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Talent Summit Highlights

I recently attended my Chamber of Commerce’s 2024 Talent Summit that discusses Colorado’s workforce challenges and solutions that address them. Attracting and retaining top talent continues to be a daily challenge for many businesses, especially small businesses. In fact, the need for talent in the job market remains at historically high levels.


According to the 2023 Talent Pipeline Report produced by the Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC), 90% of businesses with 50 or less employees are seeking skilled talent, and they are struggling to find them.

Every organization needs skilled talent to survive and thrive. When it comes to “skills,” the demand for employees with soft skills outweighs the demand for technical skills. The CWDC found that communication skills, team player skills, and customer service skills are the skills requested for the most by employers. It’s pretty clear why “soft skills” are now being referred to as “power skills.” These types of skills are the highest predictors of success in the workplace.



There was also a lot of discussion about quality jobs. The CWDC defines them as jobs that provide economic stability, economic mobility, and a sense of safety and belonging. In other words, competitive pay is important, but employers must also be able to offer jobs that provide career pathways where employees can grow their skills and pay and provide an environment that supports employee mental and emotional well-being. Employees care about their quality of life and quality jobs are a big part of achieving that.


These trends are not going away and employers must adapt to the demands of today’s workforce in order to stay competitive. The organizations that are seeing the most success are implementing the following:

  • Inclusive hiring practices based on skills and experience instead of degrees
  • Individualized career growth plans
  • Leadership training for personal and professional growth
  • Creating a healthy culture that emphasizes trust, communication, social connections, inclusivity and overall well-being


Which of the above best practices can your organization implement to gain a competitive edge?

How can you design your culture to achieve both the needs of employees and the business? What does win-win look like?

By far, the easiest way to have top talent in your organization is to keep the top talent you currently have. Retention should always be a top priority. Organizations must invest in employee engagement programs, provide leadership development opportunities, and create a healthy culture that aligns with both the needs of the employees and the business.

When both needs are met, everyone wins.

You can access the full 2023 Colorado Talent Pipeline Report here.

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