The broad switch to remote work forced by the COVID-19 pandemic has led to “an all-out, no holds barred, war for talent,” one that is expected to intensify further as the impacts of climate change accelerate migration to welcoming, livable regions in the decades ahead.
So argued Dr. Parag Khanna, best-selling author and global strategy advisor, in a recent keynote address and moderated conversation at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting.
Dr. Khanna is Founder and Managing Partner of FutureMap, a data and scenario based strategic advisory firm. He was introduced by Magnet’s Luke Nixon-Janssen. The moderated conversation was between Dr. Khanna and John Stackhouse, Senior Vice-President, Office of the CEO at RBC.
“This is the most intense phase of the war for talent that we ever have experienced in history,” Dr. Khanna told Stackhouse in the conversation, “and it’s just getting warmed up as a result of the geography-free nature of digital services work.”
Dr. Khanna’s latest book is Move: The Forces Uprooting Us. In it, he lays out a scenario to redistribute the global population to “achieve a more optimal, productive, sustainable and humane distribution of nine billion people.”
As that potential future unfolds, Dr. Khanna says countries and employers must be conscious of the shifting landscape, and the factors that attract young talent. While compensation, mobility, and training have typically been the three pillars of employee loyalty and retention, remote work has led to a new addition.
“The fourth now is flexibility around wellness, four-day work weeks and, obviously, geography,” Dr. Khanna said. “Playing ball with that kind of thing will score you points right now.”
Watch the full address and moderated conversation here: