Many key industries in the world’s most developed economies are beginning to face a severe talent crunch. A Korn Ferry study, focusing on knowledge-driven industries such as financial services, predicts a cumulative talent shortage of more than 85 million people by 2030. The aviation industry, for example, will need 637,000 additional pilots in the next twenty years according to a Boeing forecast. One of the most effected industry sectors in this global talent shortfall, with a deficit of 10.7 million workers by 2030, will be the financial industry based on the Korn Ferry study. The study, which includes the United States, China, the United Kingdom, Germany and France, predicts the financial industry could forfeit over $870 billion as a result. The ramifications of this trend could be quite serious for some major economies. European financial centers like the United Kingdom and Germany are in danger of loosing their ability to compete on a global scale. Additionally, firms in the United States already are struggling to replace retiring Baby Boomer advisors and compete with venture capital firms attracting young finance majors. Some countries are faring better. India, for example, will not be effected by these trends and is forecasted to retain a highly skilled financial and business services workforce.

Forward-Looking Recruitment Strategies Matter

For firms serious about recruitment there are strategies that can be deployed. Firms can buck this trend by intensifying their recruitment efforts now. The first line of defense is to identify areas of automation that could possibly free existing in-house resources from unproductive back office work and promote them into more value-adding positions. Up-skilling people when they show the aptitude and drive for learning advisory and sales skills will garner huge returns in the long run. No recruitment strategy can neglect the need to be directly involved with universities in the hunt for next generation talent. Students should be emotionally engaged early through internships in order to expose them to the company’s values and culture in order to identify those who can be a long-term fit. This talent then can be further supported through scholarships and trainee programs that will help to grow them into valuable long-term assets.

Retaining Talent

After investing the resources to find and train new talent, organizations should do everything they can to retain it. Retaining existing young talent will require ongoing educational and emotional support and the ability to support different lifestyle and work time models. Keeping these young advisors happy and providing them a long-term career perspective is key to retaining existing talent and attracting new talent. Social media, if managed well, can be a helpful recruiting tool. Encouraging happy employees to share their enthusiasm for the firm and their careers can help attract new recruits.

The talent shortage is real. Not addressing it proactively can place your firm in jeopardy in the long run.

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