Janice Lemminger Executive Vice President, Manpower Group

Many businesses, manufacturers in particular, continue to struggle to address work force shortages.

The sharing of talent pools could provide a much-needed solution.

It’s a novel concept but many employment experts agree that a new approach to hiring is needed, one focused on providing employees with the opportunity to develop and work in agile environments while assisting businesses in filling their employment pipelines.

“More employers and business partners need to stop talking about it and simply take action,” said Janice Lemminger, Executive Vice President of Milwaukee-based global staffing firm ManpowerGroup for the Chippewa Valley, Central Wisconsin and the Coulee Region, which includes nine offices throughout Wisconsin and Eastern Minnesota.

ManpowerGroup has been exploring the concept of shared talent pools as companies continue to struggle to meet growth objectives as competition for talent intensifies.

“It’s an employee market,” said Lemminger, who has spent more than 31 years with ManpowerGroup and has served on the Governor’s Council on Workforce Investment since 2013. “You need to provide multiple opportunities to define an employee’s career trajectory.”

The talent sharing model can work especially well with manufacturers that have off-setting production schedules, she said.

“You have to decide if it is better to go week after week with less than full production or have a talent pool that changes from day to day,” Lemminger said.

To embrace the talent sharing concept, employers must recognize that the concept of loyalty has changed among employees, she said. Employees will exhibit loyalty while they are employed by a certain company but are highly unlikely to stay with one employer for 20 to 30 years, as occurred with regularity in past generations.

Companies owe their employees the opportunity to improve their employability, even if they aren’t going to be on staff for an extended period of time, Lemminger said.

An underlying concept of talent sharing is that employers, through a collaborative effort, are preparing their workforces not only for themselves but for other companies, perhaps even competitors, she said.

Lemminger will be part of a panel discussion on sharing talent with competitors at the WMEP’s Manufacturing Matters! conference on Feb. 25 in Milwaukee. Other employer panelists will include Todd Filter, market vice president for ManpowerGroup, and Alan Petelinsek, CEO of Power Test Inc., a Sussex-based dynamometer manufacturer. Employee panelists will include Ryan Lemminger, senior electrical engineer at GE Healthcare in Milwaukee.