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Dr. Curtis L. Odom Headshot

The Workforce It Is A-Changin'

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Take the dynamics of a changing workforce and a changing business climate and ask yourself: is there enough talent out there to move your organization forward? Are you positioned well enough to get the talent that you need? Suspend for a moment the thought that I am talking about A-list talent, and ask yourself if there is enough talent in general to sustain your organization.

Today the answer is very likely yes. But I would venture that is in large part due to the economy and the fact that Boomers aren't quite leaving at the rate we expected, and unemployment is high enough that people are legitimately scared to go elsewhere. Lastly, people that are unemployed are willing to take any old job. But this does not mean that it will stay this way. Things change, and although this may take more time than most other changes, you should start to plan for the potential shortages of talent in your organization.

It is a problem. Not an emergency quite yet, but it should be on your radar. Your organization should have a plan for how to manage this in the foreseeable future. Unemployment rates of recent college graduates are troubling. Recent graduates have traditionally been able to take time to learn on the job, working under the protection of more seasoned employees. But once things turn around and Boomers leave, these unemployed will be asked to jump right into the organization, and they will not have had the benefit of time. They will be asked to fill a fairly significant void in the organization.

So, the question becomes, is your organization prepared for this? Does your organization have a talent management strategy? Are the leaders of the organization even aware of this as a pending issue? Have leaders in the organization started to think this one through? Are they taking any action?

If the answer to any of these questions is no... then ask yourself why. Or more importantly, how long will it be and what will it take before the organization can answer any of these questions with "yes"?

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