Five Key Characteristics of Today’s Talent.
Such as the business world has changed over the past decades, talent has also evolved. Let us see how:
1. Talent is free: it changes employers several times in the course of its career.
In the 50’s – 60’s white collars used to work within the same company during their entire career. „Company men“ were corporate and shared the company’s values and long term vision. In the 70’s – 80’s workers tended to be more ladder driven. „Ladder climbers“ did not hesitate to resign after 8 to 10 years in average, if the company for which they were working did not offer them the targeted positions. In 2012, there is a majority of „individualists“ working as „free agents“. They are free and do not necessarily share the company’s vision nor values for which they work. In average nowadays workers stay up to 4.5 years within the same company, which makes around 11 different employers in a lifetime.*
2. Talent is continuously learning.
Today’s talent cannot only rely on its university skills. For, they become quickly outdated. According to Deloitte’s study* university skills have an expected shelf life of only five years. It is so in many fields such as technology, medicine, telecommunications… As a consequence talent has to be constantly learning in order to stay ahead on the job market. Talent must deepen and broaden its knowledge and develop skills of a complementary job. Today’s graphic designer may be an HTML software engineer in two years.
3. Talent is mobile, worldwide.
Thanks to numerous international agreements between many states and when one has many skills, it is easy to emigrate. Moreover, skilled workers are offered many advantages by companies wishing to hire them: high salary, fringe benefits, facilitated paperwork (Visa, housing…). Working abroad is also a great asset for resumes.
4. Talent has a bargaining power over their employers.
Due to the talent shortage which is already being experienced on profiles such as engineers and IT specialists, talent has gained more power over their employers. Concerning such jobs, the market is unbalanced; the demand is higher than there are candidates: as a consequence, talent requests a higher salary, diverse fringe benefits… According to Deloitte’s statistics, the financial performance of U.S. firms has declined in the past 45 years while skilled professionals saw their total compensation rise.
5. Talent is aging.
Many studies agree on the impacts of the aging population in Western countries. According to Deloitte, by 2018, almost 40 million working Americans will be 55 years or older, which is an increase of 5.8% every 10 years. Concerning young professionals, given the short shelf life of their skills (point 2 in this article) and the difficulties they have „selling“ these skills in order to be able to work in their field, they fall behind. Under such conditions, the most experienced talent prevails over the young talent.
*Deloitte White Paper: Brawn from brains – Talent, policy and the future of American competitiveness.
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