Bridging the Skills Gap

In previous blogs, I have written about the importance of investing in your people.  Here is an article that give 5 tips to bridge the skills gap.

Bridging the Skills Gap

As in 2019, the skills gaps data continues to show trending upwards- meaning that gap is widening, more businesses are feeling the strain and there doesn’t seem to be much of an end in sight.

What does it mean? It means that we are experiencing lower than average unemployment rates and employers are experiencing difficulty filling jobs as job pools get increasingly more shallow.

It means that our workforce is leaning heavily towards skills-based training and not degrees. It means that we are creating a divide that is widening slowly and will cause an economic downturn if we cannot close the gap.

It’s likely as a small business, you are experiencing some of these hiring woes. Which puts you squarely in the same boat as Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase who says:

“Unfortunately, too many people are stuck in low-skill jobs that have no future and too many businesses cannot find the skilled workers they need. We must remove the stigma of a community college and career education, look for opportunities to upskill or reskill workers, and give those who have been left behind the chance to compete for well-paying careers today and tomorrow.”

So how can you, like JP Morgan Chase, bridge the skills gap? Some ideas below:

1. Encourage staff to take community college classes, at your expense.

Treat this as an investment for both yours and their futures- they learn the skills you are seeking to fill in your business and they are armed with knowledge and a new skill.

2. Step up your internal training initiatives.

Schedule more intensive and frequent training sessions and cater them particularly to fill your exact needs at the time.

3. Challenge your own talent acquisition procedures.

Assess the current workforce and apply it more realistically to your needs. Ask how many? Where will we get them? What skills will we require? Do they exist in our market? Will we need to ‘create’ them through training?

4. Focus more on aptitude and attitude.

Skills can be taught, education can be continuing, what is important is finding talent who show the aptitude to succeed and the attitude that match your companies’ culture.

5. Rework your onboarding, training and development plans and make them detailed and desirable—this will keep you competitive in a staff-starved workforce.

Overall, remember everyone is experiencing this issue right now. Carve out small changes that will most directly impact your own operations and focus on those.

Source: Ran One, 2020