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The Rush For Talent

Updated: Sep 14, 2022

With over 1,318,000 vacancies available in the UK (ONS) there is a massive “Yee Ha” shout out of joy; but what the government is not talking about, is the talent drought for the jobs that require new skills.

Research is showing that post pandemic, more women are looking to exit their place of employment because of their changing needs and expectations.

They want more choice in where and how they work. Without a doubt the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced how women will look for careers that resonate with their values and beliefs rather than the usual compensation and job advancement carrots.

“Women are self- evaluating, self-examining and quite possibly, more willing to step out of their comfort zone”

It’s not just a lack of career development and advancement potential in organisations that are causing this exit.

Women, people of colour and those born into the lowest income bracket face greater professional (and personal) challenges when managing their career development.

Recently, they have been quitting their jobs at an alarming rate – in some cases without a new one even lined up.

Microsoft carried out research that found that a whopping 41% of the global workforce rates themselves as ‘likely’ to leave their current employer within the next year.

LinkedIn data recently stated that globally women are 24% more likely to apply for remote roles and are investing in training courses due to mid-career reskilling.

The trend shows they are switching jobs and industries, moving from traditional to non-traditional roles (temporary, gig, or part-time roles); retiring early or starting their own businesses. What will be at the top of their mind: -

  • Fear of automation eliminating jobs in their sector e.g. health, retail and personal care?

  • Turnover shock due to a psychological reaction when they re-evaluate the value that their job brings to their life e.g. the impact of divorce, death, sudden illness or pregnancy?

  • Avoiding toxic managers who cause workplace discontent, tension, burnout, depression, stress and mental health issues?

  • Having higher expectations regarding flexible and remote working?

The statistics are substantial.

Globally, just 35% of those who quit in the past two years took a new job in the same industry.

In finance and insurance, for instance, 65% of workers changed industries or did not return to the workforce.

In the public and social sector, the exodus was even greater, at 72%. On top of this there is the ongoing issue of closing the gender gap within leadership (McKinsey & Company).

Planning for the Future What we are seeing is a fundamental mismatch between companies’ demand for talent and the number of workers able to supply it.

Competition for talent remains brutal and as a result companies are more focused on hiring people for their skills rather than their experience, industry or sector background.

It’s great to know that barriers to switching employers have dropped dramatically so the most talented individuals with the most sought-after skills will be able to continue to explore best fit options.

Talent shortage and the skills gap is not only a threat to organisations but the economy as well.

In addition, research shows that today’s young people are not adequately prepared for the workforce. So it is important that organisations understand that talent doesn’t just come out of universities but can be found in a neurodiverse pool if they are willing to look.

So What's Next?

With nearly 12 million workers lacking the essential digital skills that are needed for jobs, the government has had to take a proactive role in helping to upskill and reskill the workforce by: -

  • Setting up an industry coalition looking at the skills gap.

  • Revamping education and training models by encouraging educators to collaborate with the tech industry on school, college and university curriculums.

  • Boosting the number of students taking core STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

We know that no single solution or traditional recruitment strategy will attract enough people to fill all the job openings let alone retain a productive workforce.

Nonetheless, the above steps by the government is a first attempt at helping individuals to be more prepared for future jobs and businesses more open for potential economic opportunities.

Get Prepared

For the first time in decades, skilled workers are more in control of their careers.

As organisations struggle to fill the skills gap, they are beginning to understand the importance of recognising and valuing people's career priorities if they want to attract the best talent.

Finally, those looking to switch careers or move into different sectors, working with a career coach is a creative process that can inspire employees to maximise their personal and professional potential in these changing and uncertain times.

Have no fear, studies show, women have scored higher than men on nearly every measure of skills and behaviours necessary for effectiveness at the manager and executive levels.

So those women who are serious about making the next move, will find appointing a career coach will help to support their next move; dramatically improve their outlook on work and life, whilst improving their leadership skills, brand assets and more importantly, unlocking their personal and professional potential for the future.


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