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The truth about the skills shortage

Nick Adams, Vice President EMEA at Globalization Partners, rebuts common myths about today’s talent shortage

The ongoing talent shortage and connected trends such as ‘The Great Resignation’ have been well documented. According to research by Open University’s Business Barometer, just over half of UK companies are spending £1.2bn annually on temporary staff. The study found that by 2030, there will be a global human talent shortage of more than 85 million people, roughly the population of Germany.

While the UK faces a range of challenges relating to recruitment, there is also a huge pool of untapped talent that exists across the world where organisations could look to address their skills shortfall. Indeed, the view that looking abroad can’t help fill recruitment gaps is just one of several myths that are standing in the way of effective recruitment.

Myth 1: People don’t want to work

It’s fascinating to see that 18% of UK workers are still planning to leave their jobs over the next year, according to a survey by accounting giant PwC. Many of us will have seen colleagues make critical career decisions about where and how they work. While some are deciding to leave the workforce for good, the great resignation isn’t a question of not wanting to work so much as changing priorities. Employees who can’t achieve work-life balance at their existing job feel empowered to leave and look for a new job that can accommodate their needs and allow them to thrive outside work.

Today, employees want to work for firms that care about their overall wellbeing and offer benefits and bonuses that match their values and lifestyle goals. Many are no longer willing to accept jobs that involve long hours and constant sacrifice of personal ambitions in favour of professional ones. This is quite different from the idea that people don’t want to work – they are simply more focused on finding roles that meet their needs as they pursue a better balance and long-term happiness.

Myth 2: The talent shortage is universal

While some sectors and industries are experiencing a shortage of talent, it is important to remember that in a hyperconnected economy there are huge possibilities in sourcing talent from a wider area. The cities or regions you have hired from in the past might be short of personnel with the abilities you require, but there are plenty of talent hotspots around the world with highly trained professionals who are regularly looking for new opportunities.

Mexico City, Toronto, Colombo, Singapore and Berlin have all established themselves as prominent talent centres, with individuals ready to join firms that promote work-life balance and wellbeing.

In fact, the digitally enabled competitive edge that helps brands to grow exponentially also enables them to ignore boundaries and form global teams, but first they must build strong remote work cultures, develop the processes and tech stack needed to support remote first productivity and restructure their legacy local recruitment strategy to discover talent on a global scale.

Myth 3: It’s too complex and costly to hire people from abroad

In the past, companies used to avoid broadening their horizons because tapping into global markets was a logistical nightmare and often required prohibitive levels of investment. Today, with the assistance of a strategic ally, organisations everywhere can affordably hire an international team.

For example, by using a modern digital employment platform like Globalization Partners organisations can save money they would have spent on business entity set-up and eliminate the hassle of dealing with tax, legal and HR issues.

By working with an Employer of Record (EOR), growing organisations can secure the best talent, regardless of location. In practical terms, an EOR sets up entities on your behalf and acts as your legal employer. It also allows you to automate procedures like contract preparation, payroll setup and onboarding, reducing the time it takes to complete complex operations that once took months.

Myth 4: Culture and communication are barriers to effective recruitment

While global teams are affected by cultural differences, firms that learn to bridge these gaps will find that cultural variations only enrich and add value to their operations. Indeed, analysis by Mckinsey shows that diversified multinational teams generate greater revenue.

It requires awareness and sensitivity to achieve cultural competency – a critical aspect in understanding and managing multicultural teams and maximising their potential. That said, long-distance communication is easier today than ever before, thanks to all the collaborative tools and technology that overcome geographical distances and make communication feel more personal and instantaneous.

Ultimately, an international workforce helps build a richer, more fulfilling workplace culture for all employees. Sharing different global perspectives and ideas benefits teams and leads to better employee morale, an enhanced reputation and better overall talent acquisition. In the wider business context, organisations that embrace an international recruitment philosophy will be ideally placed to succeed in the highly competitive and agile markets that are a feature of modern digital economies.

Nick Adams is Vice President of EMEA at Globalization Partners in London. Leading the company’s international expansion into Europe, he is focused on building a strategic partner network and overseeing regional revenue operations. Nick comes to Globalization Partners with a wealth of experience in scaling high growth businesses.

www.globalization-partners.com

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