Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lost Pools Of Talent

The labor market in Northern Virginia is tight. Salaries (and real estate prices) are sky high. Here, and around the country, the story is talent shortage. The problem isn't a lack of good prospects. Your human resources department has no imagination. Your workforce development professionals are using outdated paradigms. The solution is in your neighborhood:

"I had seen all these talented people dropping out of the profession around me and had the idea to go back and find out what all these women were doing.

"These women feel they have been forgotten and their skills don't matter anymore."

She added: "We have built a business around a skillset that has not been tapped into. We have fantastic lawyers of City caliber who can deliver results.

"We are using people that have disappeared from the market. I'm keen to challenge the idea that professional women with children should be given work out of sympathy rather than be seen as a fantastic business proposition."

I live in Northern Virginia, juggling stay-at-home dad duties and a blossoming career as a talent geographer. My peer group is made up of mostly college-educated mothers with a variety of occupational arrangements ranging from full time homemaker to full time jobs with substantial travel. I have more intellectually stimulating conversations at the playground than I did while in graduate school. Sitting on a park bench is an immense reserve of world class skills.

Regions are focused on talent attraction and retention, instead of talent development. People develop, not places. What can your town do to get these women back in the game? Wasting brains is a much bigger issue than brain drain or brain gain.

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