Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Talent Pool

If you've been trying to find talented people for your organization you can appreciate the reality reflected in the above graphs. The first one is the unemployment rate for people over 25 years of age with a college degree (2006-2016). The second one is the number of private sector job openings over the same time period. In mid 2009 we bottomed out at 1.7 million job openings. We are now at 4 million and for most of 2016 have been slightly over that level. Now to be clear, that is all private sector jobs, not just those requiring a degree. But the point made is still valid. Despite a tepid economic recovery, there are a lot of jobs to be filled. And the 4 million level is higher than it was even before the Great Recession.

The unemployment rate for those with college degrees (first graph) peaked at 5% in September 2009 and pretty much stayed at or near that level through 2010. That number has been cut in half, down to 2.5% and has been at that level for the past 12 months.

These are average numbers covering a big map, a number of jobs and a lot of people. You may be an employer who is not yet feeling the squeeze. Or you may be an employee who is not yet feeling "the love". But the signs are clear. If we're seeing these trends in a flat economy, what happens if we start growing? And for that matter, how much can we grow without talent?
The companies that are going to win over the next 10 years will be the ones who attract, develop and retain talented people. If that's not your number one priority, you're already falling behind.

"The first rule is not to lose. The second rule is not to forget the first rule" - Warren Buffett

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