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War for Talent Analytical Essay


The global economy has significantly expanded within the last decade. Human resource managers, business leaders, and other entrepreneurs at large have found it increasingly challenging to recruit new and skilled workforce in their business institutions.

These business organisations need skilled employees for critical entrepreneurial processes such as decision-making and strategic planning in order to gain competitive advantage in both local and global markets. However, the gap between the need for skilled workers and available employment positions is seemingly becoming a challenge for many business organizations around the globe.

This phenomenon has crowned into a war for talent that has challenged the accomplishment of goals and objectives for many businesses and organisations. This paper provides insight to the extent to which war for talent has become both a local and global challenge for businesses and organizations.

The Global War for Talent

Numerous researchers have unveiled that many organisations, especially in America, Nordic region, and Asia, have gradually fallen short of competitive talents (Chambers, Foulon, Handfield-Jones, Hankin, & Michaels 1998). The world underwent an immense revolution in terms of technology during the last decade. Apparently, technology has led to the expansion of businesses and the invention of new ones.

As a result, many companies have sprouted within this technological revolution leading to new brands in the market. However, Klein (2013) claims that there is no adequate professional talent to fill the labour gap that is associated with this nature of organisational dynamism.

There is an increasing demand for expertise knowledge about a variety of professional dimensions such as information and technology literacy, free and private enterprise skills, strategic planning, and international shrewdness (Chambers et al. 1998). Lately, due to the aforementioned trend of events, multinational companies have begun to seek talents from foreign countries where quality education is highly regarded.

In their research, the authors note that the shortage of talents in business organisations has forced some executive directors to serve an increasing number of companies in their career life.

This situation is due to the urge for companies to seek the best business leaders to manage their companies. According to Chambers et al. (1998), many companies extend less weight to the practice of nurturing talents within their business organisations.

Global Leadership

Many multinational corporations across the globe have championed to secure the world’s best business executives to lead their businesses (Ju 2013). There is a need for organisations to maintain competitive leaders in order to improve their bottom lines.

Despite the urge for highly qualified professionals, many human resource managers of contemporary business firms face a hard time in search for brilliant talents from the twenty-first century generation (Larkan 2009). Due to competition and emergence of new markets for products, leaders of these business firms have to recruit professionals to take charge of the managerial jobs.

However, the human resource managers meet the recruitment of business executives with the possibility of unforeseen shortcomings of taking on under qualified individuals, masked in volatile skills and knowledge about their anticipated responsibilities (Martin 2013). Furthermore, international firms have to persevere costly hiring of executives due to extreme competition, especially in emerging markets.

According to the authors, the emerging markets have more war for talent than the developed markets. The quality of the products and size of the market depends on the expertise knowledge of the employees. The author unveils that multinationals have lately found difficulties to recruit and maintain highly talented personnel in their business organizations.

A survey conducted by Klein (2013) to investigate the confidence of employees in their companies indicated that 71 percent of business executives were confident that they would be retained in their current positions for at least two to three years.

Aging Population and Global Demographics

Researchers have attested that there an increasing gap between the number of aged persons who leave the workforce and the availability of new talents to occupy the vacant positions (Burkus & Osula 2011). The authors project that the global aging population will rise from 10 percent to 20 percent in the next three decades. Such demographics trend reflects a tremendous decrease of skilled labour force.

The growth economies entirely hinge on the magnitude and superiority of the available workforce. Therefore, the foreseen decrease in qualified talents will lead to loss of human capital in many multinational corporations that drive the economies of many nations, both in the developing and developed world. As well, such loss of human capital will pose a very serious risk for growing and emerging economies.

The demographic patterns of the world have also changed variably in nearly every geographic region of the world. The major factors that have affected the demographic patterns include improved longevity, reduced birth rates, and governance laws on birth control. The above factors reflect a decline in the overall productive population in the next few decades (Spitulnik 2009).

Further research has revealed that, if the demographic trend continues, there will reach a time when the elderly people will have to remain in the workforce for considerably more years than today. The author reveals that several countries have changed the retirement laws for future economic security.

For instance, China is the magnitude of local talents has reduced in the past five years due to higher retirement rates than the employment rates. The situation has forced employers to hire experts from other countries to supplement the low number of existing local workforce (Levy, Beechler, Taylor, & Boyacigiller 2007).

Skills Gap and Diversity

Irrespective of the declining workforce, there is still an outsized worldwide population of both literate and illiterate people that does meet the minimum threshold for employment (Levy et al. 2007). The quest for tech-savvy workforce to take hold of technologically aligned employment positions in computing, information technology, and most engineering industries has created a questionable skills gap.

The authors attest that there is a global shortage of technologists to take on employment in automated industries due to insufficiency of high-level technology skills. Moreover, the diversification of global business firms and industries has raised the demand for all-round workforce that can adjust to different business environments with little or no challenges.

Workers participating in international business affairs have to acquire diverse proficiency skills in disciplines such as culture relations, information technology, linguistics, and general enterprise skills. Furthermore, contemporary multinational companies thrive in a world that is highly globalized (Larkan 2009).

Mobility of Talents

Because of globalisation, Levy et al. (2007) reveals that most international regulations that govern emigration have been waivered to pave a way for business activities across the different spheres of the globe. The loosening of emigration laws has challenged individuals worldwide to venture into global labour markets.

As a result, there has been mobility of talents from one country to another as individuals get employment both in mainland or overseas countries. Ng (2013) claims that globalisation has eased the process of hiring brilliant talents from foreign countries.

In the aforementioned, China and Japan are leading examples in the importation of the labour force to fill in their employment gaps due to their state of declining productive population. Many researchers have posited that mobility because of the war for talent has led to elevated emigration rates (Levy et al. 2007).

