Less than a quarter of Australian organisations will have an ample talent pipeline to cover future business needs, according to a new survey.
The survey, conducted by Right Management, also found that over 45 percent of organisations currently have a shortage of talent at all levels.
“The world of work as we know it has changed significantly. There are tighter margins, and there’s a need to do more with less. There’s been a lot of downsizing, and there’s been a lot of contraction and not a lot of hiring,” says Rosemarie Dentesano, regional practice leader for talent management at Right Management.
Despite the gloomy outlook for the future, only 18 percent of respondents expressed concern about their organisation facing a lack of high potential leaders.
Dentesano believes this is due to most organisations having competing priorities in today’s tough economic climate, thinking short term rather than long term.
“Many organisations might not have thought about how hard it might be to fill some roles. Many are just living month to month at the moment rather than thinking strategically. We’re seeing operational management is a lot more stronger in organisations at the moment than strategic management.”
She also believes that the rise of the individual has had a part to play in Australia’s talent shortage.
“The individual holds a lot more power in the employment contract in terms of how they want to work, where they want to work, and what type of work they want to do. We’re actually seeing a shift from years gone by where the employer held all the cards to a talent base today where people believe they have choice,” she says.
Workers today believe they have portable skills that can allow them to move and develop their careers, whether it be within or outside the organisation where they currently work.
The flexibility and room for development individuals now look for has led to a collision with organisations having to do less with more, and Dentesano says the key to stemming the talent drain is connecting the two.
“The key is to understand the skill sets that you need, and determine whether they’re teachable skills or whether you have to go buy the skill set. Then you have to align that with your workforce’s personal motivators and career aspirations so you get that beautiful synergy between what the organisation needs and what the individual needs.”
Organisations must also work to ensure their employees are engaged with their employer.
Dentesano says engagement, which can lead to increased productivity and higher returns, can be achieved through leadership, opportunities for career development, and adequate remuneration.
“It’s got to be collaborative, and employers have to realise that both sides hold power.”