Talent: A Global Commodity

“It’s clear that talent has become a global commodity, fiercely fought over by multiple competitors,” says Mark Foster, Accenture’s group chief executive.  Corporations are experiencing seismic shifts in demographics, resulting in aging workforces with fewer, younger workers in some parts of the world and burgeoning sources of young talent in other parts; a rising demand for new skills paired with growing deficits in basic skills; more diverse, distributed, and mobile workforces; and, despite a global abundance of people, local scarcities of talent.  (Read more about workforce trends at Perfect Labor Storm)

Facts about global workforce challenges are undeniable.

•Companies and countries will need more than 3.5 billion people by 2010 to fill knowledge worker positions. By 2020, that number will exceed 4 billion. Projections indicate that there will be shortages between 32 million and 39 million people to fill these positions. The U.S. will have the biggest shortfall—needing as many as an additional 14 million people.

• The shortage of talent is particularly acute at the management level. Two out of five Chinese companies find it difficult to fill senior-management positions, and turnover rates at the manager level in China are 25% higher than the global average.

• The balance of the global labor supply is shifting to developing economies. Between 2005 and 2050, the working-age population of emerging economies will increase by 1.7 billion, compared with a decline of 9 million in the developed economies.

• In the U.S., retirement of the baby boomers means that the 500 biggest companies could lose half their senior managers in the next five years.

Talent has become a global commodity. Senior executives are only now realizing that their talent strategy must entail more than just throwing money at high-performers in hopes of recruiting and retaining them. Indeed, talent must be redefined to include not just the best and brightest but the entire workforce—those who contribute all of the skills and capabilities that an organization needs to sustain growth.

Read more about The Global Talent Crisis


Ira S Wolfe


  1. GlobalHunt India September 30, 2008 at 2:29 am -

    yes, your are correct and satified with your views. But in india still have talent pool. USA and other countries outsourced their projects to India. MNCs have started BPOs in India. No Manpower crises in India. Now USA have to think …
    GlobalHunt India