Businesses in nearly every industry have come to rely on contingent talent as specialists and flexible experts rather than temps who fill vacant seats during absences, seasonal demands or personnel transitions. With increasing frequency, we’re integrating these skilled contractors into our primary workforces. Yet, we still haven’t integrated them into our internal knowledge systems. And that’s a missed opportunity to tap into their intelligence and ideas, especially as the sharing economy’s[...]
Today is Halloween, and I have a scary story for you. According to research from Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which examined talent supply-and-demand data across 25 major economies, the “global workforce crisis” we’ve been hearing about could take hold by 2030. In fact, we could see significant labor shortages in several regions. In others, a surplus. As Paul Sawers wrote in Flipboard, “This imbalance has opened the doors to a number of initiatives that seek to plug shortages in the domestic U.S. market by scouting overseas.” One of the best solutions involves training our people today for the skills of tomorrow. Digital learning platforms, integrated with recruiting ecosystems, could do the trick -- while giving us our treats.
Too often, in my opinion, talk of virtual reality (VR) seems relegated to the realms of science fiction, video games, film and television. Virtual reality is no novelty. The real-world benefits and applications are already surpassing entertainment. VR resides in the domain of exponential technologies -- digital advances that are transforming the world through intelligent sensors, machine learning, robotics, synthetic biology and 3D printing. Consider the latter. Three-dimensional printers don’t merely produce models and art. They’re capable of constructing habitable living spaces, tools, prosthetics and even rudimentary food. Likewise, virtual reality is changing the face of medicine and education. It’s also strengthening diversity by bridging philosophical divides and empowering people to empathize with others. For all these reasons, VR represents the very real future of business, workforce development and talent management.
People love a good underdog story -- one about overcoming adversity, rising up from humble beginnings to achieve great things, and conquering stereotypes or misperceptions. It’s the stuff we’re raised on in the land of opportunity. The fables and fairy tales we first experience assure us that we can succeed regardless of our stations in life. These Cinderella stories inspire and motivate us. They’ve even infused themselves, subtly, into the fabric of staffing. Recruiters are now encouraged to find rockstar talent based on values, fit, skills, creativity -- not Ivy League degrees, positions at prestigious firms or years of service. And yet when it comes to many hiring managers, this is where the story ends up a piece of fiction. They fall back on the familiar habits of looking for academic credentials, keywords and specific work experience. Yes, the same folks who may have shed a tear at Cinderella’s triumph could be more likely to hire one of her stepsisters, based on a resume. We’re not going to win the talent wars if we accept only seasoned officers from the equivalents of Annapolis or West Point. It’s time to reconsider the concept of experience.