Q&A: The talent shortage is a myth

Companies perceiving talent shortages in their local market must rethink their workforce models and talent acquisition strategies. Hiring global remote teams is a vital evolution in business ideology explains Mark Hedley, vice-president of talent recruiting at Globalization Partners

The pandemic has created a paradigm shift in the way we work, and numerous analysts and commentators have noted its role in giving rise to the so-called ‘great attrition’. In a recent study by Manpower Group, seven in ten companies reported talent shortages and difficulties in hiring.

There is no doubt, organisations are facing a much tighter labour market in many countries, but contrary to conventional wisdom, positions aren’t vacant because there is a shortage of talented people – there is talent everywhere. So what’s really going on and what’s the solution to these challenges? We ask Mark Hedley, vice-president of talent recruiting at Globalization Partners, the world’s leading global employment platform whose recently announced funding valued the company at $4.2bn.

Mark, we’ve heard a lot about the ‘great attrition’ or ‘great resignation’. Is there really a talent shortage at the moment?

It’s a somewhat controversial viewpoint but, in our opinion, there is talent available, but companies just need to start thinking differently - globally. What we’re actually seeing are local talent shortages in location-specific roles or certain industries like retail, hospitality and manufacturing. There is a clear demand and supply imbalance because those roles are location-dependent. But if you look at it from a global perspective and knowledge worker perspective, the talent is out there.

What does this tell us about how companies should be changing their approach to work?

Organisations that have returned to a pre-pandemic workforce model have run into a lot of hiring challenges over the last 12 months. They almost draw a perimeter around their office locations and when somebody leaves, they look to replace the same chair with a different person. In these instances, the talent pool has certainly shrunk because employee behaviours and preferences have changed and a lot of people are not interested in office-based roles anymore. For companies adopting a hybrid model, which is two or three days in the office and two or three at home, we’re seeing that the talent pool has roughly remained the same. But companies that are thriving in the talent market – and there are plenty out there – are those that have completely embraced remote working. For them, the talent pool has significantly expanded. That tells us that issues finding people are not because of supply, they are because the workforce model you are deploying is restricting you from accessing the biggest and best talent pool.

The companies that are thriving in the talent market – and there are plenty out there – are those that have completely embraced remote working. For them, the talent pool has significantly expanded

For companies that do want to unlock talent in new jurisdictions, what are the common obstacles they face?

There are a few barriers to overcome. The biggest is a lack of understanding around their options. For over 10 years at Globalization Partners we’ve been educating people that you don’t have to invest in entities, infrastructure, offices or even expertise in a particular region in order to hire people there. Now, the pandemic and the rise of remote working as a result, has proven that remote working can be very successful. Most people don’t need convincing of that anymore, but they do need more awareness that through a company like Globalization Partners they can hire 10 people in 10 different countries seamlessly.

Once you’re past that, it’s really about understanding where you want to hire and the costs. If you’re looking for a specific skill set, where is the best place to look? What is the supply and competitor activity in that area, and what’s the total cost of compensation and statutory benefits? If the numbers work out, the next challenge is not having a brand in that location. Often a company is very well-known in its home region and has the backing to expand internationally, but its brand equity is much lower elsewhere. Finally, your recruitment team might be great domestically but not experienced with international hiring and don’t know local market nuances.

How is Globalization Partners helping organisations overcome these challenges?

Globalization Partners makes it fast and easy for employers to hire anyone, anywhere, without having to set up international branch offices or subsidiaries. By using Globalization Partners’ proprietary, AI-enabled and compliant platform, companies can improve their access to global talent while minimising risk. Users enjoy around-the-clock access to the industry’s largest and most experienced team of global HR experts who can assist with questions about hiring talent in over 187 countries.

We’ve been doing this for over 10 years now, and recently we elevated our offering further through the launch of G-P Recruit, which leverages Globalization Partners’ extensive recruitment partner network to give customers access to an unprecedented selection of recruiting specialists in key markets around the world. With G-P Recruit, companies can find the perfect fit based on their unique combination of requirements including hiring location, industry sector, functional area, expertise or prior roles, all through Globalization Partners’ industry-leading global employment technology platform.

What role will technology play in the future of talent?

The future of talent is remote and dispersed around the world, and technology is the enabler. We’ve already seen that the move to global remote working has been driven by the democratisation of collaboration and communication tools. Now companies need to leverage technology to expand their talent pool. That’s where Globalization Partners comes in because our global employment platform provides end-to-end technology enablement for all of the processes required to tap into global talent pools.

However, we are also aware that recruitment can be a personal and sensitive activity which is where our people on the ground come in. We use technology to enable organisations, their candidates and recruiting agency partners to spend more time on their conversations and relationships rather than onerous background work. If a company decides to hire a business development manager in Singapore, within five minutes they can go onto our platform, complete the information and it’s automatically sent across to our recruitment agency partners with expert local knowledge. A HR manager or business leader sitting in London, with teams in six different locations and time zones, has everything in the platform to be compliant. It’s totally seamless and how companies will attract and retain thriving workforces in the future.

For more information, visit globalization-partners.com

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