Companies Mixed on Whether Talent Shortage Will Soon Impact Growth Plans

Corporate employers are generally divided on the question of whether a long-anticipated shortage of talent will soon emerge and stress their growth plans.

While most companies have seen some signs of a talent shortage, 39% report no such indications. At the same time, one-third of organizations have already taken steps to update selection and recruitment criteria. Nevertheless, 10% of employers expect no shortage of talent in the next decade.

“The talent shortage continues to capture the imagination of employers worldwide,” says Tim Vigue, vice president of Boston-based Novations Group, the organizational consulting firm that conducted the survey of 3,100 senior human resource executives. “But our survey shows there’s also widespread uncertainty about what’s going to happen and when. Some organizations are in a passive mode, while the smart ones are taking a hard look at their recruitment and selection procedures.”

The survey asked a number of questions relating to a long-anticipated shortage of talent and how responding corporate HR executives would characterize their current approaches to recruiting and hiring. The participating companies’ responses included:

Article Continues Below
  • We have already seen some signs of a talent shortage and have taken steps to update selection criteria: 32.1%
  • We have seen signs of a talent shortage, but we will continue to hire at a normal pace in the year ahead: 29.1%
  • While we have seen no signs of a talent shortage, our organization will remain cautious on new hiring in the year ahead: 19.4%
  • While we have seen no signs of a talent shortage, we are convinced one will emerge before the end of the decade, and we will take appropriate steps: 9.7%
  • We do not anticipate a talent shortage in the next decade: 9.5%

Uncertainty about an approaching talent shortage may also be reflected in a Novations finding about retiring baby boomers. “Again, organizations are divided,” Vigue says, “with as many taking steps to mitigate the loss of talent as there are others that expect no great talent drain as boomers retire.”

With respect to retiring baby boomers, the responding HR executives described the following situations within their organizations:

  • We anticipate a serious loss of talent and institutional know-how, but currently do not have any steps in place to mitigate this loss: 17.9%
  • We’re taking steps to mitigate our loss of talent, for example, by creating ways for baby boomers to gradually reduce their hours: 29.6%
  • We don’t expect an unusually large loss of talent with baby-boomer retirements: 39.3%
  • Not sure: 14.1%