The Skills Gap – What Role Have Corporations Played In Creating It – Part II

We have reviewed how the Great Retirement, antiquated education, and advancing technology are the primary causes of the mismatch between employer expectations and employee abilities. In this article, we’ll dig a little deeper and explore how corporations are contributing to the problem with “hiring friction,” lack of agility, and poor training or upskilling practices.

Hiring Friction

Naturally, employers are interested in hiring people who can step right into a job. However, when that preference turns into an expectation or even a requirement, you get what the Progressive Policy Institute calls hiring friction. Hiring friction occurs when candidates with strong potential and abilities are rejected simply because they lack experience or specific, highly-specialized skills. Data suggests that many employers will only interview candidates who have already done the job, even for entry-level jobs. In fact, a recent survey found that 61% of all full-time entry-level openings require at least three years of experience.

These prerequisites, along with increasing requirements for digital skills, are creating a Catch-22 for many job seekers: “You won’t hire me unless I have experience, but how can I get experience if you won’t hire me?”

This means that to some degree, companies are creating the skills gap by putting up skill/experience barriers that a good training program could easily knock down. 

Lack of Agility

“A successful business knows when to bend, pivot, and change to accommodate forces more powerful than itself (Project Manager). Business agility is the ability to adapt quickly and efficiently when circumstances call for it.

Especially in the tech sector, skills become obsolete almost as soon as you master them.  In a recent Economic Times survey, 91% of respondents working in the technology industry felt their skills were becoming obsolete.   Bask Iyer, Dell CIO, recently told his team that they should be prepared to upskill every 18 months (LinkedIn).

Many companies continue to do things the way they’ve always done them and then wonder why outcomes suffer.  These companies often get left behind in the competitive landscape and their under-skilled workforce suffers job losses that is difficult to recover from since they don’t have the requisite skills needed by other companies. 

These companies will often cut staff in an effort to save the company as they swiftly become irrelevant. This kind of downsizing leaves the workforce with disrupted communication, skills and knowledge loss, and bewildered, harried employees who don’t know how to cover their increased workload (Small Business Chron).

Training/Upskilling Practices

Training maintains that the skills gap could as aptly be called the training gap. Effective training and rigorous upskilling programs decrease hiring friction and promote agility.  Minimizing  the importance of training, will lead to the following results (eLearning Industry):

  • Higher turnover
  • Decreased competitive edge
  • Weak recruitment
  • Feeble productivity
  • Lack of innovation

You don’t just hirethe right people for the job, you create them.

Building great training programs that are cost effective and learning efficient can be done virtually.  Virtual training, if using the right solution, will provide more hand-on training than many companies would have if they brought their teams into a conference center or an office.  Using a virtual learning environment, like Jigsaw Interactive, you get high levels of engagement and hands on training, the ability to assess learning and a complete understanding of what your team did during training.

 Small group learning is essential for companies and easy in Jigsaw.  Using Jigsaw’s fully functioning and customizable break out rooms, your training team can build project and activity based learning that focuses on specific skills/needs of the team being trained.