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Recruitment & Reskilling 101: Training tomorrow’s talents today!

Right now is the best time to turn reskilling into reality.

While companies invest most of their time in attracting and retaining top talents, there is another upheaval waiting to cling to their wings for attention. For some, it has already started showing its consequences in terms of operational disruptions, staffing issues, etc. 

For others…You probably shouldn’t wait to hit rock bottom before getting started already!

There is an old saying: Even rock gives up its stagnation once it enters the business world. So who are employees and recruiters to defy the market forces and innovations? 

The 21st-century workplace demands a rework of the strategies for developing resources. And since employees are the company’s greatest asset, it must start with them. 

Recruiters should start focusing on “employee skill expansion.” The best way is to make them equal partners in your reskill program. 

But doesn’t taking time out of your busy schedule to address the needs and wants of the workforce seem too daunting?

Even if it scares you, reskilling the workforce will be the next big thing. And you have to be prepared for it. 

“43% of business leaders report existing skill gaps.

87% of business leaders predict further skill gaps within the next 5 year.”

Source-McKinsey

What is Reskilling?

Reskilling is a process where workers acquire new skills to transition into a different job role within the company or upgrade their existing skills to meet the changing demands of their current job. It occurs when employees’ work loses significance due to technological advancements or skill gaps. 

For example, an employee in the marketing department seems interested in the HR role. Training this employee for a recruiter’s position can benefit both the company and the employee. 

Reskilling is an excellent alternative to hiring a new candidate with different (fresh) skill sets. Since your employees are familiar with you and your workplace culture, there is a higher probability that once trained; they won’t leave you for another company. Also, you don’t have to spend extra on developing their experience from scratch. So, it’s a win-win for both sides. 

It is important to note that reskilling is different from retraining. Retraining is when you teach employees new skills to replace old skills that are no longer relevant. Reskilling, on the other hand, is about teaching employees new skills relevant to the current work environment to make them more versatile so they can take on new roles whenever needed.

Three Types of Reskilling Methods

There are three different types of reskilling methods that companies can use. These are:

  • Digital Reskilling: Digital reskilling involves teaching employees new skills related to technology, such as coding or data analysis. They are trained to use new software tools and are updated with the current industry standards.
  • Soft Skills Reskilling: This involves teaching employees new skills related to communication, problem-solving, etc. They help employees become more versatile. 
  • Career Reskilling: This involves teaching employees new skills related to their current job or career. The purpose is to make them unbeatable in their current role.

Reskilling vs. Upskilling

Reskilling Upskilling
Definition (Cambridge Dictionary) The process of learning new skills so employees can do a different job. The process of learning new skills or teaching workers new skills for a current job.
Purpose Employees take on new job roles Improve the skills for the current job role
Result Change in career No change in career
Process By job shadowing other employees By enrolling in training programs such as microlearning, online training, etc. 
Benefit  Helps in the retention of promising talents Helps in the personal growth of employees.

6 Benefits of Reskilling for Companies

Reskilling offers several benefits for businesses. For example, it can help companies stay competitive by ensuring their employees are up to industry standards. Also, by investing in employees and helping them grow, companies can demonstrate that they value their employees, leading to higher employee satisfaction and loyalty.

To keep it short, here are six (out of many others) key benefits of reskilling for companies:

1. Reduce Training and Hiring Costs

Hiring and training new hires is nothing less than torture to companies’ wallets, primarily when recruiting talents for executive roles, since you need to instruct them about everything, like their job responsibility, company culture, protocols, software, rules, etc., from scratch. Your existing employees already fall into the “know-it-all” category, so why not leverage them?

2. Retain the Best Employees

Isn’t it amazing that you don’t have to fire your experienced talents even after their work in the company loses its importance? Instead, you can simply enhance their value by teaching them more skills. 

Talented employees are challenging to find. It’s better to keep them close than give your competitor a chance to hire them.

