Talent scarcity threatens growth

A shortage of technical skills, such as computer expertise, is fuelling a talent shortage that threatens to dampen growth prospects in mature and emerging markets.

New research from Grant Thornton International shows that 39% of businesses are struggling to recruit the right people. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents globally say technical skills are the main obstacle, with 61% of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) respondents and 65% from the G7 in agreement.

The research also shows that 28% of businesses expect their 2013 expansion plans to suffer because of skills shortages. Thirty-six per cent of respondents from BRIC nations expect a skills-related slowdown, according to Grant Thornton.

“A great team with an average plan will be far more successful than an average team with a great plan,” Paul Raleigh, Grant Thornton’s global leader of growth, said in a news release. “The best people increase productivity, save an organisation time and money and ultimately grow the business. So in the long term, business leaders need to be confident that their own training programmes will be able to deliver talent sustainably.”

The Grant Thornton research used the opinions of 6,400 senior executives between August and December 2012.

The results of the Grant Thornton research mirror those of a recent Robert Half survey showing that 59% of US CFOs consider it a challenge to find skilled financial professionals.

A CGMA survey last summer also pointed to talent management as a critical obstacle. That report showed that 43% of chief executives, CFOs and human resources directors thought that poor talent management had kept their company from reaching key financial targets in the previous 18 months, and 40% said it hindered their ability to innovate.

Related CGMA Magazine content:

Companies Invest in Employee Training to Reduce Global Skills Gap’s Effects”: Spending on employee learning and development is rising as companies attempt to hire and train new workers and leaders alike to combat a global skills gap, according to research by Bersin by Deloitte. Read about some of the best practices in learning and development, as well as mistakes to avoid.

Neil Amato ( is a CGMA Magazine senior editor.