Experiencing a “War For Talent?” Get Your Sustainability Strategy Sorted Now

In 2018, prior to the pandemic, Korn Fery predicted a “global talent crisis.”  

“By 2030, demand for skilled workers will outstrip supply, resulting in a global talent shortage of more than 85.2 million people. Signs are already emerging that within two years there won’t be enough talent to go around.”

The key driver of Korn Fery’s  2018 prediction was demographics. The gradual exit of the “boomers” from the workforce was going to leave a hole. Then came the pandemic – and a wave of early retirements.  

And then came long covid.  


As a recent article in the Times suggests, the imbalance of supply and demand for talent is a major factor in the inflationary spiral currently gripping the global economy. 

So – what’s all that got to do with sustainability?   Now that members of the workforce are enjoying the strongest hand in decades in negotiations with employers, employers have a strategy choice to make:  Will they bid up salaries to compensate for sustainability gaps – or will they take actions that cater to the sustainability values of the people they are trying to hire?   

According to Future Planet’s research, those that get their sustainability strategy sorted have access to a wider group of candidates.   In our soon-to-be-published research, 31% of respondents indicated that they would only work for a company with sustainability values,  while another 60% stated it as a preference.


But the same study revealed that employers are playing catch-up on this trend in employee attitudes.   Only 54% of respondents reported working for a firm with a declared sustainability strategy with targets fully communicated.  That contrast, incidentally, looks like a retention threat as well as a recruiting problem.     

How can employers close the gap and catch up to the sustainability values of the people they want to hire?   Double Materiality-Assessment – if it is not already an established practice for the firm –  would be the logical place to start.   

Future Planet has recently produced a guide called Materiality Assessment 2.0.   It’s got Double-Materiality-Assessment  tips and process insights that can help your firm be the kind of firm that most talented workers want to join. You can download it for free here.    


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