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Editor's Note: No Signs of the War for Talent Cooling Off

Many companies are increasing their use of AI and automation to fill the talent gap and reduce labor costs.

Q4 2022
Much has been written about the Great Resignation that occurred in 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic as U.S. workers looked for a better work/life balance, increased compensation, safer working conditions, or a company culture more aligned with their values. Now, nearly three years after the global pandemic began, the number of people who are either working or looking for work has not fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels, let alone grown as it should have over the course of that time.

In the Workforce supplement to this issue, several consultants, who help companies satisfy their workforce needs when choosing a location, address the challenges businesses are facing and how they are navigating the post-2020 talent landscape.

The search can begin with an analysis of a location’s workforce data, i.e., demographics, wages, unemployment rates, etc. But qualitative information — such as information about competitors and community dynamics — also comes into play. In light of this, businesses are now looking at smaller less established markets to satisfy their labor force requirements. These markets often have lower living costs, thereby exerting less pressure on wages, and less competition for the available talent.

Companies need to have a better understanding of the reasons why individuals migrated to certain areas of the country during the pandemic in order to attract workers who are open to changing locations. They must also reprioritize their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts to acquire and retain the best talent. Increased diversity and inclusion in the workforce will enhance employee performance and increase company innovation.

The workforce trends highlighted above are also reflected in many of the articles comprising the rest of this year-end issue. For example, Moody’s data reveals that remote working trends have resulted in “emerging” or “other” metros performing better than more established tech markets. Graycor explains how a company’s adherence to ESG principals — which includes how the company treats its employees — is vital to the construction industry and its subcontractors. And food processors and makers of food processing equipment are among the manufacturers dealing with acute labor shortages.

It’s projected that the war for talent will continue in 2023 with many companies increasing their use of AI and automation to fill the gap and reduce labor costs. Savvy companies will also invest in upskilling current employees. Those that do will be one step ahead.

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