3. More Versatile Employees

As employees expand their skill set, they become more versatile. They gain insight into the working of other sectors in the company and actively contribute as best problem-solvers. Reskilling gives employees a way to elevate themselves within the company.

4. Boost the Company’s Reputation

Reskilling can change the view of your employees for the company but did you know it also holds power to change how the whole market perceives you? 

Massive firing can negatively impact your company’s reputation, but reskilling shows that you value your employees and want them around for a more extended period. In the long term, candidates will start recognizing you as an ideal employer. 

5. A Great Tool for Internal Mobility 

Another benefit of reskilling is that it will help you attract the next round of talented employees. 

Candidates want to work in companies that help them grow professionally, and if you show them that you are one such employer, they are more likely to stick with you. In fact, they are twice more likely to stay with you if you give them room to grow. 

6. Boost Employees’ Morale

When employees feel that their company values them and they are given a chance to grow, there is a 94% chance that they will stay in the company for a longer time. Reskilling gives them job security so that they are still relevant even if their current role is no longer critical. It gives them confidence and boosts their esteem. And when employees are happy, they take pride in their work and produce high-quality content.

4 Benefits of Reskilling for Employees

Just like for companies, reskilling is equally beneficial for employees. Here are four significant benefits of reskilling for workers: 

1. Job Stability

Reskilling ensures job security for employees; although not the same role, they can work with the company for longer. It also makes them eligible for various company benefits like 401k, insurance, etc. Reskilling allows employees to gain all these benefits without interruption due to changed employers. 

2. Role Diversity

When employees know they have a high chance of promotion, they are motivated to work better. Upward mobility helps them rise in positions and take on new responsibilities. Reskilling makes employees more versatile and prepared to gain elevated roles. 

3. Personal Growth

As employees are given room to grow, they gain a sense of satisfaction that extends to their productivity and quality of work. When they learn new skills, they feel they are improving and will be valued more in the company. This elevates their trust in their employers, and they stick around for more extended periods. 

4. Making Lifelong Learning a Process

Whether at the workplace or not, lifelong learning is a crucial habit. When given a chance to learn and grow, employees experience a boost in their quality of life and feel more attractive to employers. Lifelong learning is a vital trait that companies are looking for.

Identifying Skill Gaps in the Workforce

Skill or knowledge gap indicates the lack of skills in the employees that hinders their performance. Such gaps result from hiring inexperienced candidates or during a job transition. 

Companies often hire inexperienced candidates during high-volume recruiting, which is further exacerbated due to a lack of proper training.

To avoid future chaos, employers must identify and bridge these gaps as soon as possible. Employees who are not appropriately trained affect the productivity of the entire workplace, making it difficult to achieve goals and targets. 

The first step to identifying the skill gap is to know the reason behind its occurrence.

Reasons Behind Workforce Skill Gaps

These are the four primary reasons behind the skill gap in the workforce: 

  1. Evolving Technology: Many new job titles have emerged, and many have disappeared due to the introduction of AI and automation, creating digital skill gaps in the workplace.
  2. Inadequate Learning: Gaining knowledge from inadequate or “not up to industry standards” resources contributes to skill gaps.
  3. Lack of On-the-job Training: This is another reason why many employees fail to produce good results. Remember that most employees would rather binge-watch Netflix than learn new skills. You will need to step up and provide them with everything they need to master new skills.
  4. Job Rotation: Allowing your employees to try their hands on new skills can motivate them to learn new skills. But, if not appropriately managed, it can elevate the skill gap.

Conduct a Skill Gap Analysis of Your Workforce

Once you have identified the skill gaps in your workforce, the next step is to perform its analysis. Here are five steps:

  1. Identify the KPIs: Key Performance Indicators highlight the efficacy of the company. These values can be quantitative, like return on assets, or qualitative, like candidate satisfaction score. Keeping track of these values will give you an insight into which areas need improvement.
  2.  Assess Your Employees: Test your employees’ skills regularly through customized tests and quizzes. It will help you determine their strengths and weaknesses.
  3. Observe the Work Environment: Assessments will never give you a complete picture of your employee performance. Instead, you need to observe their day-to-day duties and pinpoint the areas they need to work on.
  4. Ask for Feedback: Frequent feedback will ensure that you understand the priorities and needs of your employees. You can make it even more effective by keeping the feedback forms anonymous.
  5. Set the Benchmark: Recognize your company’s top performers and compare their results with the others. Notice what skills they have and what special they are doing that can serve as the motivation factor for other employees too.

