Using Migrant Networks To Find Skilled Talent

 6 JUNE 2012 

The World Bank’s research into the investment climate shows that for some 40% of firms, skills shortages are a top investment obstacle.Regardless of the region where the firm operates, the size of its operations, its export orientation, its ownership structure or the industry it belongs to, the concern about their access to critical skills remains remarkably high. 

Worldwide education and training infrastructure has failed to deliver the volume of skilled talent required in fields such as IT, healthcare, engineering and science. These shortages are only becoming more acute, and in some locations firms are forced to operate without critical skills for long periods because they simply cannot obtain them. 
For example, it currently takes 5.4 weeks to find a qualified technician in Malaysia, whereas in Indonesia it takes just 1.6 weeks. When competitive advantage is hard to build and even harder to maintain, differences like these really matter. 
Skills shortages are the single greatest influence on migratory behavior and the formation of diasporas. In fact, the Malaysia Economic Monitor shows that of the top three reasons people move from their country of birth, two are money and/or career oriented: 
1. Career prospects 
2. Compensation 
3. Social justice 
We know that migrant diasporas typically have a higher concentration of skills and education than native populations, and that compensation is one of the key reasons for migration. 
To tap into migrant diasporas, companies must: 
- Know their talent supply chain: do you know how long your cycle times for critical skill sets are? Where are the bottlenecks in supply? Do you have access to sources of the right talent at the right price? 
- Consider moving the work, not the worker: consider ways to access critical skills where they are more plentiful, including offering more flexiblework assignments and projects. 
- Be specific and targeted in your hiring campaigns: campaigns can successfully target expatriates and entice them to return to their home country for specific, high-profile projects. Once you know who has the skills you need and where they are, you can find specific messages that will be relevant and attractive to them. 
To find out how to engage with and attract skilled talent, download my latest Ebook today, Young, Skilled and Connected.