Manpower announced before the discussion that the company has identified that the world is now entering the Human Age, where employers will be awakened to the power of humans as future drivers of economic growth. While previous areas were defined by the materials that transformed them — Stone, Iron and Bronze, then by ever-evolving technology — industry, space and information, in the Human Age access to key talent will become the key competitive differentiator. It will matter less if countries and companies can access capital and more if they can attract and retain the talent they need to win.
"Those individuals with the skills and the talent are actually changing the swagger in their step," said
Joerres was joined in the debate by moderator
Quigley echoed Joerres' sentiment, saying companies need to provide employees with a working environment where they can excel. "We the organization are responsible for you to perform at your very best," he said.
With the Human Age accentuated by demographic shifts such as aging workforces, worsening talent mismatches, the collaborative power of fast-evolving technologies and the need for companies to do more with less, discussion panelists agreed that having an adequate talent pipeline is as challenging as it is critical. It's about employers looking for specificity of skills and the need for employers to adopt a "one-size-fits-one" approach to employee engagement on a human level.
"If you're turning over the people in your company on a rapid basis you're not going to be successful in the market place," said Brutto.
The panel also focused on the problem of long-term unemployment, which is adding to the imbalance between the talent needed and the talent available because skills deteriorate when a person is out of work for an extended period of time. Collaboration is the key to tackling this problem, but individuals must ensure they commit to lifelong learning to get ahead in the Human Age.
"It's the biggest challenge ever to put unemployed people back to work," said Burrow. "We've got to invest in jobs and investment in jobs needs to be blended with investment in skills."
Brown added that so-called "industry migrants" — workers who are moving to a different industry — are one key to solving the skills mismatch but they need adequate transition support from employers. "This is about transitioning from one industry to another," he said.
Tapscott said that protectionist attitudes to immigration would exacerbate the talent mismatch because it will make it difficult for individuals with the required skills to relocate to where they are needed. He also added that more entrepreneurs need be assisted to create more jobs. "We should be encouraging entrepreneurship because most 80 percent of new jobs come from companies that are five years old," he said.
Gopalakrishnan said the velocity of change in the Human Age also poses massive challenges for the individual. "The nature of work and the areas in which work is being done are changing. Today, a person will probably change jobs five or six times. If an employee doesn't have the skills, they're at a disadvantage."
"The topics we've discussed are complicated and we're in the middle of the transition," said Joerres. "We are entering the Human Age."
Enter the Human Age at: www.manpower.com/humanage.
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