Global Labor Market Must Emerge to Support Worldwide Economic Growth, Deloitte CEO Says
Collaboration among international political and business leaders needed.
Davos, Switzerland, January 26, 2006 — William Parrett, Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (Deloitte), today urged some of the world’s leaders to work together to facilitate a global labor market capable of supporting sustained economic growth. Mr. Parrett made his remarks during a panel session at the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Citing a study conducted by Deloitte Research, the “2005 Talent Management Strategies Survey,” Mr. Parrett told the attendees that a host of global demographic trends — from low birth rates to the graying of the “Baby Boomer” generation — are contributing to long-term skill shortages that are being experienced by developed and developing nations alike. The problem affects a range of key industries, including healthcare, financial services and manufacturing, and could eventually prevent companies from sustaining and boosting their growth, Mr. Parrett said.
“Talent is the fuel of sustainable growth and is at a premium,” said Mr. Parrett. “Old ways of thinking are working at cross-purposes to meeting the critical talent needs of labor and industry.”
Mr. Parrett said that to successfully meet business needs, the traditional corporate model of talent management must expand beyond simply acquiring and retaining talent to developing and deploying it — both domestically and, more so, internationally. Further, in facing the reality of globalization, governments must look beyond the limited scope of national labor markets and embrace change that enables talent to move freely across borders.
During the WEF discussion, Mr. Parrett offered ideas to better leverage the existing labor force and to enhance talent mobility. He said companies could help by refocusing human resources practices, developing talent globally, tapping underutilized labor sources — such as women and minorities — and creating alliances to fill talent gaps. He added that governments must continue to be part of the solution and facilitate the movement of talented people across borders and markets.
“The global business visa proposed by the UN Global Commission on International Migration and agreeing on security screening standards are two areas that immediately come to mind,” said Mr. Parrett. "Businesses can also take simple and practical steps to address the needs and improve the mobility of dual-career families, a growing issue hindering mobility.
“Changing the nature of international assignments, forming alliances with infrastructure companies to facilitate quick settlement, and forming ’Opportunity Networks’ with other companies to pool available employment opportunities in trailing spouses’ fields are just some examples of what businesses can consider.”
The need for action is very real, Mr. Parrett said. He cited United Nations figures that by 2025, 125 million migrant workers will be required in Western Europe alone to sustain growth.
“Solutions like longer work weeks and setting higher retirement ages help, but they can only go so far,” Mr. Parrett said. “Only by looking at the problem in a collaborative, creative and holistic way can world leaders hope to succeed in creating and enabling a real cross-border workforce that can drive the global economic engine for decades to come.”
Read the 2005 Talent Management Strategies Survey
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