How to train people in the required skills to meet demand-supply gaps
This gap in demand and supply is something that needs to be addressed- in order to cultivate a truly enterprising nation
BY VIDUR GUPTA
The world of business has changed and influenced a greater amount of verticals along with it. The impact of advancement is such that a keener eye needs to be paid to talent acquisition- especially for a nation that is as diverse as India. As of now, India is set to mature faster as we surge ahead to meet the aspirations of the 1.3 billion people.
India combines the better of two worlds: harnessing the vast expansion that results from staying in-par with developed countries and optimizing the escalation, principally in exports, a resultant of its high-tech dexterity. This significantly improves India’s living standards while giving rise to a democratic and richer world. Yet there is a huge gap formed between skilled professionals and the amount of jobs vacant- India is a known for its skill deficient workforce. This gap in demand and supply is something that needs to be addressed- in order to cultivate a truly enterprising nation.
At the outset when we talk about Demand and Supply gap, we need to understand that industry is going through a paradigm shift with advent of technology, automation, AI. Growing skill gap is reflecting the slim availability of high quality college education and skill redundancy within the organization. The challenge is given the high paced growth environment, the demand for knowledge workers with high levels of technical and soft skills will only increase. Given the rapidly changing ecosystem, readiness for the unknown and unexpected can be attained through developing a robust training program for future skill sets.
Re-skilling of experienced people also needs an industry wide effort. Organizations need to keep an eagles’ eye on micro business environments in view of understanding the skill gap. The notion that employees new to the workplace will have all the job skills required over the course of their careers is unrealistic. Employers need to have stronger involvement in and ownership of skills, given the importance of helping workers develop and maintain their skills by fully utilizing them.
Today, employers are skeptical providing training to their staff. With changes in the jobs and career market, organizations fear that they will provide training for Staff to leave and join their competitors. HR plays a pivotal role in setting up the training programs to train the required skill sets for business objectives. Many skill gap shortages could be addressed by changes in training and recruitment practices, as well as by facilitating labour mobility. One effective way to minimize skill gap is to benchmark with competitor organizations to find out if they have faced a similar gap and, if so, what they’ve done successfully/unsuccessfully to address their gap.
Organizations need to intensify their academic intervention for job readiness of fresher’s coming out of institutions. Building better academia partnership will help reducing the skill gap. It is also crucial to ensure that skills taught at University are relevant for the working world; that they are maintained and further improved during working life.
Flexible recruitment processes would help to overcome demand and supply skill gap. Hiring applicants who do not possess all the required skills but show potential for learning can be one example. Organization need to understand skills required to succeed tomorrow are not the same as the skills required to succeed today. So organizations seeks to anticipate the benchmarks of the future, and plan development proactively. Organizations should regularly re-assess skill needs, and make efforts in areas where it anticipates changes to be especially imminent. Instead of applying standard benchmark for everyone at same level, organizations should set different development programs based on individual and organization need.
Setting up a right training program in itself is a herculean task, right from identifying the skill gap and carefully crafting a training program to suit its audience. Organization should embrace formal learning that support current skill sets and fuels future development.
HRBP should set On-the-job opportunities that professionals should gain during their tenure at a current level. First task of any skill gap analysis is to carefully map the skills required for performing current and future job. Then run a task to identify the skill gaps. Make sure that these tests are not run to judge one’s ability but rather used to help training programs. Once the skill gap has been identified, one needs to have a sound and realistic training program which addresses the audience. Outside consultant, web based, in-house counsel etc. To sum up the context, organizations should have training embedded in their culture and not as nice to have option.
Talent development is a core area of focus for many HR leaders who recognize where, when and how the development familiarity enables powerful performances. A keen understanding of continuous learning being necessary to keep pace with the rapidly changing skills required for today’s workforce, is bound to lead the change.
(The author is MD, Spectrum Talent Management – a global recruitment firm)