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India - the only option in face of massive global talent crunch



Talent for various business activities is becoming scares in most countries and marketing is no exception to this rule. By 2030, demand for skilled professionals will outstrip supply and the world would be staring at a talent shortage of over 85.2 million people, according to a study by US-based global organisational consulting firm Korn Ferry.

But how does the world, more specifically the countries that face talent crunch get over this shortage?

 This talent shortage is corroborated by other surveys as well. Manpower Group’s Talent Shortage Report says that globally, 45% of all the employers surveyed are struggling to scout for the right talent. According to this very survey while 32% of US employers experienced talent shortages in 2015 it rose to 46% in 2018.

A similar picture emerges for senior level professionals too, with 40 per cent of the companies facing a shortage of talent at the senior management level, according to Aon Talent Acquisition study.

The Gartner’s quarterly Emerging Risks Report published in January 2019 puts talent shortage as the topmost risk faced by organisations globally.

The root cause of this shortage is the rapid technological advancement over the past few years and the imbalance it has created between the talent available and needed to leverage these advances. It could lead to a huge number of unfilled jobs.

The Korn Ferry study says that the United States, France, Japan, Australia and Germany face the largest threat in the near term, with a combined opportunity cost of $1.876 trillion by 2020.

In this scenario, the model of sharing economy whereby talent is shared is the only way forward. It seems to be the only realistic solution that can help mitigate the problem.  But where will this talent come from? 

Looking towards Africa

No doubt companies in the developed world can look towards Africa to reduce this talent gap and at the same time lower their overall costs as the cost of professionals there is lower than in the developed countries.

But the African continent itself is grappling with a talent shortage.  According to EY’s Attractiveness Survey Africa 2015 –Making Choices, approximately 70% of companies whose high-level manpower needs were surveyed were taking longer to fill vacancies and employee turnover was high.

This is due to the fact that while an increasing number of Africans are entering universities, yet according to UNESCO estimates only 6 per cent of young people in Africa are enrolled in higher education institutions, compared to the global average of 26 per cent and a large part of these graduates lack the basic technical and transferable skills.

APAC region

Another region with a lower cost of talent is the Asia Pacific region (APAC) but this region too, apart from India, is facing a shortage of talent. The Korn Ferry study finds that the Asia Pacific region faces an imminent talent shortage of 12.3 million professionals by 2020, with the possibility of this shortage rising to 47 million by 2030.

According to the World Economic Forum, highly skilled professionals account for only about 10 percent of total employment in Indonesia. The main reasons for the scarcity of top talent are the dearth of experience, lack of technical competencies and inadequate soft skills.
Another APAC country, Malaysia could lose US$93,458 of its annual business revenue by 2030 owing to manpower shortfall. Singapore too faces the spectra of talent shortage of more than 1 million professionals, says the Korn Ferry report.  

Resultantly the cost of talent in these countries would rise, making this an unattractive proposition.

Silver lining



But there is a silver lining to this depressing scenario – India. It is the only country not just in the APAC region but in the whole world that would have a talent surplus in 2025 which would increase to 245.3 million surplus professionals by 2030, according to the Korn Ferry study named 'Global Talent Crunch'.

This makes India the ideal destination for talent sharing. Indian professionals can be used by companies and institutes to tide over their talent crunch. The fact that  Indian  professionals are confidently conversant with English thanks to the widespread use of English as the medium of education in large parts of India makes this  solution all the more beneficial as English is the most influential language of the business across the world.

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