About twenty years ago Bill Clinton based a part of his election campaign on the upcoming labor shift. The problem back than was that due to globalization a lot of jobs were about to be outsourced. The primary reason was of course economical. Bill Clinton realized that even though the USA is a country with rich natural resources, the most precious resource is actually "human capital".
Now this human capital is very different (but in some aspects quite close) to natural resources. One has to invest a lot of time and money to get some benefit and there is no guarantee on the ROI at all. Additionally any efforts to improve the situation will result in a long-term process, which might take years to show any results.
Now twenty years later we can definitely say that even though there is some improvement, we are still lacking in a lot of fields. STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) is still not promoted sufficiently, to supply future needs. In Germany alone we are lacking tens of thousands of engineers, IT developers, mathematicians and other highly qualified people.
Now what are companies doing in such an environment? Well, most companies do the same thing as ever. They have a couple of new job openings so they announce it in newspapers, the company's bulletin boards and of course in diverse Internet portals. Problem solved?
Of course not! It is quite easy math to realize that the real talents will usually not be in the pool of potential candidates for the position. The reason is simple: Even if such a talent would be searching a position right now, given that there are hundreds of job offers, the chance that such a talent picks the one from a specific company is close to zero (and still, a few lucky companies will have talents in their potential pools).
What needs to be done? Well, companies need to realize that the market changed. They cannot survive in the long-term if they act like employees could be lucky to work there. In fact its the opposite: The company could be lucky to have high potentials working for them. In order to get those potentials these companies need to do a few things right:
- High potentials need to be searched and contacted
- The company should never act superior to the individual
- Possibilities for work-life balances should be discussed
Today just getting more money, driving a bigger car or other meaningless assets are inferior as compared to doing something meaningful, being rewarded with respect and having a supporting environment with inspiring solutions.