Battle of Attracting Great Talents & Effect of Smarting Up

According to the UN reports, nearly half of the current world population, which is around 3.6 billion, have been living in cities and the proportion will be 5 billion by 2030. Cities are the main locomotive of global economic growth, but rapid urbanization brings various problems as well. So, smart cities provide an integrated approach from improving the efficiency of city operations to sustainable technology solutions, from empowering local economies to creating more attractive city eco-systems for all talents.

“Smart city is more than a mere automation of processes; it links disparate systems and networks to gather and analyze data that is then used to transform whole systems.” (The Wharton School, Philadelphia)

Connectivity is like the sidewalks of smart cities. Gartner Inc. estimated that 5.5 million new things were connected ever day in 2016, and the total connected devices will skyrocket to 20.8 billion from 6.6 bn (excluding smartphones, tablets, and computers) by the year of 2020. As the next 10 billion IoT devices come online, the industry will face more formidable challenges, such as ensuring the security of its devices, powering billions of sensors, handling all the resulting e-waste and so forth. Therefore, all those future issues and existing current market needs put the attracting of qualified talents at the top of to-do lists of all cities.

The impact of the global distribution of talent will be dramatic. Over the half of the world’s college graduates (54%) already come from the top emerging markets which are known as E7 (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia and Turkey) as opposed to the 46% from the developed industrialized world called as G7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK and USA). Over the following five years, the percentage of the college graduates will rise to 60% in the E7, which means that 217 million workers in comparison to 143 million in the developed world.

Eight of the top 10 countries likely to boast the largest talent surpluses a decade from now will be in the developing world, led by India, Indonesia, Colombia and South Africa.

Figure 1: The mismatch between supply and demand for talent in 2021the-mismatch-between-supply-and-demandThe most significant change will occur in Asian labor market since the need for the new employees will rise 22% and will be followed by Latin America (13%), MENA (12.7%) and Eastern Europe (10%).

Figure 2: The future demand for talent (in 2021)the-future-demand-for-talentFor the citizens of the modern world, job market is not the only thing when considering where to live. Those qualified talents want also a vibrant city where they can network with other smart people, a dynamic place where they can find their next best job and an intelligent city eco-system according to their individual requirements to avoid traffic jam, air pollution, disconnection and so forth. In the battle of global talent, the increased mobility of our modern societies has created an intense competition between cities for investments, for talents and for jobs. So, cities have to smart up and be ready to satisfy those customized individual demands because smart cities are also about creating local jobs and new eco-systems.

“As the city’s economy grows and the quality of life keeps going up, more and more businesses will open in the city, providing all sorts of new jobs in all kinds of different fields as a direct result of the Smart City agenda” says Matthew Kosinski, the managing editor of Recruiter.

In today’s modern world, reputable employers’ open positions are not sufficient by itself anymore to attract and retain best talents from around the world, but also it is highly correlated with city ecosystem. Promoting a holistic smart city mindset in the urban culture – related to walkability in the city, ease of public transportation, beauty of environment, visitor numbers, effective crowd management, manage of crime rates, networking opportunities, quality of life, shorter commutes to work, and so on – may provide undeniable new opportunities even for smaller scale smart cities to capitalize on the pitfalls of living in a larger city.

Deloitte says in its November 2015 Smart Cities report that, “A Smart City can only exist when it is able to attract and retain high-tech and creative talent. They are the foundation for new initiatives, start-ups and a climate in which innovation can flourish. As traditional jobs disappear, talent is required to be the catalyst in a process that creates new businesses and new jobs. The megacities of the word are therefore competing for this talent. Furthermore, as smart solutions aim at changing the behaviour of people, cities need experts who understand the mechanisms of human behaviour and changing human behaviour, e.g. by using concepts like gamification.”

