I’ve never liked the expression ‘war for talent’ a whole lot.
It gives the idea that the war is solely about different parties with capital fighting each other for the limited supply of talent. As recruiters, we like that view of the war since we get paid some of that capital to help one party win talent from another, but like most wars there are many fronts besides the one we see.
One of those fronts is the war between capital and talent. Andrew Karpie, Research Analyst at Staffing Industry Analysts, turned me on to a great article on just that in the New York Times this weekend.
The article used the recent NFL (capital) vs Referees (talent) showdown as a backdrop. Here’s a link to the article that concluded with this:
The first three weeks of the N.F.L. season suggest that refs aren’t so generic and replaceable after all, especially after Monday’s “touchdown reception.” The response of talent was totally expected and undoubtedly exasperating to capital: “Hey owners, don’t be stupid; just pay these guys. You are ruining the game that makes us players rich.”
Sports has always been and will always be a metaphor for life. That’s exactly what this battle has been. It is a metaphor for what will be the fundamental battle of 21st century business in America and beyond.
[ Illustration by Gary Taxali ]