Global contest for talents

Jonas Prising (ManpowerGroup): “Companies are now considering in a strategic way where to look for talents”

Linc Jonas-Prising

Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup Chairman e Ceo

«A global contest for talents».  A natural selection in the Darwinian sense, where the winner is the one who proves to be more talented and skilled. And where the companies have to keep up with the times, accompanying the employee along his/her long job marathon, knowing him/her better thanks to the new technologies, if they don’t want to loose the best available talents. This is the age of the triumph of individual choices, as the customer has gained control over the company and the worker seeks the opportunity to develop his/her skills within the company. This is how Manpower portrays the job market in the report “Human Age 2.0 – Future forces at work”, compiled after the World Economic Forum held in Davos.

The right skills
«What is certain is uncertainty». The study starts from this not-very-promising-view of the job market: the economic recovery is hardly taking place, social inequalities are growing and skills and investments are lacking, entrepreneurs «have moved from being creators of talents to being work customers». A survey conducted by Manpower has revealed that in 2015 38% of the world companies have experienced difficulties while looking for the right skills compared to the year before, the highest figure in the last seven years.

«From the persistent situation of instability to the market fragmentation – says Jonas Pricing – new ways of job scouting are emerging». But how to do it? «The entrepreneurs have to make sure to draw new manpower from the circle of underused talents», explains the report. China is investing on higher education; Japan is encouraging businessmen to look for talents among women. In the United States, the big companies from the power and aerospace industry, offer their older employees a flexible retirement option, keeping them long enough to transfer their knowledge and know-how to the new generations.

A new model for human resources
Besides these options, a new management system of human resources is developing within the job market. The target is to reduce costs, attract and keep the best talents. The tools employed are assessments, online conduct, constant feedbacks and real time data on performances. To sum up in a few words «a true management of professional services». Through technology and big data, the companies are able to know better their employees and act accordingly. The American Target, for example, sends coupons for children products to the employees who get pregnant. And this is also true to find out and keep the best brains available. «It is easier to locate the best talents, and the possible leaks, within a company – states Jonas Pricing – if you have a huge amount of data at disposal. Most companies are starting to think in a more strategic way about where to look for talents».

This is because the job market is bound to come to terms with the customers’ needs. Today like never before, the final customer has gained a significant power over his/her own company.

It is the individual choice
that eventually
determines the job market

Uber and Airbnb are good examples of this phenomenon: the new generation of Millennials is going to ask the Company the opportunity to run their own «super job marathon», developing their own skills but also balancing work and life. «The entrepreneurs – states the Manpower report – will have to make sure that potential workers choose them as the place to develop their skills».

(translation by Cecilia Braghin)


Stefano De Agostini

Stefano De Agostini Giornalista professionista, ha collaborato con e La Provincia di Como. Chiodi fissi: lavoro ed economia. In tasca, una laurea in storia e un master in giornalismo. Nella vita precedente, educatore in comunità.