Skills Gap Closure Through Reskilling

The United States is at war for talent, but the struggle may be won from inside. While the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and The Great Resignation continue to pose challenges for employers, evidence now suggests that these seismic disruptions only exacerbated existing trends that predicted widening skills gaps in the labour market.

Companies in a wide range of industries are increasingly confronted with personnel shortages and skills gaps, which are impeding their competitiveness. According to the Wiley research, Closing the Skills Gap 2023: Employer Perspectives on Educating the Post-pandemic Workplace, approximately 70% of organisations have skills shortages, up from 55% in 2021. JOLTS (Job Openings and Labour Turnover Survey).

Despite recent high-profile layoffs at major technology firms, many organisations are confronting an exceptionally acute lack of experienced technology employees. For example, there are now over 750,000 job opportunities for cybersecurity employees in the United States, with 3.4 million cybersecurity workers required internationally. According to General Assembly’s The State of Tech Talent Acquisition 2023 study, the typical cost to fill a tech function is currently $30,000.

There just aren’t enough specialists in the IT pipeline to fill the holes. These ubiquitous market difficulties, along with economic instability and the quick speed of digital transformation, are actively working against employers’ labour objectives and necessitate a course correction.

That change begins with addressing the root causes of the talent war rather than just treating its symptoms. Companies may begin by unleashing the potential of their workforces and proactively developing a talent pipeline of talented people.

Sourcing and Skill Development

Hire train and deploy

First, firms must capitalise on the market’s existing strength by introducing innovative sourcing and recruitment strategies, such as hire-train-deploy (HTD). The HTD approach recruits and trains college graduates in high-demand technological skill sets before deploying them to real-world work opportunities.

HTD is especially useful now since it alleviates the strain of competing for talent and gives a degree of control and predictability that traditional recruiting programmes cannot often achieve. It also diversifies tech teams by giving graduates from historically underrepresented groups the same opportunity to thrive in high-paying tech jobs regardless of academic background.

In addition to HTD, firms may unlock the potential of their existing workforces through upskilling and reskilling programmes. These cost-effective techniques address a company’s unique talent and skill shortages while enhancing retention rates since workers now have access to new internal mobility paths.

Expanding these paths is especially critical for the tech industry’s years-long (and mostly uncoordinated) drive to boost diversity among its ranks. In actuality, white workers account for 62% of the high-tech industry, with Hispanic and Latinx workers accounting for 8% and Black employees accounting for 7%. The gender gap in technology is also a present concern, with just 28% of women in computing and mathematics jobs.

Role development and transition

Upskilling and reskilling individuals to fill IT roles may help your company not only fulfil talent demands, but also foster a sustainable workforce. These learning treatments are classified as role development and role transition. As the name indicates, role development upskills and equips current tech teams with the specific skills and competencies they lack, such as in Java, Python, AWS, and Linux.

Role transfer can reskill people who are currently working in non-technical jobs in order to shift them into technical roles. Reskilling prepares and teaches people to take on responsibilities outside of their present position and skill set. A customer service person, for example, may train to work on the information technology (IT) helpdesk.

Upskilling and reskilling programmes not only provide opportunity for employees to progress their careers, but also assist organisations save on onboarding expenses while meeting short- and long-term business objectives.

The Way Forward

Another road to success: Align learning material with workers’ careers. Unfortunately, what workers learn in higher education and on the job, particularly in technology, is frequently a step behind what they require in the real world. We must create and offer training that fits the changing market demands of an increasingly global economy.

While there are many self-paced learning platforms with extensive content libraries that can help learners upskill and reskill, employers can also partner with universities and higher education institutions to offer reskilling and upskilling opportunities, such as employer-sponsored continuing education courses and apprenticeships.

Aligning skill development with company need may help futureproof workforces during times of turbulence, allowing for long-term success.

There are numerous fronts in the battle for talent, but the most successful approach may be for corporations to better utilise the resources they already have until the supply lines reopen.


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