Companies are taking a multipronged approach to solving the talent problem

Across the board, companies are facing far fewer challenges when it comes to talent

In fact, the number of respondents citing access to skilled talent as a barrier to growth dropped to 43% this year, down from 64%.

Part of this shift may be due to changes in macroeconomic conditions, with some major companies initiating large rounds of layoffs in the past year, and the number of job openings in the United States shrinking to a post-pandemic low. However, businesses are also taking steps to strengthen their company culture to attract potential recruits, help existing employees become more productive, and convince workers to stay for longer. 

Employees are attracted to organizations that give them the tools to be productive and successful in their jobs, as well as those whose actions align with their own values. Seventy-one percent of respondents say digital maturity helps attract talent, while 72% say sustainability efforts help attract and retain talent, illustrating the far-reaching positive effects of these initiatives beyond their original scope and goals.

The most common ways companies are bridging the talent gap is by amping up their talent recruitment efforts and by diversifying their training and upskilling efforts.

These include training programs, online courses, and diverse forms of self-directed learning such as in-product cues, whose success makes them a viable alternative to traditional software courses. For example, anonymized Autodesk data shows that Revit and AutoCAD users are more likely to adopt learning recommendations viewed in-product than through other channels—Revit users had a 123% increase in adoption compared to a 55% when viewing learning recommendations through the account portal. AutoCAD users also saw a 44% increase for adoption with in-product recommendations compared to the 35% increase with the account portal.

Competitive salaries and benefits, a more transparent and efficient hiring process, remote work, and fostering diversity and inclusion are also top tools for attracting a broader range of skilled individuals. 

David Spilsbury of animation and VFX studio Axis Studios cites flexible work opportunities as a draw for talent in his field. “You can work remotely full time in our industry, which removes barriers like commute times,” he says. “We’ve supported the hybrid working model and used it as a retention method—not forcing people back into the studio, but allowing them to come back in for screenings, events, and review sessions where it does make sense to be together.”

Others note the importance of having a strategy to address talent leaving the company or industry. “The younger generations have a much higher turnover,” says Lisette Heuer, director of business transformation at Royal HaskoningDHV, a consultancy engineering firm. “That in itself is a change management challenge—we need to have faster onboarding and better knowledge management systems so that when someone leaves, the disruption is not as severe, and work will continue.”

Taking action on talent

Companies are taking diverse steps to tackle their talent challenges. 

Organizations that struggle to attract skilled workers and those with an aging workforce are largely focusing on expanded recruitment and training. For those with high rates of attrition, the focus tends to be more on providing career advancement and development opportunities, as well as on compensation and benefits. Perhaps surprisingly, only 4% of those struggling with a lack of talent or an aging workforce say their companies are using remote work to tackle these challenges.

Notably, a significant share of respondents who say their companies struggle with talent also say that their companies are not doing anything to solve the problem.

Challenge 1: Lack of access to skilled talent

Expanding recruitment and upskilling efforts are top solutions.

Percentage of respondents who agree “lack of access to skilled talent is a barrier to my company's growth” (43%). Survey question: What is your organization doing to meet the talent challenge? Qualitative open-ended responses.

Challenge 2: Rapidly aging workforce

Companies are addressing gaps with increased recruitment and training.

Percentage of respondents who agree “rapidly aging workforce is a barrier to my company's growth” (42%). Survey question: What is your organization doing to meet the talent challenge? Qualitative open-ended responses.

Challenge 3: Higher rates of attrition in past 3 years

Companies embrace a diverse set of potential solutions.

Percentage of respondents who agree “higher rates of attrition in the last three years is a barrier to my company's growth” (38%). Survey question: What is your organization doing to meet the talent challenge? Qualitative open-ended responses.

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