“Talent mismatch” a global concern

Recruiting the wrong people has always been a costly problem, impacting on both an organisation’s bottom line and morale among existing staff. Only when assessed on a global scale, however, can one fully appreciate the extent of the issue.

The ‘Adapt to Survive’ study, commissioned by LinkedIn and conducted by PwC, looked at how proficient different countries are at “aligning talent with opportunity”. The research drew on LinkedIn’s network of almost 300 million professionals across the globe, in addition to information 2,600 employers from PwC’s Saratoga database, to provide a comprehensive picture of the how organisations and job seekers are faring in terms of talent adaptability today.

Talent adaptability, as defined by PwC, involves two branches. Firstly, it looks at how prepared employers are to deploy their recruitment and selection of talent from a range of areas, both geographical and sector-wise. It also covers the ability of employees to retrain and gain new skills, and switch between industries.

PwC revealed that on the whole, talent adaptability is currently poor around the world, leading to a “talent mismatch” – but that could be the least of organisation’s worries, as the consulting firm also revealed the extent of the financial burden this phenomenon places on the global economy.

According to PwC, the talent mismatch has caused the global economy to miss out on US$130 billion of additional productivity, as there is a strong correlation between the talent adaptability of a country’s workers and the overall performance of its companies. The inability of organisations to marry the right staff to the right jobs is also causing hiring costs to soar – PwC found that the worldwide economy could have avoided recruitment costs of US$19.8 billion with better talent matching practices.

The Netherlands was revealed to be the most “adaptable” country, with a talent adaptability score of 85, while Australia came in at sixth place with a score of 52.