And the report notes that the following ingredients stimulates attractiveness for talent:

  • An urban 24/7 lifestyle that fits the needs of young professionals to live, work and relax. The spatial planning of a city must be aimed at creating the right conditions. Furthermore, cultural diversity is positively correlated with such a climate,
  • Presence of reputable knowledge institutions and research that is able to attract scientific talent,
  • Presence of an innovative financial sector provides access to capital in all its forms (classic business banks, VCs, crowdfunding etc.),
  • Stimulation of start-ups, for example in the form of incubators where entrepreneurs can rent space in a stimulating environment with other start-ups. This creates a climate where ideas can be exchanged, problems can be solved collaboratively and innovation is stimulated.

It all starts with an agenda, which is driven by government agencies. They decide what problems a city needs to solve. Then, they partner with private companies to leverage technology to solve those problems. In the end, smart solutions are all about human behavior and smart people is one the cornerstones of smart cities. Therefore, winning the war on qualified talent is a challenge closely linked to the disruption of the labor market for sustainable economic growth. The city will either attract that talent from elsewhere by advertising its initiative, or it will have to cultivate that talent at home through education, but in that case, the results can be seen in longer term. Maybe it should leverage both – but either way, jobs are created, talent is thriving in the city, money is flowing, and the quality of life is improving for citizens.

Many studies have various efforts to understand how cities perform in economic, environmental and social terms, and ranked them accordingly. Nevertheless, while such studies tell us understand the fundamental elements of a great city, they do not promote active citizen participation or do not provide customized results according to your personal expectations from what makes a city more attractive for you or your family, but Teleport does.

Let’s make location irrelevant – Teleport Company Case StudyteleportFree movement of qualified talent has made every government in the world compete for every citizen. Therefore, every company fights for the best talent. It’s a market where 10 million people moves and $320 billion are spent every year.

Teleport is an innovative Estonian start-up company, which was established in 2014 by a visionary tech entrepreneur Sten Tamkivi who was one of the early stage executives in Skype. The entity has already obtained investments from respected investors due to its success such as Andreessen Horowitz, SVAngel, Seedcamp and several angels.

Teleport aims to solve the talent problems at two levels in the global market;

i) At consumer level, it helps people to discover new and interesting places regarding with what they want based on their personal preferences across +300 data dimensions in 264 cities all over the world. As of now, +200,000 knowledge workers use the free system to research the right city for them to get a more fulfilling job, to reduce their costs, to find like-minded people, to be closer to their clients, to land in a tax/regulatory/cultural environment with the least friction, to seek for the best healthcare, to get the best education opportunities for their families and so on.

Besides, after consumers discover the perfect city they want to live in, the company may help them actually to move there through technological services. For example, Teleport Scout service may bring you with the local people to get some help with all the hassle that comes with moving to a new country or a city, or Teleport Zen may provide a personalized to-do list and moving guide that gives people peace of mind throughout their next move.

ii) At Companies and Governments level, it provides a powerful analytics and insights toolkit on top of their human mobility data set. Some of the services can be summarized accordingly;

  • Executives and finance leads plan new office expansions across geographies by comparing candidate cities and deep diving into a shortlisted destinations,
  • Recruiters use Teleport’s city reports to save time supporting candidates during international recruitment and relocation,
  • Marketing professionals learn about the characteristics of highly mobile, high income knowledge workers to target their products and services aimed at international living,
  • City governments use data on consumer preferences and demand, search activity and city competitiveness to plan talent attraction strategies and run campaigns to bring in new taxpayers.

Coping with qualified talent shortage has been one of the top global priorities of all. From Silicon Valley to Singapore, all smart cities across the world have been trying to leverage facets of technology, design and sustainable practices to achieve more with less. Innovative solutions and smart companies such as Teleport are the new weapons of the global talent wars. Smart cities should not be thought as cities of future, but cities of present because skeleton of smart cities are technology and connectivity. Therefore, fundamental services in a wide range including broadband connectivity, clean & cheap energy, educational opportunities, affordable housing, commercial spaces, comfortable transportation and so forth provide cities more diversified instruments not only to attract best talents, but also retain them in the new world order.

Author: Can Uludag


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