Adapt to survive: How better alignment between talent and opportunity can drive economic growth

The need for markets to adapt to change is nothing new. In countries where a workforce lacks the skills that are suddenly in demand we see a skills gap emerge. This leads to higher unemployment rates while vacancies increase and productivity and growth decline. In a fast-moving world, talent adaptability becomes even more critical.

There are two essential ingredients to adaptability. The ability of employers to look differently at sources of talent - investigating new geographies and sectors as well as investing in existing employees, equipping them with the necessary skills and motivating them to adapt to meet new challenges. Secondly of course this requires willing individuals who are prepared to embrace change and apply their skills somewhere new.

‘Adapt to Survive’ for the first time brings together the two most comprehensive sources of talent data in the world; the real-time behaviours drawn from LinkedIn’s 277 million members and employer information from PwC’s Saratoga database of people and performance metrics, which covers more than 2,600 employers across the globe.

Questions for employers

Some markets are more adaptable than others:

Our analysis has led us to create a Talent Adaptability Score – a benchmark that evaluates a country’s ability to match talent with opportunity. The Netherlands, UK and Canada recorded the highest Talent Adaptability Scores of the 11 markets in the study.

Adaptability could unlock billions in additional productivity:

Markets with the most adaptable talent are more efficient and productive – a better talent fit between employer and employee results in a greater return on an organisations investment in people unlocking USD$130billion of additional productivity for the countries covered in this report.

The skills gap will narrow with increased adaptability:

Worldwide unemployment continues to rise while jobs go unfilled. Half of all CEOs globally intend to increase their headcount over the next year but 63% are worried about the availability of key skills. As talented people become more adaptable, the skills gap will shrink, leading to better economic performance.

Compromising on talent costs the global economy:

In less adaptable talent markets poorly matched candidates drive up recruitment costs associated with hiring and onboarding people. The hiring process takes longer and recruits don’t stay. This creates a cost burden of USD$19.8billion a year for the markets we looked at.

Visibility created by online professional networks leads to better hiring:

Online professional networks give organisations access to a larger talent pool and critically to passive candidates, those not actively looking for jobs. More visibility, coupled with adaptable talent and broad-minded employers creates better hiring.