451 Research Insight: Solving for Skill Supply Shortages

451 Research Insight: Solving for Skill Supply Shortages to Enable Strategy Execution

June 29, 2020
Written by

Robert Worley

Published on

June 29, 2020

In last week’s LiveCast hosted by 451 Research (part of S&P Global Market Intelligence), “Why the ‘New Normal’ of Business Success Demands a Clear Line of Sight from Strategy to Execution,” Senior Analyst Conner Forrest presented insights from recent research across 451 Research’s proprietary panels of enterprise leaders. In sharing 451 Research’s perspective on how the Catalant Platform and Expert Marketplace align with trends observed in the research, Forrest notes the need to manage the right people resources to accomplish business objectives.

Forrest specifically emphasizes the difficulty enterprises have in finding the right skills to execute their most important work. As 451 Research’s 2020 Voice of the Enterprise research notes, skills shortage is the third-largest barrier to digital transformation, and 37% of respondents report that not having enough skills in the market is the biggest recruiting challenge. 

Strategy execution sits at the center of what a company does, how it works, and the people who make it happen. Without the right people with the right expertise, it’s impossible for organizations to accomplish their highest priority work and ensure the success of the business. 

Leaders in large enterprises can overcome skills shortages by reframing the challenge and taking an expansive view of their talent pools during workforce planning and development, shifting their thinking toward talent access rather than talent acquisition (read the eBook). As pressure increases to operate more leanly, the ability to flexibly access — as opposed to simply acquire, which increases fixed labor costs — talent as needed will become more important.

Missed the LiveCast?

Watch the full recording of the 451 Research Livecast, and download a recent analyst report about Catalant.


Utilize your internal resources better

Most large companies work in silos, a way of working that, under more stable operating conditions, enables operational excellence by organizing work and people by function or business line. But the narrow focus of silos often means business leaders don’t know who in their organization has the right skills and expertise for strategic projects — an intolerable negative side effect in a rapidly evolving world in flux. 

451 Research’s findings reveal that leaders say that better identification of internal candidates is a top method for closing the skills gap. This visibility into the experience of the workforce makes it possible to find people across the organization and across silos who have the expertise needed to tackle the most strategic work.

Identifying talent in the organization is only the first step, however: leaders need to be able to reallocate resources quickly and effectively in order to take advantage of that talent. There are large benefits to being able to move resources quickly: “fast” talent reallocators are 2.2x more likely to outperform their competitors on total returns to shareholders than slow talent reallocators1. The faster you’re able to put employee expertise to work on your most strategic work, the better.

1McKinsey, “Linking talent to value”, McKinsey Quarterly, April 2018.

Case study: Internal access to scarce capabilities

A leading multinational brewing company, recognizing the need to identify and deploy high-demand skills inside its organization, partnered with Catalant to drive a digital transformation to increase agility and innovate faster in the face of shifting consumer preferences. 

The company uses the Catalant Platform to increase the impact of employees with scarce, high-demand capabilities in the areas of supply chain, operations, and business process improvement, forming a Center of Excellence (COE) to drive continuous improvement. 

Leaders across the company can access the COE’s global network of approximately 2,500 Lean Six Sigma experts to work on some of the most strategic and highest visibility work at the company.

Build a flexible bench of external talent

New strategic work often requires accessing knowledge and skills that aren’t available in its workforce, especially in technology workstreams like digital transformations. Strategic shifts can also call for capabilities in excess of what exists inside the organization because of competing priorities. 

But filling critical positions with high demand expertise is difficult—47% of companies take greater than 90 days to fill critical roles2. Usually this means that companies turn to traditional sources of strategic external resourcing support, like consulting firms. But leaders find that the support of large firms isn’t necessarily right-sized for the work that they need. 

When facing skills shortages, business leaders flexibly access right-sized expertise through Catalant’s Expert Marketplace of nearly 70,000 elite independent consultants and more than 1,000 firms and teams. By finding the right person with the right expertise through a tech-enabled marketplace, businesses can quickly start getting critical work done.

2Catalant, Reimagining Work 20/20: A Vision for the Future of Work, April 2018. 

Dynamic internal and external resource deployment

As companies adapt to changing market conditions and the ‘new normal,’ they will need to access resources both inside and outside their workforces to execute their strategies. The Catalant Platform can enable leaders to meet the challenge of resource deployment with visibility into their employee base to find in-demand knowledge and skills, and flexible access to external resources when internal expertise isn’t enough.

The Catalant Platform

Software-as-a-Service to align your workforce with your strategic objectives

Expert Marketplace

On-demand resources to variabilize workforce — and fill skills & capacity gaps

Cost Comparisons

Cost Comparison | Full-Time Employees (FTEs) vs. Catalant Expert Marketplace

Full-Time Employees vs. the Catalant Expert Marketplace

Traditional employment models aren’t well suited for flexibly meeting the demands of a world in flux. Widespread uncertainty and volatile markets are compelling leaders to reduce and variabilize fixed labor costs.

Consulting Firms Cost Comparison | Catalant

Traditional Consulting Firms vs. the Catalant Expert Marketplace

Traditional consulting firms aren’t right-sized for the work many companies need right now, and can no longer camp out in clients’ offices due to public health concerns and an increasingly digital workplace.

Catalant Secures $35M Investment to Capitalize on Market GrowthRead More →