Globalisation driving recruitment change

by 16 Sep 2008

GLOBALISATION WILL see the war for talent heat up over the next decade, and business will need to become more culturally aware to adapt to more people working across borders, recruiters were told at a recent RCSA conference.

South African futurist and political analyst, Daniel Silke, said that the world’s emerging markets will change the way people do business in the coming decade.

“The next 10 years will be the century for emerging markets, where the BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India and China) will flourish, creating a second industrial revolution,” he said.

“China and India alone are expected to graduate a combined 1.5 million scientists and engineers by the year 2010 – this is 12 times the output of the entire US university system. For the global recruitment industry this will create new shifts in the supply of the future workforce.”

Moreover, human mobility will increase competition for talent over the next decade. “There are 200 million migrants across the world who, together, would make up the fifth most populous country,” Silke said.

“The global war for talent will see individuals, nations and companies competing as skills grow scarce. Countries will be judged on the quality of education and university standards as well as socio-economic factors.”

Carl Camden, CEO of Kelly Services in the US, said that the BRIC countries will comprise 40 per cent of the world’s workforce in years to come. Last year alone, China produced 3.3 million college graduates, compared to the 300,000 students who graduated in Australia and New Zealand combined.

This globalisation of human resources is boosting the overall profile of the recruitment industry, to a point where it now has a platform to influence public policy, he said.

“The world will increasingly be in competition for the skills of the educated talent pool in the developing world. The reality is our countries’immigration policies will therefore have a big impact on who we can attract in the future,”Camden said.

“Globalisation offers our industry a platform to shape public policy, and position ourselves as the most qualified industry to respond to current business needs, and yet in many countries around the world this industry still does not set the agenda on workforce issues.”

Another theme touched on in the conference was the spectre of an economic downturn. Business expert Bruce Cotterill told delegates that the key to dealing with uncertainty is to focus on the things you can do something about.

“Aspects of a business like leadership, communication and how to deal with change and people are crucial, yet often overlooked. You need to be 20 per cent better every year just to stay the same,” Cotterill said.

Through his own experience in managing and turning companies around, Cotterill said ongoing improvement is crucial.

“As reality has it, there is more business being done in the world on a single day than was done during the whole of 1974. Moreover, if every job in the world was cut today, China could still fill all of them,” Cotterill said.

“This is the environment we’re living in, where the answers to the same questions have changed. It’s not just within the recruitment industry; change such as an ageing population is affecting all industries. We’ve had 15 good years and now times have changed, so we need to change the way we think.”


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