what’s the outlook for talent? we have insights to help you stay ahead.

October 26, 2016 Doug Edmonds

expect strong business results and even stronger demand for talent in the months ahead

It seems like the business indicators for the global economy can’t make up their minds. There are numerous reports that slow growth in China is tempering optimism in Western Europe and North America. There’s rising unemployment in some regions but increasing talent scarcity in others. Add in political uncertainty in many markets, and it’s no surprise that business and human capital leaders are cautious about the road ahead.

But what if you could gain greater clarity about how your peers at many of the world’s leading organizations are planning for their workforce? How useful is it to understand their top priorities and the skills they seek in the days ahead? And would it inform your own strategies to know the market drivers influencing their decision-making around resourcing?

You can access all of this and more in our inaugural Talent Intelligence Outlook Report, a pulse survey of more than 400 human capital leaders in ten countries. We’re excited to publish what is perhaps the most definitive ongoing market research into the thoughts of HR, procurement and C-suite leaders around the world. The report offers telling insights about forces affecting business today, what decision makers are doing to transform talent management and how ready they are for the digital economy.

So what do we know?

Our first report, in time for the start of the fourth quarter of 2016, is news worth celebrating for business leaders, but also some human capital challenges. That’s because it looks like most companies have experienced a healthy year so far, with 92% of survey respondents saying business growth has been as expected or better. In fact almost one-third said growth was beyond expectations, and just 8% failed to meet targets. Even more encouraging is that 68% believe they will continue to expand in the next 12 months, with 12% predicting significantly better results.

That’s good news for business leaders. For a human capital leader, it’s a mixed blessing. The pressure is on to find talent. About a quarter of our respondents (27%) said they hired extensively in the past 12 months to keep up with growth and competitors, while nearly one-third (32%) hired extensively for future growth. Looking ahead, these numbers rise to 34% and 41%, respectively. If you thought finding that Java developer was tough before, wait until 2017!

Now, we’re not looking to alarm you, but the data you’ll find in the Talent Intelligence Outlook will certainly keep you on your toes. For instance, we report on the skills most in demand, where human capital leaders anticipate scarcity and how much they’re shifting roles from permanent to contingent as a way to better resource the business. For the 12 months ahead, expect marketers to be in big demand along with IT/technical and sales professionals.

The big market influencers

Knowing what skills are in demand paints only part of the picture. To get a holistic view, the report also points out other important considerations. The three workforce drivers most often cited by human capital leaders include higher employee expectations of their employers, the impact of digital resources on business opportunities and a need to apply analytics to help engage and retain talent.

Beyond the world of work, we see how concerns about the political climate shape the opinion of human capital leaders. They tell us political certainty will greatly help sustain growth and create business opportunities. Conversely, they believe instability will very negatively hurt their growth. Issues such as Brexit and labor regulations also weigh on their minds, not to mention a contentious U.S. election.

You’ll find all this data just in the first section of the Talent Intelligence Outlook, along with a close-up look at how leaders in different countries and industry sectors view the months ahead. Three more sections provide a deep dive into issues such as digitalization of HR, talent innovation and the rise of integrated talent management. And starting in 2017, we’ll begin publishing indices on the readiness of companies to embrace technology and integrated solutions to truly elevate talent management to a new level.

As a regular publication, the Talent Intelligence Outlook will provide the regular insights you need to stay on top of small and large developments in the world of work. We encourage you to request the report. It is a valuable resource that can help you make informed planning decisions during these uncertain times.

about the author

Doug Edmonds

Doug has built a 17 year international recruitment and leadership career across Australia, the United Kingdom, and now Asia Pacific. A thought leader in strategic talent acquisition, outsourcing and workforce management, Doug brings in-depth knowledge and expertise to drive strategic development and growth in the APAC region.

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