Survey: Do Employers See the Worker Talent Well Running Dry?

July 31, 2006 ( - About 39% of employers see no signs of a downturn in the supply of talented workers, but just over 60% do, according to recent survey.

Boston-based Novations Group conducted a survey of 3,100 human resources executives and found that one-third of employers have begun to update their selection and recruiting criteria, according to a press release on the survey.

When asked how they describe their approach to selection and hiring, survey respondents gave the following responses:

  • 32.1% see signs of a talent shortage and have taken steps to update selection criteria.
  • 29.1% see signs of a talent shortage, but will continue to hire at the same pace.
  • 19.4% see no signs of a talent shortage, but will remain cautious on new hiring in the year ahead.
  • 9.7% see no signs of a talent shortage, but are convinced one will emerge before the end of the decade.
  • 9.5% say they do not anticipate a shortage in the next decade.

“But our survey shows there’s also widespread uncertainty on what’s going to happen and when,” said Tim Vigue, vice president at Novations, in the release. “Some organizations are in a passive mode, while the smart ones are taking a hard look at their recruitment and selection procedures,” he added.

Employers also have an opinion of how the loss of Baby Boomers to the workforce will affect their organizations.

With respect to retiring baby boomers, employers said:

  • Anticipate a serious loss of talent and institutional know-how, but currently do not have any steps in place to mitigate this loss – 17.9%,
  • Taking steps to mitigate our loss of talent, for example, by creating ways for baby boomers to gradually reduce their hours – 29.6%,
  • Do not expect an unusually large loss of talent with baby boomer retirements – 39.3%,
  • Not sure – 14.1%.