Closing the Skills Gap With New and Existing Employees
Securing a pipeline of valuable talent in a historically tight labor market has the manufacturing industry investing big to “upskill” their existing workforce and provide attractive, lucrative career paths to attract new employees.
Kate Rogers reported at CNBC in January 2020 on the industry’s plan to spend $26.2 billion in 2020 alone on “internal and external training initiatives” intended to alleviate the skills gap and the ongoing shortage of manufacturing workers.
According to the Manufacturing Institute, almost 70% of manufacturers are making significant investments in workforce training programs with 75% recognizing the benefits of “upskilling” as the return on training investment.
The manufacturing sector isn’t alone when it comes to facing the ongoing challenges of the skills gap and the labor shortage. Upskilling can be effective as a retention and recruiting strategy for the construction and mining sectors as well, where closing the skills gap has been the number 1 priority for at least the last 9 quarters.
Benefits of Upskilling
- Creates a cross-trained workforce for better team performance.
- Reduces the costs of employee turnover, training, and development of a new hire.
- Avoid the high cost of vacancies in critical positions by developing a redundant pipeline of skilled employees ready to move up.
- Avoid the escalating expenses of a bad hire by upskilling the most promising and best-performing employees from within.
- Expanding skill sets by cross-training the workforce creates a competitive advantage in the rapidly changing high-tech environment.
- Creating career paths and opportunities for personal growth with upskill training attracts the best new hire candidates.
“Having a robust talent acquisition infrastructure is paramount in today’s economy. But given the pace of change companies also need to have the ability to reskill their workforces.”- Lauren Dixon, Talent Economy, The Critical Components to Reskill Your Workforce
Upskilling: The Business Imperative For 2020 and Beyond
Upskilling, reskilling, cross-training or whatever name you call it in today’s rapidly changing high-tech business environment is now “not a nicety; it’s almost a business imperative,” according to Bill Pelster, a professional services firm expert at Deloitte Consulting LLP.
Company Learning and Development (L&D) decision-makers need to look ahead to future skill demands and take action to stay ahead of the curve. Rewards for employees expanding their productive skillsets and succession planning need to advance together with upskilling efforts to increase the workforce “buy-in” so critical for retaining the top talent.
According to Phyllis Millikan, Right Management Group’s senior vice president of career management, companies need to be proactive in providing clear career progression resources and decision-making tools. In the Talent Economy article, Millikan warns that “if you’re not creating that opportunity, those employees are moving out of the organization”. In the C-suite “all levels of leaders” need to emphasize the importance of reskilling to keep pace as necessary skills continue to evolve.
The latest trends in upskilling programs include worker-friendly “microlearning” techniques that reskill workers seamlessly. Deloitte’s Bill Pelster recommends this granular teaching process of short but informative 15 minute videos that “make reskilling more digestible and efficient”. This prevents employees from feeling overwhelmed by day-long in-person courses or tedious seminars.
Once reskill training is complete employers should be prepared to move newly upskilled personnel to the updated roles that add value to products and services, for which clients and customers are more likely to pay more.
Resource Erectors: The Robust Talent Acquisition Infrastructure You Need
When it comes to closing the skills gap making the best new hires is the cornerstone of long-term retention. Any upskilling program can only build layers of new essential skills upon a strong foundation of fundamental skills and talents, especially at the professional levels. Acquiring the top talent for your workforce is Step One in building the pipeline your company needs to keep a competitive edge in our historically tight labor market.
Resource Erectors maintains relationships with the top candidates and companies in North America with industry-specific human resources experience in manufacturing, mining, civil construction, and engineering.
We’ve been matching the best talent in these specialized sectors for nearly 20 years, and 80% of Resource Erectors candidates placed are still contributing to the success of their companies 5 years later.