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Talent mismatch costing global economy $150 billion

Staff writer |
New research by professional services network PwC, commissioned by LinkedIn, the world's largest online professional network, reveals that poor talent adaptability is costing the global economy billions of dollars.

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The study, Adapt to Survive, for the first time analyses millions of interactions from LinkedIn's network of 277 million professionals, and information on 2,600 employers from PwC's Saratoga database, one of the world's largest and most robust resources of people and performance metrics, to understand which countries are better at aligning talent with opportunity.

It examines five key talent behaviours within 11 markets and identifies two significant 'costs' which are based on the surveyed markets being as good at matching talent with the right opportunities as the Netherlands – the most adaptable market in the study.

When these costs are combined this could mean the economy is missing out on $150bn:

A lost opportunity to generate $130bn of additional productivity1 – the research found a strong correlation between the adaptability of the talent in a particular country and the performance of its companies.

If markets were better at matching talent with the right opportunities, this could unlock as much as $130 billion of productivity in the 11 markets studied (including $65.6 billion in China, $29.3 billion in the US and $11.7 billion in Brazil).

Avoidable recruitment costs of $19.8bn2 – this lack of access to the right talent is driving up the cost of recruitment for employers today. The longer time taken to find the right candidates, and the increased likelihood for mismatched talent to leave sooner are costing companies in those countries $19.8bn in avoidable recruitment costs.


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