Talent Wars to Heat Up

Discussion
Sep 23, 2005
George Anderson

By George Anderson


Gloria Johnson Goins, vice president of diversity and inclusiveness for The Home Depot, says one of the biggest challenges businesses will face in the very near future is finding people to fill open jobs in their companies.


According to government statistics, Ms. Johnson Goins told an audience at Boise State University recently, 10 million jobs will go unfilled by 2008. Not only will companies be competing for customers with one another, they will in a very real sense be duking it out for qualified workers, as well.


At the same time as the available workforce is shrinking, said Ms. Johnson Goins, those who make up the pool of qualified workers will increasingly be drawn from Hispanic and other minority groups.


By 2025, 25 percent of the work force will be Hispanic, she said.


With the changes taking place in society and in the workplace, inclusiveness needs to become the mantra of every business.


Ms. Goin Johnson pointed out that at present, African Americans make $533 billion in annual purchases, Hispanics $383 billion, gays and lesbians $350 billion, Asians $229 billion and Native Americans at $49 billion. Disabled Americans make $461 billion a year in purchases, senior citizens $1.6 trillion and women $1.1 trillion.


“This is where companies are going to look for their next growth engines,” she said. “It’s a business imperative, because they’re not only going to be your customers, they’re going to be your work force.”


Moderator’s Comment: How will the growing influence of minority populations and other such as the disabled, elderly, etc. change how retail businesses
are run and how they serve their customers?

George Anderson – Moderator

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6 Comments on "Talent Wars to Heat Up"


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Tom McGoldrick
Guest
Tom McGoldrick
15 years 5 months ago

Having a diverse group of leaders for any company is extremely important.

However, I would say that it is necessary but not sufficient. The trick as always is finding and holding onto talent.

Bernice Hurst
Guest
15 years 5 months ago

Ms Johnson Goins’ attitude and comments strike me as patronising in the extreme. She sounds perfectly happy to take money, as David so diplomatically puts it, from any and every demographic group she can manage to identify but seems to be equally unhappy in assuming that they are capable of participating in business decisions. Perhaps she means well and just comes across badly but the way I read the comments, having a society composed of many minorities disqualifies them from being sufficiently empathetic to define strategy and business success. Or perhaps I’m just over-reacting again, exposing my simple nature and innocent belief that cultural background, gender, race and age are qualities that we all experience and enjoy and which should not automatically disqualify us from any specific job.

Robert Baxendell
Guest
Robert Baxendell
15 years 5 months ago

Why would any business put blinders on just to go after one sect of the hiring pool?? Seems to me; one should strive to hire the best qualified people – -regardless of where they come from.

Mark Lilien
Guest
15 years 5 months ago

A further suggestion for large retailers who are concerned about staff recruitment issues: Every publicly held retailer has a board-level compensation committee whose purpose is to properly set the pay for the top 5 management posts, usually the CEO, COO, CFO, etc. I’ve never heard of this board-level committee facing compensation issues for 99.99% of the company. Maybe it’s time for certain retailers to admit that pay issues for 99.99% of the staff are worth the board’s attention.

David Livingston
Guest
15 years 5 months ago
Most retailers have already made adjustments where needed to market to minorities. Ms. Goins could have given the same speech 200 years ago and just changed some of the numbers around. Since this country has already had African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, Disabled Americans, senior citizens and women, retailers have always tried to find a way to separate the money from these groups and transfer it into their own pockets. This is not news to anyone. There is always room for improvement but, for the most part, the retailers have done a good job. So I don’t see any real change other than what has already occurred. But I do see job growth in retail by minorities who originate from beyond our boundaries because of their stronger ambition to succeed. Mr. Lilien makes a good point above, that good retailers never seem to have a labor shortage. I doubt chains like HEB, Wegmans or Publix have any problem attracting qualified workers. The worker shortage problem seems to mostly affect retailers that have taken a… Read more »
Mark Lilien
Guest
15 years 5 months ago

When a business does not draw from a diverse talent pool, it misses the brains that go to the competition. Many retailers and other low-wage employers frequently whine about the labor shortage. There is only a shortage for employers who (1) don’t know how to recruit (2) can’t motivate their staff to be loyal (3) don’t use compensation (benefits and salaries) as a competitive weapon. Treat people the way they’d like to be treated and they will stay with you forever.

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