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European Market for Talent Evolves


To any company based in a single western country, with no overseas offices, it's easy to assume that acquiring and managing talent over the next five to 10 years will be a largely domestic exercise, with global trends - like the aging workforce in developed countries, new health care laws, Twitter, and even the recent Arab Spring uprisings - having little influence in talent strategies.


But that would be a mistake, according to a new Taleo Research &lt  thought leadership study published today by Taleo Corporation (NASDAQ: TLEO), the global leader of SaaS-based Talent Management &lt  solutions. In fact, the study shows that changes around the world are likely to have a profound impact on the way companies of all sizes compete in an increasingly knowledge-based global economy.


"The Future of Talent Management: Underlying Drivers of Change"

describes a swirl of economic, demographic and technological influences that will define how companies acquire and manage talent over the next five to 10 years. The first in a two-part series aimed at identifying the direction of talent management, the study combines independent analysis of data culled from the U.S. Department of Labour and United Nations Population Surveys with interpretation of documented trends. The resulting conclusions reveal where companies will find tomorrow's top talent - and what it likely will take to acquire it.


Among the colliding trends identified in the study:


*         The economies of countries around the world have become

increasingly integrated. Globalisation has allowed businesses to expand their operations into new countries and new markets, increasing the diversity of their customer base and their workforce.  According to a recent report by the Economist, The Global Talent Index Report, policy decisions can have a significant impact on a country's relative ranking of their "talent environment."  Europe in particular places well in the report, capturing 12 of the top placements.  Germany and France rank well due to a reduction in the restrictiveness of labour laws and wage regulation, which will foster more openness and less friction in their labour markets.


*         The UK is noted as a growth market and boasts some of the greatest investment from emerging markets, most notably Tata Group, an India-based multinational that is the UK's largest employer of manufacturing workers.  Britain was also a significant target of acquisitions from emerging countries, second only to the US.


*         The line is blurring between "inside" and outside talent,

which will force tomorrow's managers to broaden their current idea of what it means to manage talent. Eventually, some analysts believe half of the workforce in mature western markets like the US will be made up of "contingent workers," such as part-time employees, consultants or independent contractors. The Taleo Research paper points to various drivers of this trend, including health care reform in the United States, which is expected to prompt many smaller employers to abandon health insurance plans - often the only reason some people seek a full-time job, and thus sending more talent to the ranks of contingency workers.

*         Demographic challenges are found in developed countries, where population growth rates and aging populations are poised to stifle local economies.  That means companies must move talent from areas of abundance to scarcity. And here, some new shifts are occurring. As once-new markets like China and India mature and labour there achieves parity with other developed economies, companies will look to other regions for cost-effective pools of talent, including Russia and Eastern Europe, Mexico, South America and "the rest of Asia."


*         The Arab Spring uprisings are likely to unlock previously

unattainable talent. A largely young and educated population of people who want to work may soon become suddenly available thanks to revolutions in the Middle East. This may put even more knowledge workers into the global talent pool and give companies more options for sourcing talent in emerging and increasingly Westernised markets where they will seek a local presence.


*         To attract the best knowledge workers and keep them engaged, companies must constantly and aggressively evolve how they engage them with mobile, social networks and other digital tools.  In this atmosphere of individual empowerment, companies that embody "old school," top-down corporate structures and communication methods will grow increasingly irrelevant to the knowledge workers they value most.


"Companies whose business relies on knowledge workers are competing on a global scale, whether they realise it or not, and the way they manage talent in the next decade will be increasingly defined by global changes in demography, economic paradigms and technology," said David Wilkins, vice president of Taleo Research. "Organisations that regard talent as a key differentiator have no choice but to consider the impacts of these trends on their talent processes and strategies."


A complete copy of "The Future of Talent Management: Underlying Drivers of Change" is available at


Taleo Research expects to publish the second study in this series later this year. Part 2 will describe how companies can capitalise on the trends identified in Part 1 to establish talent processes and technologies to drive sustained competitive advantage and business value.


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