Today's skills gap is becoming too expensive to be brushed aside. In search of innovative solutions some companies have decided to train their own talent instead of hiring it.

Photo credits: Jesus Kiteque on Unsplash

The fast-paced advancement of technology has in recent decades transformed the way we lead our lives and think about our jobs. But while most of us have been able to take advantage of this technological revolution, it appears that some industries, including the digital economy, have become victims of their own success.

Due to their high demand for skilled labor, digital companies are facing shortages of talent. Struggling to hire new people, they encounter limits to their growth potential. Resolving this issue is, therefore, their number one priority.

Digital companies are faced with the impossible question

Businesses are caught between a rock and a hard place often failing to find the right answer to the seemingly impossible question: how can we get the talent we need and not lose the talent we already have? Luckily, educational and career transition companies such as the world’s leading General Assembly (GA) have found a solution!

Instead of advising companies to hire new people externally, GA makes the argument that businesses should refocus their attention inwards and search, train and up-skill their own workforce. This approach is not only necessary (as companies struggle to hire new candidates due to lack of available skilled labor) but it also reduces companies’ costs.

Training your own workforce will save you money!

According to a study commissioned by GA, it costs up to $30,000 to employ a technology expert or a similarly high-skilled worker. By contrast, training and re-skilling someone whom the company already employs can save as much as $116,000 over three years.

Realizing this potential, education providers and experts on re-skilling have begun to develop programs to help businesses overcome the widening skills gap. But while there are many to choose from, only some of those programs deliver long-lasting and sustainable results.

Four elements that will turn your tech talent acquisition nightmare into a success

The GA study offers a list of elements that are indispensable for a successful transition from the mentality of hiring to the mindset of ‘building your own workforce’ . Among those we find that:

  • No up-/re-skilling initiative can succeed without the support of the CEO, CHRO and other top business executives. They need to lead by example and set up structures that will reward talent development;

  • These structures must be accompanied by a strong culture of “reinvention”, which requires a lot of adjustment from the HR personnel and management;

  • It is important that employees who are seeking up-/re-skilling are provided core education, support materials, and time for them to truly reinvent themselves;

  • Finally, it is vital that people who wish to test their aptitude and skills are not only allowed and encouraged to do so, but that they do so as soon as possible.

Photo credits: Helloquence on Unsplash

The world of today is in a constant flow. According to the research on lifelong learning by the Adecco Group published last year, two-thirds of workers predict their job will undergo major changes at least every five years. And among the younger employees, the number of those expecting faster rates of change in the workplace is even higher (up to 72%).

Embracing skills development and becoming more competitive

Experts on re-/up-skilling such as General Assembly insist that in today’s climate of skills shortages, it is crucial to complement external hiring of the workforce by focusing on training and building one’s own talent. By doing so, businesses will not only save money, they will also end up with employees who are more loyal, engaged and productive. Companies that will fully embrace skills development as part of their growth strategy will gain a competitive advantage vis-à-vis others, making their business model more sustainable and profitable.

To get inspired by what other companies are doing and to learn more about how to get ahead in the race of talent acquisition, read the study on Rethinking the build vs buy approach to talent here.


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