Bridging the Skill Gap Should Start with You

Implementing a reskilling program for your workforce is not as difficult as it might seem. Many mind-blowing strategies can help you.

One of the most popular ones is to hire external consultants or experts to teach employees new skills. It is an excellent option for companies that don’t have the resources to hire dedicated trainers.

Another strategy is to use online learning platforms. Some online learning platforms offer courses and resources for reskilling. These online platforms can be an excellent resource for companies that want to teach their employees new skills without investing in external consultants.

Finally, companies can also use internal resources to reskill their workforce. This can include using existing employees to teach new skills or employing dedicated trainers.

Developing a reskilling plan should be the first step of whatever strategy you use.

Developing a Reskilling Plan For 2024

When it comes to reskilling, having a plan is essential. Without a plan, ensuring that employees are getting the right training and that the reskilling process is effective can be difficult.

A reskilling plan should include a clear goal or objective. This will help ensure that the reskilling process is focused and effective.

The plan should also include a timeline. This will help ensure that the reskilling process is completed on time so you can keep track of their progress.

Also, your plan should include a budget. Reskilling can be expensive, so it is important to have a budget to remain affordable and effective.

The following pointers will help you create your unique reskilling plan-

Relocate the Company’s Positions

Start by listing positions within your companies that can be eliminated in the next few months. To do this, delve into the company’s plan, research the market, study the new trends, etc. Then, based on your observation, decide on the roles in demand and start with your reskilling program. 

Remember, reskilling is about role transitions and promoting employees to higher positions. Also, it would help if you also considered that certain roles require specific training, so planning is necessary before getting started. 

Choose Employees to Include in Reskilling Program

While deciding whom to involve in the reskilling plan, you will have to evaluate every employee, their current roles, and future possibilities. You might want to reskill every employee, but let’s be realistic- Not all positions demand reskilling. 

You can use a rubric or grading system to decide whom to include in your program. But before anything, ask yourself a few questions:

  • What will be the criteria for choosing employees for the reskill program?
  • What departments to consider?
  • How will you grade your employee’s suitability for the program?
  • How can you minimize any risk?

Define the Areas for Improvement

After you have a list of potential employees, analyze the skills they need to improve for a successful transition. Next, look at your employees’ skills and what they need to learn. This step will be different for each employee and might take you a lot of time.

Choose the Right Methods

Choose how you plan to reskill your employees through workshops, online learning, job shadowing, one-to-one mentoring, etc. You can even use the same methods you use for training new hires.

Some of the most effective reskilling methods are – eLearning, Role Playing, Simulation Training, Group Activities, Cross-Training, On-the-Job training, etc.

Set the Time and Resources

You can’t spend years training your employees. There should be a set deadline. Ask yourself how much time a course can be completed. Can it be done while working? Do you need new software to facilitate reskilling programs? Make sure you have a separate budget for the program.

Negotiate Your Plan with Employees

Not every employee will jump at the chance to transition their career. There might be uncertainty given that their existing roles will also be eliminated. Therefore, it is crucial to converse diplomatically with your potential employees and teach them the benefits of reskilling.

Launch and Adjust

Once you have everything on your plate, get started right away. Monitor the training and progress of the program regularly and make necessary changes if needed.

How Can Technology Help?

Many AI-proctored tools can make the implementation and organization of your reskilling program a cup of cake for you. By leveraging employee training software, you can create an effective plan, track employee engagement, analyze loopholes, and gather feedback.

