“Go after the cream of the cream. A small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players.”
~ Steve Jobs
24 years after the term ‘War for Talent’ was coined by Steven Hankin of McKinsey and Company, the changing business scenario and the COVID-19 induced talent and knowledge crisis have deepened the battle lines for attracting and retaining the best talent.
The pandemic has forced us to rethink our work roles while living through a health risk that provides opportunities for digital enhancements which were unthinkable before. While the first War for Talent was fought for executive talent, the second war will be fought on the supply of skills and how to best create value from those skills.
To win the War for Talent, companies need to rethink how they lead with greater emphasis on the scarce human capital. As we begin working in the post-pandemic world, talent will remain deployed in a hybrid model with digital onboarding, training and performance being the norm. In this scenario, talent will need to be leveraged in innovative ways and will need to be re-skilled to have the necessary digital skills to create business value. To ensure the right people with the right skills are in the right place at the right time, there are some actions that leaders will need to take.
The research suggests that the war for talent will go on and even increase in the next decade. Within a few years, wider skill gaps will be experienced in the workforce. This scenario is about more than COVID-induced remote working, the impact of automation or AI. Skills like IT Management, Executive Management, Digital Capabilities and Data Analytics will have increasing demand in the coming years with a critical lack of supply in the talent market.
To rise to the challenge of fulfilling these skills, protecting the created value and creating new value for customers, the leaders of today need to identify the critical roles, reskill and upskill employees and craft a talent strategy that develops critical skills to deliver new business models in the post-pandemic era.
Only then can we begin to claim that we’re ready for the next generation of the War for Talent.