News Analysis

CIOs unprepared for looming skills war

A survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has found that even though most firms recognise staffing as their top priority, they lack the rigorous talent management strategies to attract and keep key people.

Scott Pollak, director at PwC, says competition for talent has never been so fierce.

“Even a small increase in demand would signal the beginning of another industry talent war,” says Pollak.

Hottest demand is for people who are tech-savvy but also assured innovators, able to transform ideas into new products and services.

This shortage will bite worldwide and UK firms can no longer rely on cheap and plentiful talent offshore to bolster skills. An intensifying demand for talent is pushing salaries up in India and China. Some 41% of technology companies in emerging markets are finding it difficult to attract talent and even more find it hard to hang onto good people.

Companies should fight the shortage by establishing talent maps to assess current and future skills requirements and put in place metrics at all levels of the organisation.

“It’s no longer a battle for talent. The real contest will be won through the development of superior tools and strategies for managing human capital management across the enterprise,” says Graham Wyllie, director at PwC.


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