Talents on the move

The contradiction between populist strains and organizations looking for talents

Talents on the move

The turbulence that shook the economy of developed countries last year also had a strong impact on the labour market: Donald Trump became the new President of the United States, generating growing populist strains and promoting a new economic protectionism. The United Kingdom chose to exit the European Union and the uncertainties generated by the Brexit slowed down new employees hiring rate inside English and Irish companies. They also put a halt to the circulation of talents, which used to be a distinctive feature of the British labour market, and which is still happening in other countries worldwide.

Our country, already burdened by an intrinsic weakness, mainly the inability to work inside an ecosystem, has shown a trend towards individualism, which is acting as a restraint for attracting talents.

The need for a fluid talent
In a moment of great transformations such as those we are facing today, the picture illustrated above appears in sharp contradiction with the needs of organizations and companies, which aim to attract talents hic et nunc, in other words, to have the right people at the right place at the right time. Globalization forced many organizations of various sizes to search for new markets in order to increase their opportunities. Indeed, globalization eventually made companies much more horizontal and multicultural.

This phenomenon involves the evident need for fluid and mobile talents, capable to circulate across different companies and countries in order to grow and share skills, thus bringing wealth to organizations and economies. On one side, this is an obligation and a necessity for companies; on the other side, it is a fantastic opportunity for young people.

The countries which hire more
The international organization World Economic Forum recently published a ranking of the 11 world countries where finding a job in 2017 appears more likely, made on the ground of the companies’ expectations of staff growth within any single country.

Looking at the ranking, it appears that the countries currently hiring more are those from the Far East and Eastern Europe: the top positions are held by New Zealand, Bulgaria, Hong Kong, Rumania, Hungary and India. It looks like a real world-convergence is taking place between the countries that hire the most and those which hire less depending on different growth rates. This underlines once more the fluidity of talent and the need to develop new skills and assess the outcomes.

Multiculturalism and globalization
Globalization and the opportunities to make working experience abroad are accelerating the development of the so-called metacognitive skills or soft-skills because, when we come in contact with foreign cultures, we are exposed to new challenges and stimuli. On the other side, the operating mechanisms of multicultural contexts accelerate the processes intended to win new markets, develop new ideas and create new products. Obviously, everything has to be managed and supervised in a balanced manner.

Today, globalization and technology represent two important enablers to express the growth potential of a country. However, in order to turn opportunities into outcomes, it is essential to find the right people with the right skills. This is going to be the challenge of the forthcoming decade, a very complex challenge. Public and private institutions, the educational system and corporations need to work side by side in order to fill this gap, working on the skills of today and, most of all, on the skills of tomorrow.


Stefano Scabbio

Stefano Scabbio Presidente Area Mediterranea, Europa del Nord e Orientale di ManpowerGroup e membro del Comitato esecutivo BAA dell’Università Bocconi con delega all’International Employability. Dal 2014 è alla presidenza di Assolavoro, l'Associazione Nazionale di Categoria delle Agenzie per il Lavoro (ApL)