Each issue, Kennedy Consulting Research &
Advisory (KCRA) offers a take on the current
state of the consulting profession
The New War For Talent
Liz DeVito is
HR Consulting for
& Research Advisory.
For more information,
By Liz DeVito
When a meteorite blazed through the
morning skies of central Russia in
mid-February and exploded, sending
shock waves through the small Ural
village of Chelyabinsk, the news media
described it as a rare event.
And it was.
Fast forward one month and just about
every government in the world is looking
at the potential for a "rare event" to visit
their borders, and wringing their hands
over how to prepare for it.
When the U.S. Congress asked NASA
what they should do if such a meteorite
were headed its way, NASA said they
should pray. Sounds flip, but the point the
space scientists were making is that the
country’s leaders had not spent the necessary years preparing to ward off a disaster
that would, once detected, happen in
Such is the stuff of nightmares, and such
is the case with human capital strategy.
CEOs were warned nearly twenty years
ago about this particular meteorite, the
war for talent, and now it's virtually three
McKinsey & Company published its
seminal study on the war for talent in
1997, sounding alarms throughout the
What had heretofore been perceived as
an unlimited resource, i.e., the pipeline of
baby boomer labor, was suddenly brought
into full demographic context. Clearly,
The talent pipeline was going to dry up
and the tap that was filling it, Generation
X, was not big enough to replace what was
draining out of it.
The alarm bells faded, however, as exec-
utives grappled with a new disruption to
their business called the World Wide Web.
In 1997, the dot-com bubble was in its
infancy with all the chaos and sleepless
nights that a toddler creates.