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Future of work: The talent shift

This paper examines corporate attitudes toward talent availability in the future of work. It also details the extent to which business leaders are aware of imminent talent shortages, and what they’re doing about them. This work follows Korn Ferry’s study, The Global Talent Crunch, which modeled the gap between future labor supply and demand at key major milestones (2020, 2025, 2030) to estimate how organizations and nations will be affected by shortages of skilled talent. For The Talent Shift study, we interviewed 1,550 business leaders from the world’s largest companies across 19 developed and developing economies. We focused on businesses in three knowledge-intensive sectors that act as critical drivers of global economic growth: financial and business services; technology, media and telecommunications (TMT); and manufacturing. Additionally, we analyzed a cohort of the highest-growth companies against the average. High-growth businesses are defined as the 20 per cent of businesses achieving the highest level of growth in annual turnover averaged across three years. The top 20 per cent is taken within each of the core sectors in the study and within each market, to ensure that the companies’ growth is compared only to their peers. A global talent crisis is looming, with skilled labor shortages predicted to hit 85.2 million workers at 2030. Business leaders across the globe believe they will need more highly skilled workers as a percentage of their workforce, yet only half believe there will be a deficit of this talent, and a third deny that talent shortages will reduce their growth or limit profitability.