Companies in all sectors and industries are engaged in a permanent battle for talent, and their centre of operations is the area of Human Resources, which has gone from being the administrative office of the company to a strategy definer. And those responsible range from the CEO to operations and from branding to communications.

One of the main challenges for company CEOs is to retain, find and attract talent. Because the organisations that have the best talent are the ones that are growing the most.

A leader’s circumstances are not determined by his or her talent, but by where he or she puts his or her talent to work. Most people just spend their time; true leaders spend their time using their talent.

The digital talent gap is already significant.

Technological change has brought about changes in employment structures. In a world dominated by the presence of information and communication technologies (ICT), the skills demanded by businesses, which are also in transformation, have changed and workers will need to develop new skills.

Improve your skills, even when it is costly in the short term. Create customised technical and behavioural training programmes. These programmes allow employees, particularly legacy engineers, to upgrade and retrain to take on new technical services roles, providing new careers for those whose roles were at risk of becoming obsolete.

Adapting their talents as the company is undergoing its own digital and cultural transformation. Through this dedicated effort, you can not only reposition yourself to meet the needs of the digital future, but also create a culture of learning to maintain that advantage.

If you don’t invest in your people and give them reasons to stay, you’re going to have talent drain and that’s something no company should have.

In Europe, 64% of large companies and 56% of small and medium-sized companies are having trouble finding talent for jobs requiring technology skills (study commissioned by Salesforce from RAND Europe (Digital Skills Research).

Just a few months ago, employees struggled to find work; now they can choose from a plethora of opportunities. This is good news for workers, but a challenge for companies. According to ManpowerGroup, 69 per cent of employers are having difficulty filling positions.

Upskilling and reskilling are on the march.

The answer is a transformation of skills. We need to change the framework and recognise that this is an internal war, not just an external one. We don’t just have to compete with each other, we have to compete with our employees’ visions of their future.

In the battle for talent, companies can thrive by investing in the development of the talent they already have.

We thrive by creating a learning culture, where every employee has the opportunity to develop new skills and capabilities and is given the tools to do so.

And inevitably, as employees’ skills improve, so does their self-confidence, self-esteem and commitment.

It is also good business. In a world awash with cheap capital, where market dynamics and technology are constantly changing and lowering the barriers to entry, many of us need to evolve from the jobs they do today to the skills they need to compete tomorrow.

The cultural model to follow

Helping clients create that culture of learning, of continuous learning, is essential. Modelling a culture of continuous learning is key.

The digital and cultural revolution we have been experiencing since the end of the 20th century has transformed the recruitment market for high-potential talent (understood as the most productive skilled talent, the most difficult to automate and replace by machines) into a market controlled by supply rather than demand.

Today it is easier to get a customer than a high-potential employee. Particularly in the fields of new technologies, digitalisation, but not exclusively.

We live in a situation where companies of all types and sectors are competing to hire the same kind of skilled talent, and where that talent therefore has far more opportunity and far greater power in the employment relationship than it might have had at any other time in history.

The world of work is changing and the companies and organisations that are able to adapt or anticipate these profound changes will be the winners in the battle for talent.

Attitudes towards work are changing.

For more workers it is optional, remote, flexible and mobile. And when the worker is not changing, work is being transformed by technology and creating upheaval in the global workforce. On top of that, there is a growing skills gap that is creating a potential economic impact of $2.5 trillion, according to Deloitte.

In addition, leaders must be open to and understand the role of technology and digitalisation, as well as understand new trends in talent and leadership, and know how people learn and what motivates them.

And, on top of that, they need to meet a “human-centric profile”.  We must continue to understand talent and help accelerate its development within the organisation.

Prioritise people over business.

Be clear about what inspires your employees. Connect skills development to something bigger: a common corporate vision that is tailored to each individual’s career aspirations. This employee-centred learning programme keeps your teams inspired and engaged.

Traditional education systems are not preparing workers to keep pace with technological advances and the skills needed to fill new jobs

Instead of trust, big companies with resources and talent let themselves be overcome by fear. Many brands could learn from their mistakes if they weren’t so busy denying them.

What comes next is the challenge of attracting talent from outside and knowing how to develop it within companies.

If employees were the brand ambassadors in the 20th century, in the 21st century, employees are the brand. Attracting, developing and retaining the employee of the future will not be easy. In fact, it is not easy now.

The future of work is talent. This is no coincidence, as the true brand of a company lies in the talent of its employees.

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