Skills shortage transforming recruitment models, fuelling M&A

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Skills shortages driven by border closures and lockdowns are forcing companies to transform the way they source talent, and will likely drive mergers and acquisitions as well.

That's the view of Ray Wang, the founder of Constellation Research, who says there are currently 9 million unemployed people in the USA and 10 million open jobs.

Wang told Digital Nation that the key to solving this “massive skills mismatch”, is continuous learning.

“That culture of continuous learning is what's going to save companies,” Wang said.

The war for talent is also forcing companies to consider their hybrid working arrangements, and with the most productive environment determined by the nature of the role.

“If you're doing finance and accounting, and they trust you to be home without stealing all the data, that's okay. You don't need them in the office, you might want to have some collaboration here and there.

"But if you're in product design and product innovation, five weeks on Zoom, you could do in one week at work.”

Wang said that talent scarcity has gotten to a point where merger and acquisition activity is no longer just about growing businesses, but growing teams.

“We printed so much money. Trillions, even quadrillions of capital are sitting on the sidelines,” Wang said.

“People are buying talent teams right now. There's no scarcity of capital. It's sitting there, you want to raise 100 million, you could probably do it in about a week.

"There is a scarcity in operations and talent and getting people on the ground.”

The concept of loaning or swapping highly skilled staff between non-competitive companies is an emerging talent acquisition model, Wang said.

“So think about if Woolworths actually went to get some talent from AMP and AMP to get some talent from Macquarie. I mean, they're kind of in the same business, [but] they're not in the same business.

"And that's partly why you'll like see something like that work.

“People that are close enough, or even further away, might actually do rotations of super-skilled talent, just to be able to keep them in the pool,” added Wang.

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