Some of the most preferred learning and training software involves Corporate Learning Management System (LMS), Digital Adoption Platform (DAP), and Knowledge Management System (KMS). By using these software or better by integrating them with your recruiting software, you can streamline your employee training workflow and track their performance.

Further, your recruiting software can give you a deeper insight into KPIs like completion rate, skill gap analysis, assessment scores, etc., which help you determine your program effectiveness.

Reskilling Courses

Finding a relevant reskilling course is not difficult once you have a proper reskilling plan handy. External consultants or experts can offer these courses, or they can be offered through online learning platforms.

But before anything, it is important to note that whatever course you choose must be tailored to your company’s needs. Choosing an engaging and interactive course is essential to reap the maximum benefits.

Some of the great online platforms to find courses are:

  • Alison
  • Coursera
  • Edx
  • Udemy
  • FourthRev,
  • LinkedIn

Reskilling Services

Many reskilling services are available to help companies get started with their reskilling program. These services can include consulting services, training services, and assessment services.

Consulting services can help companies develop a reskilling plan and determine the skills employees need to succeed. 

Training services can help companies teach employees new skills, and assessment services help companies measure the success of their reskilling efforts.

Make sure you onboard the exemplary service for your company!

Reskilling Tips to Try!

While it is vital to teaching employees new skills, it is also crucial to focus on the skill that your company needs. But, of course, you won’t invest till you get a better ROI, will you?

Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Involve your employees in your reskilling plan as equal partners
  • Keep track of your reskilling progress, and don’t hesitate to change it whenever needed.
  • Use data-driven solutions
  • Commit to improving your DE&I strategies
  • Offer apprenticeships
  • Partner with schools

Beyond Reskilling: Building the Long-Term Resilience!

Reskilling the workforce is a tactical necessity but also a strategic dead-end. Alone, reskilling is not enough! Skill shortage is like a giant pillar in front of small investments companies could afford. Moreover, the market is evolving rapidly, and even the successful reskilling practice seems obsolete. 

What’s the solution? Companies need to focus on building both long-term and short-term employee resilience. They need to take an approach that emphasizes both the dynamic nature of jobs and the potential of employees to reinvent themselves. 

Current Drivers

Companies are struggling to keep track of the changing landscape of the job market. Surveys show that 74% of employers acknowledge the importance of reskilling the workforce, but only 10% are ready to address and implement it. The readiness gap is too big. 

It’s not easy for employers to match up with dramatically changing industry needs. Constantly shifting skill demand, workforce development needs, lack of insights and investments – all these roadblocks intensifies the gap further. 

Tipping Point

One major issue that most companies that started with reskilling programs addressed is the “lack of insight.” 59% of employers said they couldn’t determine the needs and priorities of the workforce. They need additional information to develop the right plan.  

But even if companies acquire the required information, there is yet another challenge: obtaining necessary investments. While 84% of employers say their workforce should be allowed to pursue life-long learning, only 16% are ready to make such investments. 

Given these challenges, reskilling the current workforce seems unlikely to be implemented as expected.

Pivoting Ahead

The current approach to reskilling is too narrow and might not be sufficient in the long term since most companies only see it as an attempt to tally the current skill needs and prescribe training programs. But it is much more than that. 

We need a system that invests in employees’ near-term skills and focuses on developing their long-term resilience and embracing the dynamic relationship with the company. 

In a world where “constant is a variable too,” your aim should be to help your workforce reinvent themselves and build a sustainable path for them to do the work of today- and for all the coming tomorrows. 

FAQs 

Q- When to start the reskilling program for employees?

One of the leading indicators to start a reskilling program is the possibility of eliminating specific roles from the company. Reskilling is best if you want to retain your employees but can’t maintain the role. 

Q-How much time does it take to reskill employees?

Typically, reskilling takes less than six months. However, it also depends on the requirement of the new role. For example, some executive roles can demand year-long training.

Q-What are the challenges to reskilling?

Some of the common challenges to reskilling are:

  • Resistance from employees 
  • Lack of proper resources
  • Disconnection from career progression

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