The Looming Talent Shortage Controversy

Experts have been predicting for years that we are steadily moving into a growing war for talent.  Labor shortages in mature markets are causing companies to scramble to innovate to meet the demands of their businesses.  And yet, with over 40 million people unemployed globally, it’s hard to imagine that we are at a deficit of talent.

With increased outsourcing to emerging markets, dramatic shifts in global economies, and rapid transitions in technology, we’re already seeing a greater need for highly skilled workers and leadership the demands of which are showing to not be met.

There is lots of solid data to back up the looming talent shortage threat, however, there are arguments to be made that the talent shortage is all in the eye of the beholder, and it is a hole that business has dug itself into and is now making excuses rather than adapting to the changes.

Some believe that during the years of a booming economy, companies added excessive headcount and specialty positions.  And, when the economy took a nosedive, it became even easier to pile on skill requirements to narrow down the applicant pools to an ideal candidate versus taking a realistic view of who in the workforce could readily do the job.

With so many job seekers out of work, there’s also claim that HR departments and recruiters are consistently overlooking qualified candidates due to a myriad of reasons including (but not limited to): job postings that are too vague or overly specific, poor communication between hiring managers and recruiters, and job seekers not versed in resume building or applications because they haven’t had to look for a job in years.

One might argue that business is lagging in adapting to its own demands and is using the ‘talent shortage’ as an excuse for not having the means to move forward.  And, yet, companies that are willing to re-train, re-evaluate, and be more flexible with their workforce are reaping the benefits and staying ahead of the curve.

But, we also can’t deny the major shifts that have hit our global economies over the past few years.  As well, the effects of new technology disrupting industry after industry will only continue to multiply and shift our workforce and its demands.

Which side do you lean towards?  Is there a talent shortage ahead or is business failing to utilize the talent at hand with 40 million people currently unemployed globally?

Will there be a talent shortage or a talent surplus? Vote in this week’s birdfeud, and share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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About Robin Rayburn

Robin L. Rayburn is the Editor & General Manager of Robin was introduced to the recruitment industry in 2007 and her passion for people has never let her stray far from it since. In her spare time she manages her blog,, tweets from @interviewingcom and @chitowntexan, and is always striving to help those around her who have a vision for success. You can also find Robin on LinkedIn and Google+.

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