Jacksonville has seen tremendous growth in the last 5 years according to Daniel Davis, President and CEO of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce and is poised for transformative growth for the next 5 years. I had the pleasure of hearing him speak at the JAX Health Council meeting on Sept 6. The healthcare sector is a significant driver with our best in class institutions based here. Attracting, growing and retaining great talent is a high priority for JAX Chamber which reflects the same top talent imperative on every business executive’s list based on recent McKinsey research on talent trends.
It’s a challenge and an opportunity to plan and execute a strategy to win the war for talent. In the case of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce and its economic development focus; beating the competition by attracting dynamic businesses to our city (be it startups or industry leading brands) is dependent upon great professional talent.
Talent Trends – What Matters
Why is talent so important now? When a community is at full employment, businesses with jobs for the future need more than tax breaks and land. They need a skilled workforce, competent professionals to continue to grow their business. Jacksonville is on track for its goal to grow 2500 new jobs this year.
Recent college grads (a key talent pool) have options and preferences. What are they looking for? Generally this population wants to work and live in vibrant urban settings. Walking or riding a bike to work with entertainment at their doorstep are most appealing. Jacksonville is similar to other cities (Pittsburgh, Cincinnati or Charlotte) that lacked residential downtown communities that attract early career professionals. As a result, urban development/residential communities to appeal to business owners seeking market share growth is also a major initiative for 2018 and beyond as well. Investing in downtown is part of the strategy. It doesn’t hurt to have a championship football team like the Jaguars to create energy for a city and excitement to kickoff the pre-season game in London.
With several projects on the horizon, a growing downtown population and a “steady pipeline” of companies interested in being located downtown, Jax Chamber President Daniel Davis believes the stage is set for downtown revitalization. To lead these new efforts to bring more jobs to Northeast Florida, effective Oct. 1, the highly regarded Aundra Wallace will serve as President of JAX USA Partnership, the economic development arm of the Jacksonville Chamber. His prior role was President of the Jacksonville Downtown Investment Authority driving significant deals over the past 5 years.
Global Talent Trends
I find Mercer’s Global Talent Trends 2018 study helpful to put local talent issues in context in a global economy. Their report notes that high innovation and engagement in a dynamic work environment will be crucial as traditional organizations continue to evolve for greater agility and scalability.
Organizations, cities and countries are keenly aware of the competitive differentiator that great talent brings. In fact the Global Competitive Talent Index (GCTI) which was presented at the World Economic Forum and launched in 2013, identifies the countries and cities that are the best at attracting, developing and retaining the talent.
They provide a very detailed and well researched model with criteria based on “Pillars” or factors that matter most. The US is ranked 3rd behind Singapore 2nd, and Switzerland in 1st place based on the following 6 Pillars of which 119 countries were rated:
• 1-Enable looks at the regulatory, market, business and labor landscapes and whether they help attract people, or put them off.
• 2-Attract assesses how open a country or city is to outside talent – whether that’s people or businesses – and also to those from underprivileged backgrounds, women and older people.
• 3-Grow examines how well a country or city develops its people, for example, through a good education system that offers lifelong learning.
• 4-Retain looks at how nice it is to live there; one of the main components of talent retention is quality of life.
• 5-VT Skills measures the availability of workers with vocational and technical skills.
• 6-GK Skills looks at the availability of global knowledge skills (workers in professional, managerial or leadership roles).
The Global Talent Competitiveness Index study was developed by INSEAD, the Adecco Group and TATA Communications. It provides a benchmarking tool for governments, cities, businesses and non-profit organizations to help design their talent strategies, overcome talent mismatches and be competitive in the global marketplace.
Inclusive and Diverse Matters Most
The Index is a unique resource that highlights in its 2018 report findings that talent alone is not enough. Diverse talent with inclusive cultures will fuel the future of work and economic prosperity. Despite the achievements of the high ranking cities and countries there is no true champion. They all have strengths and weaknesses which reminds us, there is always room for improvement. To seize the opportunity, talent strategy must be dynamic, in keeping with the changing marketplace. What do the best cities, organizations and countries need to truly thrive? They need to listen and adapt to attract the best talent and cultivate inclusive communities for work life integration and continue to improve to meet their workforce preferences.
Adecco Group CEO Alain DeHaze provided insights at this year’s Jan 28 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting regarding the need to start early in the lifecycle to instill more inclusive behaviors that align with inclusive cultures.
For an overview of How Talent Diversity drives global competitiveness take a look at this infographic and video link. I would love to hear what you think!