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Global Skill Shortages Threaten Corporate Growth and Innovation
New York — Dec. 14High unemployment rates in the United States and some global markets have not created the talent surplus that many organizations and business leaders would have expected, according to a new survey released by Deloitte and Forbes Insights. In fact, the quest for talent in global and emerging markets is the leading concern among 41 percent of the corporate executives and talent managers surveyed, and a slightly more pressing concern for companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (48 percent) than their counterparts in the Americas or Asia-Pacific countries (35 percent and 41 percent, respectively).The Deloitte/Forbes Insight survey, “Talent Edge 2020,” also reveals shortfalls in research and development (R&D) skills and executive leadership. Nearly three-quarters of executives surveyed (72 percent) anticipate either a severe or a moderate shortage in R&D talent, while more than half of those same executives (56 percent) stated they expect the same magnitude of shortage among executive leadership.“What we are seeing is an unexpected talent paradox – even though unemployment rates remain relatively high in the US, companies are struggling to find the skilled workers they need to fill critical jobs worldwide,” said Jeff Schwartz, a principal in the human capital practice of Deloitte Consulting LLP and global co-leader and U.S. leader for talent services. “During the recession, most executives were churning their business and talent strategies into survival mode, not success mode – this has to change or corporate growth and innovation will be severely challenged.”The R&D shortage is particularly prevalent in industries where product innovation is critical. Among technology, media and telecom companies, 40 percent of those surveyed predict a severe shortage of R&D talent, while 39 percent of consumer/industrial companies and 37 percent of life sciences and healthcare companies surveyed foresee severe skill shortages in this area.The survey further shows that many executives are concerned about their companies’ leadership development programs and pipelines. More than half of respondents (56 percent) predict shortages in executive leadership, and 63 percent are either highly or very highly concerned about employee retention over the next 12 months.
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