Here at Armstrong Craven, we are fortunate to work across a number of sectors including technology, financial services, healthcare and life sciences, consumer and industrial and, of course, chemicals.

This means we are able to assess how different industries approach the issue of talent acquisition.

The tech sector, as you would expect, often leads the way in terms of adopting new approaches to attracting talent. Armstrong Craven is an embedded partner within the talent acquisition team of one of the giants of this sector, ensuring that the management of their talent pipeline is as robust and dynamic as possible.

The chemicals sector has a reputation for being more traditional and conservative in the way it does business, although the signs are that this is gradually changing.

According to a 2015 Chemical Trends report by PwC: “Chemicals companies need to more deliberately adjust their business models not only across different lines of businesses within their portfolios, but within the businesses themselves, to keep pace with the changing requirements of distinct sub sectors.”

PwC says the process requires chemicals companies to take a hard look at three things: 1) how differentiated are the company’s products, 2) How intense is the competition and 3) What are the key operational imperatives.

The companies which will succeed the most are the ones which look beyond their traditional markets to emerging economies. Gains are expected to range from 6 to 10 per cent, compared to 2 to 3 per cent in developed economies.

According to Universum, the employer branding specialist, 70 per cent of global GDP growth in the chemicals sector is expected to come from emerging economies over the next few years.

Carly Creighton, Head of Latin America at Universum, says: “We expect that this, coupled with the increased scarcity of talent, will lead to a higher demand for skilled talent in these markets. In order to compete, employers need to understand how to capture this talent.”

Creighton adds: “The war for talent is a global trend and emerging markets will fuel the future talent pipeline.

“Each market is unique, but things to look out for are: interests in mobility, career aspirations and the most effective ways to communicate.”

The work we are doing within the chemicals sector, and the other sectors we specialise in, is predominantly about helping organisations move from a reactive to a proactive talent acquisition strategy.

For some, we are carrying out discreet and unique insight assignments that enable multinationals to gain in-depth knowledge of key talent in the target market either diagnosing current issues or providing evidence on which to base strategic decisions.

This often leads to talent mapping and talent pipeline assignments in which our specialist teams are generating a view of the talent landscape and helping clients to meet their current and future hiring requirements.

There are many benefits of taking a proactive approach to talent acquisition, not least the financial savings compared to traditional search and the improvement in time to hire. Clients also have ownership of all data generated from the assignment, enabling companies to continue to recruit key talent as future opportunities emerge.

A growing number of global businesses looking to emerging markets for future growth appreciate the importance of taking a proactive approach towards their talent needs. Without it, they know they run the risk of their competitors stealing a march on them in the war for scarce talent.

* Louise Wilkinson has worked with some of the biggest names in the global chemicals industry supporting them with their talent acquisition strategies.