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Anne M. Mulcahy, former Chairperson and CEO of Xerox said, “Employees are a company’s greatest asset—they’re your competitive advantage. You want to attract and retain the best.” This advice resonates more today than ever. Especially with the services sector generating more than half (62.4% in 2015) of the world’s gross domestic product, our primary product is, in fact, our people. Engaging, retaining and inspiring employees is now leadership 101 and it begins at the executive level.
Pekka Lundmark, Former President and CEO of Konecranes PLC said, “To be able to attract people with multiple talents is an absolute key, and is also probably our largest single headache.”—he is not alone. According to the 2015 Global CEO Survey by PWC, 73% of CEOs said that the availability of skilled labor is a concern, up 10% from the previous year’s study.
We read about a “talent war” but who is on the front line and how are they planning to win? The first answer is simple. The global talent war is a misconception. The front line is a model of attraction and retention, not targeting and capturing. The battle isn’t about talent at all. It is about engaging and retaining your workforce. Job seekers are consumers and companies must demonstrate their authenticity because the digital world doesn’t tolerate superficial tactics. There are plenty of candidates, but are they the right candidates? Profitable growth? It’s every company’s goal, but the colleagues that you need to deliver it, in this global services economy, are short in supply.
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