PwC Chair: War for Talent Could Last Another Decade

PwC Chair: War for Talent Could Last Another Decade

Ryan

Tim Ryan, the U.S. chair of Big 4 firm PwC, says business is strong for CEOs he speaks with, despite inflation, market drops and war. He also believes there’s no more challenging time to be a CEO, and that labor shortages could last a decade.

“Demand is up. Revenue growth is good. When you look at the innovation capabilities that people have, they feel pretty good,” Ryan told Business Insider. “When you talk to a CEO, he or she generally would say, ‘My business is doing well.'” Ryan said spending by customers remains strong. He also expects mergers and acquisitions to continue despite the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate increases.

CEOs face numerous difficulties, however. Ryan predicts that the aging workforce and resignations spawned by the pandemic will continue to vex companies that are competing against each other to hire the best people, possibly for an entire decade.

PwC is immersed in the battle itself, as it aims to increase its global workforce by more than one-third by 2026, according to Business Insider. Therefore, the company is working on granting its employees more flexibility and autonomy. A four-day workweek – an idea that seemed bold not long ago now feels less so, he said. “Ultimately, what we concluded is that the debate around physical versus virtual was the wrong discussion and the wrong debate for us,” Ryan said. “Talent wants choice.”

Ultimately, Ryan said, successful businesses will be ones that treat their employees more like customers. “There isn’t a business in their right mind that will tell the consumer what they want. The consumer says what they want,” he said.

The companies that succeed despite the challenges he said, will be the ones where the CEO can drive change. “Almost every company needs to change, and the bigger the company, the harder it is to change.”

The pandemic and inflation seemed to emerge overnight, but the best corporate leaders must be prepared. “The name of the game is scenario planning,” Ryan said. That translates to things like reducing risks associated with supply chains or making sure operations aren’t concentrated in one location. Automation and creation of new business models is forcing major transformations.

“I know this is cliché, but the pace of change has never been faster.”

 

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