Ahu Yildirmaz, Head of the ADP Research Institute and Vice President of Market Insights & Analytics at ADP, examined global workforce trends and what they mean for today's human resources professionals during her presentation to Argyle's CHRO membership at the 2017 Human Capital Leadership Forum in Dallas on December 6. In her presentation, "Evolution of Work: The Changing Nature of the Global Workforce," Yildirmaz highlighted key challenges for HR professionals and how to address these challenges.
Although the U.S. economy is improving, a talent shortage continues to plague employers across all industries.
According to Yildirmaz, the U.S. economy is driving job creation in a variety of sectors. At the same time, employers are competing for a limited amount of available talent.
"The U.S. economy continues to pump jobs," Yildirmaz said. "But there is a talent shortage, and this is the biggest challenge for business decision-makers."
Ultimately, the talent shortage problem is unlikely to go away any time soon.
"Employers are having a hard time across all industries filling job openings, and the [talent] gap is actually widening," Yildirmaz indicated.
Passive job-seekers are prevalent across the globe. These job-seekers may have full-time roles but are open to new opportunities.
"[Most] employees aren't actively searching for new jobs, but they are open to new jobs if there is an offer," Yildirmaz said.
Today's employers must be willing to engage job applicants and offer career growth opportunities. That way, employers can bridge the gap with job-seekers and increase the likelihood of connecting with top talent.
"If you are looking for talent, you also should be aware that there is a vulnerable employee base that is waiting to be approached."
Employers also must be willing to adapt to the expectations of a rapidly evolving global workforce.
Many workers are not actively seeking new roles but may be willing to accept new positions if the right opportunities present themselves. For HR professionals, it is paramount to keep current employees engaged. This will enable HR professionals to minimize the risk that top talent will pursue opportunities elsewhere.
"There is a disconnect between what employees and employers think," Yildirmaz noted. "There is also a vulnerable employee base … and as a business owner or HR manager, you have to be aware of passive job-seekers."
How HR professionals engage and retain top talent can have far-flung effects on a company, regardless of its size or industry.
HR professionals who offer incentives to top talent and foster collaborative work environments could help their respective companies stand out from the pack. These professionals can build trust with top talent that helps a company become an appealing choice for job-seekers.
On the other hand, HR professionals who struggle to connect with a workforce may encounter a wide range of problems. These professionals may miss out on opportunities to foster partnerships with top talent within an organization. Perhaps even worse, HR professionals may find it difficult to keep top talent happy, which could lead skilled workers to look elsewhere for career growth opportunities.
"In this talent shortage market, you have to make sure on attracting employees but also engaging and retaining," Yildirmaz pointed out.
HR professionals should allocate time and resources to pursue job applicants outside an organization. Comparatively, HR professionals also must prioritize engaging current employees and providing them with opportunities to prosper within an organization.
"As a business owner or HR manager, you have to be aware of passive job-seekers."
If HR professionals offer top talent plenty of reasons to stay with an organization, they can limit the possibility that top talent will pursue potential opportunities elsewhere.
"If you are looking for talent, you also should be aware that there is a vulnerable employee base that is waiting to be approached," Yildirmaz said.
How an organization compensates its employees can impact its ability to attract, engage and retain top talent.
If an organization offers competitive compensation and benefits packages, it may be able to stand out from the competition. But many job-seekers look beyond compensation and benefits as they explore career opportunities, and HR professionals must do the same.
HR can use data to understand how an organization compares with rivals in terms of compensation, benefits and other criteria. With this information at their disposal, HR professionals can take a data-driven approach to pursue top talent.
"Employers are paying a premium to retain their talent," Yildirmaz noted. "To get the right benchmark is a must in this economy from an HR or employer perspective."
Dr. Ahu Yildirmaz leads the ADP Research Institute, which provides insights on current and emerging issues in human capital management. The Institute leverages ADP’s deep expertise across the spectrum of human capital management to illuminate the trends shaping working environments.
Additionally, Dr. Yildirmaz manages the ADP National Employment Report, a monthly measure of U.S. employment derived from a subset of business clients. She also manages The ADP Regional Employment Report which measures monthly changes in regional non-farm private employment on a seasonally adjusted basis, and the ADP National Franchise Report which measures monthly changes in franchise employment and is derived from ADP’s actual transactional payroll data.
Throughout her career, Dr. Yildirmaz has approached her research with a global mindset, having lived and worked in Central Asia and Europe. Prior to joining ADP in 2011, Dr. Yildirmaz held a number of roles at Johnson and Johnson and AT&T in the areas of strategy, corporate finance and market research. She has lectured and taught economics and finance classes at New York University and the City University of New York.
Dr. Yildirmaz earned her doctorate in Economics from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She also earned her bachelor’s degree in economics from Bosphorus University in Istanbul, Turkey.