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Why talent acquisition will thrive in the 21st century

We’ve seen the age of mechanisation and steam the 1780s, the mass production period and electrical energy in the 1870s, and the rise of computers and electronics in the 1960s. According to the WEF and SmartRecruiters, the 21st century will officially go down as the fourth industrial revolution. And this is why, in that revolution, talent acquisition will be a priority.

Jasper Spanjaart on June 22, 2020 Average reading time: 3 min
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Why talent acquisition will thrive in the 21st century

Our IBM 5150’s and Atari 400’s have now endured years of dust. These revolutionary machines with their 64K of glorious memory have been well and truly replaced with terabytes from HP, Apple and Samsung. And while steam locomotives still enjoy their occasional day at the park, I’m sad to report Japanese bullet trains provide a slightly more efficient commute. 

This won’t have come as a shock for most – and I’m sorry if this was the first article you’ve opened after a 50-odd year time-freeze – but times have changed. The thing though, with change, is that it always occurs right in front of our eyes. Before we truly realise it, we’ve entered a whole new, often far more complex world.

Where did all the talent go? 

CEO’s and talent leaders are faced with a tough job within that new reality. According to Smartrecruiters’ hiring success guide, 77% of CEOs see hiring for key skills as the biggest threat to their business. There appears to be a real and genuine shortage of human talent. Moreover, and perhaps an even more incredible statistic, 82% of Fortune 500 companies “don’t believe they’re in a position to recruit highly talented candidates.” 

83% of HR professionals in the U.S have reported difficulty recruiting qualified candidates in the past year.

These are some of the most powerful, most wealthy companies in the world. And their biggest headache in the morning, is the notion that they are not able to attract any real talent. “83% of HR professionals in the U.S have reported difficulty recruiting qualified candidates in the past year and 52% say the skills shortage has worsened over the last two years.”

The talent shortage of 85 million

One of the biggest trends we’ve seen over the last few years, is the prediction that we will all soon be replaced by robots. “As it turns out, that would be wrong thinking, by a long shot”, a recent study by Korn Ferry says. The L.A. based organisational consulting firm came with its own study revolving around the one main problem: the talent shortage. “The biggest issue isn’t that robots aren’t taking all the jobs – it’s that there aren’t enough humans to take them.”

There will be a global talent shortage of more than 85 million people.

Their study found that by 2030, there will be a global talent shortage of more than 85 million people. “Or roughly the population of Germany”, they add. Furthermore, the company predicts that this staggering shortage could result in about $8.5 trillion in unrealised annual revenues. 

All industries are affected

As little as two years ago, in 2018, the World Economic Forum (WEF) found that an average of 71% of total work was performed by humans. It takes no math genius to figure out the remaining 29% would automated machine work. By 2022, this average is expect to shift toward 58% of work hours to be performed by humans, with the machine work expected to increase all the way to 42%. All industries are subject to that type of change. 

A new demand

The 21st century will be marked with the disappearance of a variety of jobs we may have grown accustomed to. Telemarketers, bank tellers, accountants – these jobs will likely fit into the redundant pile, according to the WEF. But with a new age comes new opportunity. A data entry clerk may no longer have a job, but there’ll be a new job waiting for him or her as a data analyst or scientist. 

Whereas the world will continue change, talent acquisition may find itself thriving in this fourth industrial revolution.

But there’s also a flip-side to the notion that we are entering a new age: a new demand for new skillsets and roles to be filled. Moreover: the report predicts a critical role for talent acquisition. With potentially 133 million new roles emerging, those need to be filled somehow. Whereas the world will continue change, talent acquisition may find itself thriving in this fourth industrial revolution. 

 

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Jasper Spanjaart

Jasper Spanjaart

Editor-in-Chief and Writer at ToTalent.eu
Editor-in-Chief and writer for European Total Talent Acquisition platform ToTalent.eu.
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