"Talent Gap" and The Next Decades' Employment Trends: Companies and Alumni Talks

John Cabot University’s Center for Career Services hosted the talk “Talent Gap: What’s Your Role in the Employment Trends for the Next Decade?” on October 19, 2022. The event was part of the series “Companies and Alumni Talks” and was organized in partnership with the Professional Women’s Association (PWA). PWA is a non-profit organization that supports and promotes the interests of professional women of different nationalities and from diverse backgrounds. The term talent gap refers to the discrepancy between the skills required for a job and the ones that the employee possesses. The guest speakers were Chiara Cacchi (Director of Hiring, People Management & Development of CONI at Sport e Salute S.p.A.), Elisa Noto (Partner at Labor and Employment Attorney and Partner at Aliant Legal Grounds), Krisztina Szaraz (HR Manager, Rewards and Recognition at Kantar), and Antonella Salvatore (Director of the Center for Career Services at John Cabot University).  

Talent Gap

Talent Gap Panel in Aula Magna

Krisztina Szaraz moderated the discussion and introduced Gerlie Saura, President of the Professional Women’s Association. Saura explained how skills such as cognitive flexibility, adaptability, and learning capabilities will change in the next five years. The PWA encourages and supports women to play a more active role in the digital era by advancing careers, fostering alliances, and training the current and next generation of professionals. It also organizes conferences with international speakers where women can network, develop leadership mentoring programs, and seminars on women’s empowerment, among other cultural events. Saura hopes to inspire and motivate women to face challenges with tenacity, and embrace future opportunities. 

Szaraz explained that the demand for workers has grown post pandemic, because 20 million less people are working. According to a global survey by McKinsey, 44% of CEOs reported that talent gap will be one of the critical challenges of the next five years. Such gap is expected to be seen in areas such as data analytics, human resources and talent management, research and development, and customer service, among others.   

Chiara Cacchi discussed the services provided by Sport e Salute S.p.A., a large government funded company that is responsible for the development and management of sports activities in Italy. Elisa Noto introduced the topic of quiet quitting, or doing the minimum amount of work required, and defined it as the next phase of the “great resignation.” When comparing the United States to Italy, quiet quitting is a trend mostly seen in the American labor market, perhaps due to the lower employee turnover in the Italian market. 

The COVID-19 pandemic also played a major role during the great resignation. Women were the most affected during the pandemic. 36% more women resigned compared to men, for example mothers who took on the role of caregivers. Smart working as opposed to office and hybrid working conditions was another change in the work field. It was argued that more rigid expectations in the workplace could also have contributed to the increase in the number of employees quitting their job. A solution to this problem could be found by establishing an open communication between supervisor and employee in order to set clear objectives and boundaries.  

Professor Antonella Salvatore concluded by pointing out how higher education suffers from scarcity of media literacy and soft skills. She stressed the importance of sports in helping the younger generation develop soft skills such as discipline, time management, and teamwork.