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| 2 minutes read

Can mobility help solve the skills shortage and talent crisis?

Talent crisis?

According to Mercer's 2024 Global Talent Trends Report, 48% of HR leaders see skills shortages as a top threat to their business this year. Typically, organizations go out to the talent marketplace to hire people with the skills they need. But the report also points out that the “talent crunch” is requiring companies to take a “build from within” approach, rather than relying on the “buy” strategy most popular over the last five years. This requires keeping employees engaged and on a development track where they gain skills and capabilities that the organization needs.

Right Management (part of the ManpowerGroup) recently produced a report called “The Engagement Illusion” which notes how employee engagement is in a state of crisis, hidden behind an illusion of perceived worker satisfaction. The report shares that the majority of leaders grossly overestimate the number of engaged employees and underestimate the number of disengaged employees. 

“83% of leaders responded that their workforce is fully engaged, while only 48% of employees would categorize themselves as fully engaged. This suggests a large gulf between what leaders think and reality.” 

The problem gets bigger, since only “highly engaged” employees are more likely to remain at their organizations. Those who are “somewhat engaged” are just as likely to leave as “disengaged” employees. The report suggests that prioritizing talent and career management, particularly with those employees who are partially engaged and those in the middle of their careers is the key to keeping employees engaged (and ultimately retained). 

Additionally, employees want personalized learning journeys where they can continuously learn and develop. They also want engaging employee experiences. In fact, 41% of employees said they will look for another job in 2024 if their company doesn't provide them with training/learning opportunities. 

How can mobility make a difference?

This research shows that investing in employee development drives engagement. Employees want to be loyal, engaged, and productive; they just need additional support from leadership to meet their needs. The data suggests that organizations must prioritize employee engagement with career management and talent development approaches that will drive organizational change, particularly at the middle layer and mid-career levels of the organization.

That can be where global mobility can help meet the demands of talent and the needs of the company. Relocating or deploying talent via assignments really lends itself to creating those highly rewarding and engaging developmental opportunities for employees, supporting the development of critical skills and nurturing relationships across the organization. When mobility goes well, it's a win-win where improved employee engagement leads to loyalty and retention which are significant benefits to the company. 

For some additional thoughts on this topic, try one of our previous posts:

Going global  In today’s global talent crisis, businesses must fight harder than ever to attract and retain the right people with the right skills at the right time. According to Manpower Group, the war for talent reached a 17-year high in 2023, with nearly four in five employers struggling to recruit the people they need.  As the skills shortage bites across regions and industries, employers increasingly rely on workforce mobility to fill the gaps. Manpower found more than half (55%) of those businesses polled say they are willing to hire internationally, and 57% plan to offer more flexibility in where employees work as talent scarcity grows. Another survey by EY revealed three in four employers consider mobility crucial for business continuity, and 93% of employees say working internationally would be life-changing.


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