2015 Warning – A Talent Shortage! Part 1: Three Great Sources of New Employees

New EmployeesYes, though it may not be as fast or as robust as we would like, the economy continues to improve in 2015. What is one of the major issues now facing US companies? A talent shortage! One of the major contributing factors is that the record number of Baby Boomers (people born between 1946 – 1965) retiring exceeds the supply of new qualified talent entering the market place.

Part 1 of this two part series will look at 3 top sources of bringing in new talent. Part 2 will explore the importance of retaining your existing talent through better engagement and career development.

Let’s examine three great sources for bringing in new talent: Veterans, Older Workers and Millenials.

1) Veterans! Most indications are that the USA as a country will be deploying less troops overseas, resulting in additional veterans ending their tours of duty and entering the domestic job market. Yes, hiring veterans is a good thing to do to thank those who have served our country, but more importantly, the men and women of our Armed Services have received excellent training and have gained valuable skills required by most businesses. Do look for programs in your state promoting and providing connection tools for Veteran hiring. In North Carolina, we have an excellent effort being coordinated by the Governor’s Working Group on Veterans, Service Members and their Families in conjunction with our NC state SHRM (Society of Human Resource Mgt) group and major businesses. Veterans looking for work in NC and companies with job openings should check out the NC Military Pipeline website. And do read my blog about hiring veterans from last November.

2) Older workers! Even has record number of people in their late 50s and 60s are now retiring, many older workers want to keep working or perhaps re-enter the workforce because of continued good health, the desire to keep intellectually stimulated and for financial reasons. This excellent pool of talent can offer deep expertise in their fields or your industry, and can even include former employees who may want to return to work part time or on a contract basis. But a strong value proposition needs to be offered; these valuable workers are seeking flexibility in hours and having responsibilities that leverage their strengths and in which they feel valued. Check out the blog I published in 2013 on considerations for best engaging older workers.

3) The New Millenials! These are people born after 1982, and thus includes all the 20-something recent college graduates. Companies must really work hard to recruit enough of this emerging young talent to fill many positions left by a high retirement rate, realizing that the same things don’t drive this generation as past ones. These younger workers seek more work-life balance, to have their opinions and contributions valued, and companies that embrace diversity and more altruistic global world view. Also companies need to do more recruiting in “virtual space” instead of the old methods. (see my blog “Are your recruiting methodologies up-to-date?”)

Go out and hire some Veterans, older workers and new millennials! In Part 2, I will focus on how to develop and retain this important talent once you have recruited them onto your team.

A Conversation with the Executive President of Mexico’s Human Resource Professional Organization

This blog is loaded with links – please do explore them!

It was a privilege to meet with Pedro Borda Hartmann, Executive President of AMEDIRH, during my recent trip to Mexico City.

It was a privilege to meet with Pedro Borda Hartmann, Executive President of AMEDIRH, during my recent trip to Mexico City.

On March 11-14th, I traveled to Mexico City to be part of the 2014 National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s Trade mission. It was an exciting combination of attending and presenting workshops with business leaders from across Latin America, meeting with prospective large Mexican companies to present my innovative Total Engagement Career Mapping offering, meeting with the Executive President of Mexico’s largest Human Resources Professional organization, reuniting with old friends, and even a little sightseeing.

Next week I will provide more details on the entire trip, but in this blog I want to highlight my meeting with Pedro Borda Hartmann, Executive President of the Asociacion Mexicana en Direccion de Recursos Humanos (abbreviated AMEDIRH, link) and Lia Duran Herrera, the group’s communication leader who shared some of their excellent resources and publications.

Translated to English, the Mexican Association in Human Resources Management was founded in 1947 and has now grown to a membership of over 12,500 executives from different areas across the human resources profession. The equivalent organization in the Unites States of which I am a member is SHRM (link,) Society for Human Resource Management.

In my meeting with Sr. Borda, I asked him what the top key human resources challenges facing Mexican businesses. It is amazing how similar these challenges are to those on the top of mind here in the United States. Sr. Borda’s top four:

1) Attracting and building the right kind of globally competent talent so that Mexican businesses can be internationally competitive. Sr. Borda remarked that Mexico will quickly fall behind global business powerhouses like China and India if they do not develop the right kind of sharp global talent.

The "Ninis" in Mexico, neither working neither going to school, are often referred to as "Mexico's lost generation" (photo from ehui.com)

The “Ninis” in Mexico, neither working neither going to school, are often referred to as “Mexico’s lost generation” (photo from ehui.com)

2) The too-high unemployment rate, especially among the 15-29 year old demographic. This groups is often referred as “Ninis” in Mexico (link to article about Ninis) – they are neither working neither going to school. This kind of unengaged populace can both hurt the national economy as well as the global competitiveness issue.

3) Demographic shifts. While there is this significant number of “Ninis,” there is also a growing number of senior citizens, now topping off at 9%. As health care continues to improve in Mexico as it is all over the world, life expectancy is increasing. Many of these growing number of older workers have great skills and want to continue working. Are they being leveraged by Mexican businesses? (See my blog about older workers in the US)

4) The strategic place for human resource leaders within corporate Mexico. Just as in the US, there is a growing movement in Mexico as to the strategic importance of Human Resource Management. HR managers need to be engaged by C-Suite executives since leveraging human resources is increasingly critical to business success. (see my blogs on HR strategy part 1 and part 2.)

As I look at expanding my career development and diversity services into the Mexican market, I look forward to continued engagement with AMEDIRH!