Reskilling: A Post-Pandemic Talent Imperative
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is expected to transform one third of all jobs in the next decade. And as soon as 2022, technological transformation would have created close to 133 million new jobs.
-World Economic Forum
Reskilling is in our DNA
With the pandemic throwing in volatility into the mix of an already dynamic talent ecosystem, talent managers are scrambling for means to bridge the widening talent gap across industries.
Combined with the rapid digital transformation initiatives fueled by the adoption of cutting-edge tech like AI, ML, IoT, Cloud & others, enterprises are staring at a zero-sum talent ecosystem.
The solution, as espoused by leading talent consultants and industry leaders is reskilling.
Over 75% of HR executives agree that reskilling, especially in the post-pandemic scenario, is imperative to meet the coming decade’s digital transformation demands.
At its face, systemic reskilling, or reinventing/repurposing an existing tool to derive prolonged benefits, has been an inherently human trait. Take, for example, the Falun Mine in Sweden that has supplied Copper to most of Europe for almost a millennium.
The depleting ore did not completely devastate the local economy as one would expect. Instead, Falu red, a waste by-product made from leftover rocks and ores containing iron, was marketed as the next big thing.
Records describe how Falun mine started training people in red paint making. The paint making operation is fenced off to the side of the mine and is still operational.
Radical Reskilling: It‘s Time to Walk the Talk
While the intent to reskill is there, we have not yet moved the needle when it comes to results. Stories with utmost one degree of reskilling transformation – QA Automation Engineer to Software Engineer or Data Analyst to Data Engineer are common.
However, at the rate the talent demand-supply gap is widening, even more, radical transformation stories involving multiple degrees of change need to become common.
To grasp the true sense of urgency, one only needs to look at the current talent gap in the cloud domain.
Our analysis shows that well over 60% of the 10,000 global enterprises studied are moving their data infrastructure to the cloud. There are over 2000 business intentions (both internal & customer–facing) that are driving this growth.
This growth, in turn, has spawned well-over 3.5 million new job postings across the 30 countries we studied. Across the global markets, we see a growth of 22% in year-over-year job growth.
There is currently an estimated gap of 1.62 million people in the cloud…that we are struggling to meet.
Our projections below indicate that this number will rise to 3.5 million in the coming 3 to 4 years.
Reskilling, The Antidote to Job Role Disruption/Evolution
As dynamic as it seems, the global labor market has several static elements among it, chief among them being generational changes.
In a longitudinal study conducted by the Boston College on novice firefighters’ skill readiness, they found that recent recruits required significant upskilling in terms of basic mechanical engineering aptitude and other allied skills.
While this can be explained as a consequence of the disappearance of vocational jobs, the overall effect of skills disappearing with generation plagues all domains.
Yet another challenge facing talent managers is the decreasing quality of entry-level talent available in the market. This is a significant skills emergency that needs coordinated action between enterprises, state and local governments, and universities.
However, the rapid and dramatic change in workflows due to AI/ML solutions might render any attempts to overcome generational shifts and improve entry-level talent futile.
Take the example of a Restocking Analysts, whose job involved maintaining inventory levels at vending machines etc. Today, this job has been disrupted with the rise of AI/ML systems that can automatically recognize inventory levels and take actions accordingly.
In other news, Call Center professionals now find their roles transformed to those of Inside Sales Representatives and Data Analysts are busy rewriting their resumes to convey the image of a Business Storyteller.
See image below for a few more examples
Unlocking New Talent Dimensions Through a Solid Re/Upskilling Framework
Implementing Reskilling successfully enterprise-wide is a daunting task. The most common challenges are that often companies have only a hazy sense of what their internal talent is capable of, and migrating large numbers of employees into new positions requires time, money and commitment.
However, the problem doesn‘t stop there.
There is an ecosystem-wide lack of clarity on how to map employees to their ideal roles, identify disrupted functions, and shift employees from these disrupted roles in the shortest time possible.
Which is why Draup developed a systematic reskilling strategy that involves 8 essential (albeit flexible) steps.
The Reskilling Roadmap & Operationalization Strategy covers:
- Critical Skills: Conduct an extensive analysis of JDs, profiles, service offerings, strategies and various other organization attributes to identify competencies and skills that are deemed critical
- Digital Intentions: Identify and interpret the digital themes and industry–wide advancements to better understand the market position of the organization and the competition
- Peer Analysis: Perform a competitive analysis to further benchmark the organization‘s digital intentions, capabilities and technological infrastructure to bridge the gap with the industry
- Role Mapping: Follow a systematic approach of translating and mapping the organization‘s high priority digital capabilities to classified job clusters or individual roles
- Disrupted Roles: Consequently, identify the impacted/ redundant roles in the organization as a result of augmentations and infrastructural upskilling
- Reskilling Strategy: Formulate a compact reskilling model centered around the skill gap analysis for all the redundant roles with the high priority roles and prioritizing the transitions based on the RPI values
- Upscaling: Amplify the reskilling analysis onto all the predefined high priority capabilities spanning all the job families and consistently refining it in line with expert feedback throughout
- Prototyping: Implementing the reskilling model on a few select job roles from smaller job families to illustrate the prototype reskilling analysis and further refine it and upscale it on feedback
Each step of this framework required complete organizational buy-in all the way from interns to the Executive Leadership team.
While the repurposing of Falu Red might have been serendipitous, building a modern talent workforce has to be an active exercise leveraging the latest in technology.
Draup for Talent facilitates & amplifies your reskilling initiatives with its unique ‘reskill navigator‘ and ‘path predictor‘ features and thus enables organizations to address their skill gap challenges. Draup delivers real-time insights on hard and soft skills, demand, and supply sources of the talent pool, along with insights to devise reskilling initiatives. Our trend prediction capabilities, powered by AI, enable HR leaders to stay ahead of the talent-gap curve.
Draup also aids users in analyzing real-time signals about trends associated with technology adoption, talent intelligence, and skill analysis at a company and segment level.
The above article is extracted from a keynote address by Vijay Swaminathan, CEO & Co-Founder, Draup, delivered at the Zinnov Confluence – Europe Edition. Watch the full talk here.