The War for Talent and Its Implications for Global Multinationals

There is a global war for talent going on and it is being fought on one side by the multinationals that want the best talent available for themselves and on the other side, the workforce that is seeking to derive the maximum advantage from the companies. Ever since the arrival of companies like Microsoft, Google, GE, Goldman Sachs, Facebook etc. onto the global stage, the war for the right employees has heated up with these companies willing to pay astronomical amounts as salaries and humungous perks and benefits.

Indeed, the situation now is such that in b-school and engineering campuses, the fight is on for which company gets the day zero slot as that company would have access to the best talent. Often, we read about how Facebook or Google has hired a yet to graduate student for annual salaries that make one’s head reel. This is the direct result for the need of these and other companies to get the best possible talent.

Of course, with the onset of the global economic crisis, it was reported that millions of people were thrown out of their jobs including a hundred thousand well-paid Wall Street employees. This has somewhat leveled the playing field as these out of job workers jostle with the fresh graduates for employment. However, global multinationals are yet to hunker down on their hiring strategies, as they want graduates from Asian business and engineering schools for their operations here and in the United States. The reasoning behind this is that the linkage between brainpower and corporate success has been proved repeatedly and hence, the perceptions of the multinationals that the best brains are to be found in these countries. This has made the business school graduates from countries like India much sought after. The moot point here is that the combination of skill, training, aptitude, and motivation is what sets apart the graduates from these countries from the West.

This situation has become worrisome for domestic companies that find themselves in later day slots on graduate schools’ placement sessions. Of course, they have not given up entirely since the labor pool is so large that it can provide enough employees for any number of employers. Though we have discussed the positive aspects of the war for talent, it needs to be mentioned that concerns over employability of the graduates or their suitability for jobs have been raised by many companies. Which means that the graduates in the workforce who are employable and who have the traits discussed above are at a premium when compared to other graduates? This is the real war for talent, which can be rephrased as the war for the crème de la crème of the available talent.

Finally, with globalization of the world economy, talent need not be hired from the domestic market alone and this is another factor that is contributing to the war for talent. In other words, the various aspects described here are the business imperatives that are driving this phenomenon. The ones who are laughing all the way to the bank are those graduates who have invested in themselves and acquired the necessary traits to perform in a global economy.


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