borders of any concern?  For Millennials, talent will be highly mobile.  Millennials will also challenge the concept of a company or firm in the
 traditional sense.  Why have traditional corporate structures with brick and mortar buildings?  Millennials using the technology and the global connectedness they grew up with can easily assemble themselves from any part of the globe to form project teams, working groups, and organizations as they see fit – and then tear them down and reassemble with another configuration as needed.  Talk about agility compared to a traditional company!

The combination of technology, global communication, the world’s knowlege at their fingertips, talent, salted with the prominence of social networks and global collaboration – wow.  What sort of unstoppable force is this?  Has any previous generation seen this potential as their future?

Future global economic prosperity will more depend on human capital than on financial capital. 

What is the outlook for the global talent pool and what are the ways countries can mitigate the risk of a global talent shortage?

Read a study from the World Economic Forum –
Global Talent Risk – Seven Responses

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Written by frrl

January 23, 2011 at 7:29 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. It’s a shame that many of us ‘boomers’ won’t be around
    when the millennials hit their 60’s. You will find
    that they are good at watching the grandchildren, but
    unable to master the latest technology. (Logictech
    ad?)

    Conduct this research.

    Find your parent, or grand-parent, who fought in
    WWII. Ask him, or her – most likely a nurse – if
    they felt at home with the latest technology of
    the day. Sulfa Drugs. High performance engines.
    Radar. Automobiles.

    Then ask if THEIR parents could help them choose
    a car. Don’t be surprised if they tell you that
    THEIR parents said something like: “I can help
    you find a healthy horse but but I don’t know a
    thing about automobiles.”

    And so it goes.

    While this is, of course, a personal anecdote, it
    is likely mostly true for most people. As one gets
    older one becomes more conservative.

    Not necessarily POLITICALLY, but in life-style
    adaptation. Work at an academic institution
    where the oldest faculty are still very far left
    extremist Maoist and Stalinist types forever living
    their glory days of anti-Vietnam war protests.

    And then watch their reaction when when a new
    Espresso machine goes into the faculty lounge.
    Or when they have to lecture in a room with
    on-line technology. Or when the grading system
    is changed so that THEY have to enter grades
    themselves, instead of having the no-longer
    employed departmental secretary do it. Or even
    when the campus bus system changes routes or
    cancels services.

    Ted

    January 23, 2011 at 5:02 pm


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