News Article

Human Talent: Supply and Demand Outlook

Tue, 12/01/2015 - 17:48

Mexico Talent Forum 2015 began with a conference by Ignacio Cano, Vice President of Human Capital at Grupo ICA. Cano started his conference presenting some figures on Mexico’s position as an oil producer and the challenges this presents after the recent deceleration of PEMEX and CFE operations. He stated that talent is indeed one of the challenges, and is among the main concerns for HR leaders who are concerned about the availability of talent in the near future to satisfy the industry needs. Cano mentioned a study performed by Grupo ICA and FIDER, which determined that, of all engineering degrees, two disciplines stand out to recruitment managers: industrial engineering and systems engineering. “Within this study, we projected the amount of graduates that each degree will provide,” Cano comments, “and the graduate number is worrying since there will be an oversupply of engineers in some areas, while others will not be able to satisfy the industry needs in the next five or six years.” Cano claims that this places them in a complicated situation, meaning that the infrastructure and energy sector should generate new, alternative solutions to develop talent, such as adapting engineers from other fields or taking measures to attract foreign talent.

Cano then proceeded to talk about Grupo ICA’s specific strategies and solutions. Being a construction company, its influence depends directly on economic and politic cycles, so it is important to understand projections and talent demand. For Grupo ICA, talent is treated as a corporative property. Key talent is discussed by top management, but one challenge is the complexity of the career path. Learning is fundamental and Grupo ICA’s main focus is to develop individual capabilities that help to build upon the expertise of the organization. “We concentrate on four main pillars when developing our talent: project management, contract management, financial management, and mergers and acquisitions”.

For Grupo ICA, human capital is the most important asset. Cano recommended that, “The human resources department should be strategic, but also intimately involved in operations. In our case, our model is adequate for our sector, but when considering strategy, its development must adhere to our talent agenda.” There are important challenges to overcome on the horizon, one of which is indeed talent scarcity. “There is going to be a talent war, we will see wage inflation in the medium term, and we will have to be extremely strategic to ensure the availability of the talent we require,” he concluded.