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No matter what industry you’re in, the skills and technologies needed to succeed are constantly changing — now more than ever. Due to the rise of AI, automation, and other technologies, the half-life of skills has fallen to about five years.

Instead of constantly hiring and firing, companies have started to invest in retraining and reskilling to address the skills gap and help solve recruiting problems. With technology advancing at such a fast rate, the workers of tomorrow will need to be trained and developed in-house through a combination of training, incentives, and culture.

Upskilling vs. Reskilling

Reskilling – learning new skills and competencies to transition to a different career.

Upskilling – learning new skills and competencies within the same job profile.

For example, you might reskill a truck driver to code, but upskill a web developer to learn an additional computer language.

What Employers Should Do

How can companies provide the retraining, reskilling, and upskilling demanded by tomorrow’s jobs? Is it better to fire and hire different workers? If a company chooses to reskill and retrain its workers, is it worth the cost? These are tough questions.

According to the World Economic Forum’s latest Towards a Reskilling Revolution report, 95% of the 1.4 million American workers expected to be displaced out of their roles in the next decade can be reskilled into new jobs with higher wages at a cost of $34 billion. The same report found that the private sector could reskill 25% of all at-risk workers with a positive cost-benefit balance for an overall investment of $4.7 billion.

Profitability is the major concern for business, but there are many other indirect benefits of reskilling and upskilling, such as physical and mental health, taxes, and lower welfare payments. That’s why it’s also in the interest of governments to invest in reskilling workers. Assuming public-private collaboration, the report contains a model showing that the United States could reskill 77% of at-risk workers with an investment of $19.9 billion while generating a positive return.

This report backs up what we already know — that regular learning and development programs are cost effective when compared with hiring new employees.

The reskilling and upskilling challenge is different for each business and industry, but there are a number of recommendations that are crucial for success in any industry.

Don’t hire based on skill alone

Rather than focus on specific skills and technical competencies, look for someone who is trainable and eager to learn. New skills can be learned quickly for someone with an adjacent skill set.

Before posting a job opening, look internally for someone who is willing and able to transition into the new role through retraining. Soft skills, professionalism, and passion are becoming more and more important in the workplace.

Develop targeted training programs

From MOOCs and other online courses to bootcamps and university classes, there are many ways to upgrade your workforce with more up-to-date skills. By committing to a lifestyle of lifelong learning, this can lead to faster growth, greater innovation, and higher-paid, more satisfied employees.

With so many learning resources available, it’s important to consult with experienced professionals who are familiar with your industry. Resourcing Edge can help you identity and address the unique needs of your organization.

Schedule an HR audit

An HR audit is a great way to evaluate your organization’s needs and identify the new skills and roles required for the future.

While you can have your in-house HR department perform an internal audit, the best way to evaluate the impact of your human resource practices is by hiring an outside Professional Employer Organization (PEO).

Here are some of the benefits of a professional HR audit:

  • Determine reasons for low productivity, such as skills gaps
  • Reduce HR costs through more effective and efficient procedures
  • Review information and training systems for areas of improvement
  • Focus on specific aspects of the HR department, such as payroll, compliance, records retention, etc.

Other recommendations:

  • Conduct a strategic workforce planning exercise
  • Find partnerships to upskill on a large scale
  • Tailor training programs to skill needs
  • Develop a culture of lifelong learning
  • Rethink organizational structures

Partner with a Professional Employer Organization 

By partnering with a CPEO like Resourcing Edge, companies get access to a team of HR experts, a robust web-based management software with helpful tools and resources available 24/7, and much more.

PEOs help retain the knowledge and skills of employees by reducing direct and indirect turnover-related causes. And by handing over many of the day-to-day administrative tasks, your existing HR team can focus on more strategic projects, such as hiring, training, and making positive changes to the company culture.

Some of the advantages of working with a PEO include:

  • Increased revenues and growth rate
  • Big business benefits and HR services at lower costs
  • Freedom to focus on other aspects of the business
  • Reduced risk of non-compliance
  • Higher employee retention and lower turnover rates
  • Less likelihood of business failure

When you partner with Resourcing Edge, you will have a staff of HR experts for customized solutions and valuable guidance. We are here to help businesses sort through the uncertainties of a changing workplace.

If you have questions about upskilling and reskilling to solve hiring and recruiting problems, don’t hesitate to contact Resourcing Edge.

Shellie Rich

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