According to a recent study, 97% of executives expect to see increased competition for talent over the next 12 months.
That’s the view shared by thousands of business executives who responded to business consultant Mercer’s 2019 Global Talent Trends Study.
And, the study found, more than half of executives from high-growth companies – 52% – see the length of time it takes to find and hire new talent as their biggest people-related challenge.
‘Human capital risks’
That’s why more organizations are focusing on how to address what the study labels “human capital risks.”
They are working to understand where their workforces lack skills needed to compete now and in the future.
And they’re looking to HR to develop people strategies focused on identifying and filling those gaps.
According to Mercer’s analysis, that requires breaking down HR silos.
The consultancy recommends closely integrating talent acquisition, compensation and benefits, career development and learning and aligning them with organizations’ strategic priorities.
With competition for talent so intense and market trends so unpredictable, developing the skills of existing employees becomes more urgent.
Mercer states that companies are spending about $1,000 per person on helping employees improve or add new skills by offering employee-directed learning programs or more formal, targeted training.
And companies are investing in “upskilling and reskilling” initiatives.
But there are barriers that are stopping some companies from implementing training programs.
HR leaders told Mercer that the biggest of those barriers is fear that competitors will reap the benefits of training investments when employees leverage newly acquired skills to get jobs with other companies.
They are also redesigning jobs to help keep employees engaged and inspired. They are increasingly focused on aligning those jobs explicitly with their organization’s culture, values and strategic goals — and eliminating jobs that don’t.
To keep talent, reports Mercer, many organizations are focused on developing and maintaining an attractive “talent value proposition.”
That includes work/life balance, transparency and trust
And, Mercer says, HR plays a critical role in designing and supporting a “human-centered” strategy necessary to compete for and continuously develop the talent needed to compete in complex and rapidly changing markets.