How to bridge the skill gap between employees and businesses


We live in a digital-driven era characterised by various advancements in technology. Due to rapid changes in the world, enterprises are experiencing a skill gap among employees. According to a report by Mckinsey & Company, around 375 million people will have to change their field of work this decade to meet the expectations of their employers.

This statistic depicts the fact that there is a difference between the demands of the workforce and the requirements of the companies. Taking the employer’s perspective into consideration, this creates a huge risk for the organization by way of workforce shortage. Following the employee’s point of view, it is daunting for an individual to constantly face a career transition or undergo training regularly. So the need of the hour is to address the cause and effect of this skill gap and bridge it with appropriate strategies.

Addressing the skill gap
According to a report by Korn Ferry, 85 million jobs will be unfilled by 2030 due to shortage of significant skills. Lack of opportunities, low pay scale, and inappropriate working environment have led people to resign from their current jobs. Also, it takes a significant time to acquire a new skill and realize the choice of field to work in.

Currently, remote jobs and flexible schedules are a top priority among employees due to the comfort and the quieter working environment. Adding to that, companies are looking for their officials to rejoin the offices to recover their losses. Hence, this led to a situation of disruptions and imbalance in the job roles, and deliberately industries are turning to automation to close their industry requirements.

Bridging the demand-supply gap
As the businesses are transforming themselves in this fast-paced era, they need to address the skill gap issue and formulate a few strategies to find a solution altogether. Companies can adapt to analyze specific roles that can be reshaped to get desired results. By working together, bridging the skill gap is the responsibility of both employees and businesses. So to understand the complete picture, companies can assess this situation through a holistic approach.

Employee perspective
The ground situation is that organizations have job opportunities. However, people are not appropriately skilled according to the industry standards and organizational needs. Therefore, it is the sole duty of employees to upskill and re-skill themselves to fit into the framework of a company. Primarily, employees can start by developing soft skills, which are a necessity to enter an organization. Following that, they can explore their strengths and weaknesses to develop a personalized development plan.

Business perspective
From the business perspective, there is a shortage of ample and skilled workforce to fulfill the expectations of the organization as well as drive its growth. Markets and technology trend shifts are also responsible for businesses to change in terms of their requirements. As employers, they must identify what qualities they want in their recruits and then build a system to impart these to existing employees. They must start the process by analysing the degree of skill gap and then formulating strong solutions to tackle the problems.

Finding root cause with skill gap analysis
Accurately scaling and measuring the skill gap is the first step toward devising a solution. Skill gap analysis can give an insight into the problematic areas and the root cause of problems in the organization. This study requires comparing the know-how of employees with the competencies of the organization.

Offering relevant training
Hiring new employees requires extensive time and research for the HR department. Instead, companies can invest in training and upskilling their current employees to save costs. Sometimes there is hidden and overlooked talent in the organization which needs to be recognized.

Amid the digital disruption, being tech-savvy is the need of the hour. Hence, employers can train their workforce by imparting certification courses in core tech areas such as cloud computing, AWS, AI, Analytics, and blockchain, etc. just to name a few. This can be made possible by building a cross-sector relationship between companies and training institutions. The courses curated by subject experts offer the right balance of theoretical knowledge and practical exposure. The service providers offering these skill training ensure holistic learning of the individuals and transform them into industry ready professionals.

Final takeaway
The World Economic Forum states that to close the gap between employees and businesses, there is a need for humans to improve their emotional and social capabilities. As it is a two-way process, both the employees as well as the employers must understand their key roles in addressing the situation as they both want to thrive in a competitive market. In totality, it is the stipulation of the enterprise to consider new hiring, contracting, or preserving the existing employees and training them for the job roles as a part of the solution.

(The writer is Director, Cloud Wizard Consulting)

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