Software giant SAP’s HR chief admits hitting talent crunch as global skills shortages bite

The HR chief at SAP has admitted the employer software firm is facing talent management problems as the skills crisis bites.

Theresa Ellison, HR director at SAP UK and Ireland, told Personnel Today that global skills shortages and emerging markets were putting pressure on the company.

“We are hitting the talent crunch,” said Ellison. “Most organisations will hit the same thing. Within the next three years, we will struggle for talent.”

Many of SAP’s UK-based workers are being poached by growing IT industries elsewhere in the world, particularly Asia and the Pacific, she said.

“There has been a big increase in internal attrition in the past 12 months. People are happy to move to other countries and this will only grow.”

HR has a big role to play encouraging line managers to help new workers progress their careers at SAP UK, Ellison stressed.

“We are good at hiring talent into existing roles, but the next step is to look at how we grow that talent, and make managers think about how the role can be developed.”

SAP has an alliance programme with universities in Leeds, Sheffield and Belfast, where the company sponsors technology PHDs and takes students on for work experience.

The firm employs about 51,000 people in more than 50 countries to provide HR software to employers across the globe.

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