November 9, 2021 by Ethan Oldham
With the continuing labor shortage, many companies are exploring global talent acquisition options to offset talent gaps in the US. But the hunt for global talent comes with a host of questions. Where are the best opportunities? How do you go about finding them? How do you make sure you aren’t wasting your time in the wrong market?
In the face of all these questions, and many others like them, global data is becoming an increasingly important tool for success. A treasure hunt starts with a map—think of global data as the X-marks-the-spot for the talent you’re looking for!
The first question in the global talent acquisition process may be the most difficult to answer: Where do I start? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when the entire world is your playing field. As with any talent acquisition process, you want to be a strategic recruiter, and efficiency, effectiveness, and low time-to-fill are key to success. But if you lack a familiarity with the global labor market, those goals can be difficult to achieve.
Global data demystifies the global labor market. Say your company is looking for 50 computer programmers, and you’ve decided to hire globally. Which markets are big enough to supply that amount of talent? The chances of you filling all 50 of those roles from a market with only 5,000 computer programmers are relatively slim. Even markets with 10,000 or 15,000 might prove problematic. Where can you find a strong enough supply to meet your demand?
Looking at the data, you can see a wide variety of options. Bangalore, Beijing, and Tokyo contain the deepest computer programmer talent pools in the world outside the US, followed by London and Chennai. Further down the line, you find Shanghai and Hyderabad, as well as Toronto, Tel Aviv, and Chengdu.
You could start talent sourcing in any of these markets knowing they have enough supply of computer programmers to fill those 50 roles! Global data gives your search a strong direction, enabling you to move forward with confidence.
However, quantity of talent isn’t the only factor to consider. Quality of talent plays an important role as well. Maybe you’re looking for 50 computer programmers with a specific skill. Now that you know which markets have a strong base supply, you can narrow your search even further to the markets specifically tailored to the skills you need.
For example, say you want 50 computer programmers with experience in software engineering. A look at the global profiles in the regions you found earlier will tell you what you need to know.
The metric Skill Concentration in Profiles measures how often a particular skill shows up in the job profiles for a particular region. Almost 20% of the profiles for computer programmers in Beijing, for instance, list software engineering as a skill. Shanghai is floating around 17%, with Chengdu close behind—and Bangalore and Tokyo are sitting at about 15%.
Compared to the global market as a whole, these are solid numbers! In terms of skill concentration, all five of these markets are in the top ten global markets of comparable base supply.
Once you pass Tokyo, the numbers do begin to fall off. For example, while your chances of finding 50 computer programmers with experience in software engineering in Toronto certainly aren’t nil, they’re definitely slimming. But the combination found in those first five markets of high skill concentration and high base level supply makes them strong candidates for recruitment.
If searching by occupation is a shotgun blast, searching by skills is a rifle shot, zeroing in on the particular talent you need. Take your global strategy to the next level with a laser-focused search.
Another piece in the puzzle is demand. Even if a region has a strong supply of talent, skyrocketing demand for that talent can offset the advantage. How much competition will you face trying to hire in a particular region?
A good metric for getting an accurate read on demand is job postings. Generally, the more job postings there are for a role, the greater the demand. You want to find a market with relatively low job postings for your desired talent.
For example, in Sydney, Australia, 21% of all job postings between January and September of 2021 were for sales representatives. Compared to the 11.1% of London or the 10.7% of Bangalore, that number is pretty high. If you decide to start talent sourcing for sales representatives in Sydney, understand that you’ll be facing some stiffer competition.
New college grads are a great talent pool to incorporate into your global talent acquisition efforts. When recruiting from colleges, you get right at the source of the talent you’re looking for. And in the same way that you can use global data to help you find the best markets, you can also use global data to find the colleges best-suited for your goals.
Going back to our computer programmer example, say you decide to start talent sourcing in India. You could drill down into the regions with rich supplies of the talent you need, like we did earlier—or you could drill down into the schools that are current top producers of that talent.
Students from DAV College make up nearly 2% of all computer programmer profiles in India, followed by the University of Pune. Anna University, the University of Mumbai, and Jawaharlal Nehru Tech aren’t far behind at just over 1% of all computer programmer profiles. Jumping into one or more of those pipelines would give you access to a consistent flow of fresh talent looking for work!
As the world adjusts to changing market conditions and developing technology, so-called disruptive skills—skills that are currently undersupplied and projected to explode in demand—are becoming increasingly important. Demand for artificial intelligence and machine learning, for example, is projected to increase by 71% in the next five years. Quantum computing is projected to increase by 135%.
Global talent pools provide some intriguing opportunities to get a jump on acquiring these disruptive skills. For example, Munich, Berlin, and Tokyo contain some of the highest skill concentrations for artificial intelligence in the world, narrowly beating out Zurich and our own San Jose.
As another example, FinTech—a term referring to skills related to blockchain and other financial security technologies—is particularly prevalent in Berlin, Zurich, and Stockholm, followed by Amsterdam and Hong Kong.
These skills are going to be in low supply no matter where you look—but by broadening your search globally, you can set yourself up for a successful, future-focused recruiting strategy.
The labor shortage isn’t going away anytime soon. Job openings in the US remain historically high at 10.4 million as of October. The labor force participation rate (LFPR), which measures the percentage of people working or actively looking for work, has stagnated at lows we haven’t seen since the mid-1970s recession. Meanwhile, the quits rate increased to 4.3 million in August by a record-breaking 2.9%. While there are some improvements (October marked the first decrease in job postings since the beginning of the year), we still have a long way to go.
By utilizing global data, you can develop a global talent acquisition strategy that will help your business grow and develop, even as the economy continues to catch up. The opportunities are out there: you just need to know where to look!
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