Implications of a Labor Shortage

In More on the labour shortage, Michael points to The Coming Labor Shortage. Here’s a quote :

What’s interesting about Deloitte’s prediction of a “critical talent” shortage is that they’re onto the fact this isn’t about bosses alone. The biggest skills gap will be smack in the middle of the so-called creative class workforce. “Critical talent represents those individuals who possess highly developed skills and deep knowledge of not just the work itself but how to make things happen within a company,” (quoted from someone in Deloitte)

Hmm. Sounds to me like they’re talking about technical leads in any discipline), project managers, managers, anyone who successfully works with more than one person effectively. Notice that the report is talking about people who know how to make things happen.When I work with managers who ask for some number of years of experience in a job description, I ask them to describe how many product shipments or completed projects or some other indication of people who have seen an entire project through — a better indication of experience than just a number of years. (I talked about years of experience here).

There are always people out there who know how to get things done. If you want to find them, make sure you’ve worked through a job analysis, so you know what getting things done means to you. If we really are headed for a labor shortage, you’ll want to know what you need and what you can trade off. If we’re not headed for a labor shortage, you still want to know so you don’t have to waste a lot of time looking for people who aren’t quite right.

One Reply to “Implications of a Labor Shortage”

  1. Based on my current experience, I think this is a reality. My company typically promotes from within when we have openings for front-line development manangers. We need people who are good developers who also have a desire to lead people. Our internal pool has dried up. Most qualified candidates cite a reluctance to deal with people issues for why they are not interested in our team lead positions.
    So, we have found ourselves in the uncomfortable position of looking externally for someone to fill our current openings. Our recruiters are having a hard time finding the people with leadership experience who have kept their technical skills current. I’ve been told that we are looking for a “purple monkey”. After about six weeks of searching, we finally have one candidate that we are scheduled to interview next week. I really hope to find at least two other candidates to interview so that we have a pool to choose from.
    Do you have any suggestions for both developing leaders internally, and/or finding the “purple monkey”?

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