Oscar Cerezales, Chief Strategy Officer of MCI Group, shares his thoughts on how the business events industry can tackle the talent crunch.

It has never been easy attracting high-quality talent, and the pandemic only increased staff shortage challenges that is still experienced even as the business events industry makes a promising return. The post-pandemic hiring race created a talent war, where organisations scramble to reinvent their culture and revise their traditional hiring practices to attract and retain good talent.

As an industry that thrives on interpersonal relationships and puts passion into the work, shouldn’t it be easy to attract good talent? Or are we looking from the wrong bucket?

Cerezales notes that having a staff shortage also means that business is well and truly returning. He believes that companies should take advantage of talent and skills from the peripheral sectors, be it in advertising, communication, academia or others. He adds that the short- to the mid-term solution could be upskilling or reskilling, while the long-term solution could be bringing in talent from overseas.

“Humans tend to focus on what’s happening instead of the solution. We can learn how to be smarter at partnering with people outside the industry,” Cerezales says.

As we emerge from the pandemic, the future of work has changed, along with employee wants and needs. The rising gig economy and hybrid workforce allow a company’s talent pool to grow exponentially without geographic boundaries. Companies that want to be on the winning side of the talent war need to review and revise their policies to cater to the changing needs of the workforce.

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