This phenomenon has resulted in “brain drain” for the majority of the talented workers who leave their own countries for employment in foreign nations. However, in a number of cases, some countries, especially in the Unites States, have encouraged the need for “talent flow”, contrary to “brain drain”. This practice has promoted the return of skills to home countries in order to boost local talents.

Integration of Mobility and Global Talent

Undoubtedly, mobility is an important business opportunity that many leaders highly prioritise. Ju (2013) speculates that the magnitude of globally mobile workforce will rise significantly in the next 5 years. There is a need for business leaders to integrate mobility and global talents in order to compensate for skill gaps.

Multinational organisations have to develop new leaders and acquaint them with the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to establish new markets. The importance of integrating mobility and global talents is to nurture future talents that can save the global economy from suffering enormous losses due to skill gap.

In a survey conducted by Chambers et al. (1998) to seek opinions on global mobility, the authors revealed that 61 percent of the respondents perceived global mobility as a crucial strategy for developing their talents and life careers.

Apparently, 38 percent suggested that progressive global mobility could become more important for multinationals if business leaders could give the idea much more weight. According to Martin (2013), business leaders need to understand the importance of integrating mobility and talents in an attempt to improve global talent competency.

Development of Talents

According to Klein (2013), there are potential recruits for diverse employment opportunities worldwide. However, the challenge of recruiting and retaining such potential employees is the biggest question from many organisations. Researchers have revealed that there is a global pool of university graduates, who bear unreliable expertise for industrial and/or commercial activities.

As a result, some organisations have sought new ways of maintaining their personnel through talent development. For instance, McDonnell (2011) reveals the Asian case where leaders emphasize the development of employee talents more than in any other place on the globe.

A survey conducted by Levy et al. (2007) revealed that over 60 percent of the companies in Asian countries reported less satisfaction experienced from the performance of new employees. As a result, these companies advocate for the development of employee skills in order to nurture and maintain their talents.

This strategy builds the companies’ confidence in the performance of their employees, and thus enhances the need to retain them. Besides Asia, other countries such as China, India, Latin America, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe have recently embraced the development of talents for employees.

Concisely, the development of talents develops the overall specialisation skills and experience of employees. Hence, it improves both personal and organisational performance (Spitulnik 2011).

The Local War on Talent

War for talent is not only a challenge at the global arena but also an impasse at the local level. Many local companies have also found themselves in the fight for skilled professionals to take on crucial managerial positions (Levy et al. 2007).

The local companies are as good as the multinational corporations. While the multinational corporations rule the global economy, the local business firms and enterprises run the regional economy. A major challenge that faces the local companies is the mobility of talents to foreign countries. Many companies underpay their skilled workforce owing to varying economic status quos for diverse countries across the globe.

Consequently, skilled workers seek better compensations from the global labour market. To a considerable extent, mobility deprives the local companies of competent talents. Ng (2013) confirms that there is improper coordination of local talents in many countries across continents.

There is a misalignment of the education system with the employment sector. So many scholars graduate from local universities only to miss their career job opportunities due to unavailable opportunities for their pursued degree programme.

Others end up in underemployment in very different sectors that do not match with their learned skills. Leaders of local companies have to develop and retain local talents in order to foster job specialisation and adequacy of the required skills.


The war for talent remains an inevitable practice for multinational companies. Local companies have no exception too. The competition for experts is the determinant for the accomplishment of organisational goals and objectives.

Therefore, worldwide multinational companies will continue investing huge sums of their finances to facilitate the recruitment of talented workforce through rigorous examination of their skills and leadership abilities. In addition, the mobility of talents is an ever-growing phenomenon as companies seek talents from the best workforce developers of the world.

China, in particular, is the world’s leading importer of talents due to its state of declining population. Researchers and policymakers have to deliberate on the best ways that companies could use in order to integrate global talents and mobility. Development of proper strategies and approaches to talent management is unavoidable for the success of both local and global businesses.

Reference List

Burkus, D & Osula, B 2011, ‘Faulty Intel in the War for Talent: Replacing the Assumptions of Talent Management with Evidence-based Strategies’, Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, vol. 3 no. 2, pp. 1-9.

Chambers, E.G, Foulon, M, Handfield-Jones, H, Hankin, M & Michaels, G 1998, ‘The War for Talent’, The McKinsey Quarterly, vol. 1 no. 3, pp. 44-57.

Ju, S 2013, ‘Global Talent War 2.0: From “Hiring” to “Utilization”’, SERI Quarterly, vol. 6 no. 1, pp. 79-82.

Klein, S 2013, ‘If you want to survive the talent war…’, Smart Business Houston, vol. 8 no. 7, pp.11-11.

Larkan, K 2009, Winning the Talent War: The 8 Essentials, Marshall Cavendish Business, Singapore.

Levy, O, Beechler, S, Taylor, S & Boyacigiller, N 2007, ‘What we talk about when we talk about ‘global mindset’: managerial cognition in multinational corporations’, Journal of International Business Studies, vol. 38 no. 2, pp. 231–258.

Martin, A 2013, ‘New War on Talent’, Leadership Excellence, vol. 30 no.9, p. 7.

McDonnell, A 2011, ‘Still Fighting the ‘War for Talent’? Bridging the Science Versus Practice Gap’, Journal of Business & Psychology, vol. 26 no. 2, pp. 169-173.

Ng, T 2013, ‘The global war for talent: responses and challenges in the Singapore higher education system’, Journal of Higher Education Policy & Management, vol. 35 no. 3, pp. 280-292.

Spitulnik, J 2006, ‘Cognitive development needs and performance in and aging workforce’, Organization Development Journal, vol. 24 no. 3, pp. 44–53.

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