Global Talent Movement

By: Raj Sheelvant

Early Humans were nomads, wandering the earth. As they found an ideal place as defined by alluvial soil, abundant supply of fresh water and balmy weather, they started to settle down. Initial large agrarian society emerged out in places like Mesopotamia and Indus Valley. As more people settled, it led to imbalanced Supply and Demand for the basic needs. Limited resources led to wars which in turn led to creation of boundaries and a military to manage who can come and stay. As the economies of the countries were small initially, the countries restricted movement of people.

Industrial revolution led to rise in productivity. We began to see first signs of movement of labor in form of urbanization. But still the labor movement was restricted to the confines of the country border. Information revolution with the rise of computing power, networking etc. led to the need for large number of skilled workers. 'Dot com' phenomenon and Y2K issues in late 1990s suddenly spiked the demand for skilled labor and developed countries opened the flood gates for temporary immigration of skilled labor.

Now, integration of global labor pool caused by accelerated technological trends has started to create more division of labor leading to more specialization. Global organizations are now in need of highly skilled or talented workers. Rising wealth in Asian countries, demographic shifts (graying of workers in developed world) and lowering of barriers to set up a 'for profit' enterprise worldwide (both due to technology and government policies in the countries world wide), will only increase the competition for 'Talented' labor. Interesting observation in Economist in the article titled World in Flux (http://www.economist.com/theworldin/international/displayStory.cfm?story_id=10120091&d=2008), talks how the "market for talented people is increasingly fierce - and global". Here are some of the latest statistics and trends from the article.

* Currently 3% of the world population lives in foreign countries

* In Europe Schengen area - which allows passport-free movement of labor is being expanded to include more countries in Eastern Europe

* Serious debate currently in Europe on how to attract more skilled foreign workers

* Britain is going to implement "Point system" similar to Australia, New Zealand and Canada to attract young skilled foreign workers

* Temporary workers program is being packaged as "circular migration" in the rich countries to make it more palatable for the voters

* Booming Asia is attracting highly skilled Westerners (I think this trend will only accelerate and create a brain drain in the developed countries for the first time!)

According to the article "it will become normal for well educated to spend some part of the year in some one else's country". The question I have is: Are we becoming nomadic again? In some sense globalization is slowly erasing the country boundaries. There is always the risk of backlash due to terrorism and jingoism. But in the long run I believe economic incentives for globalization far outweigh the risks associated with it and the talented people will be on the move!

Human Resources
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Human Resources
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles