Fundamentals of Skills Gap—What Measures Are the Big Companies Taking to Reduce It?

Fundamentals of Skills Gap

The “Skills Gap” is a popular word used nowadays by companies looking for skilled workers. The word means the difference between skills and expertise that the employers want as they publish in their job advertisements and those that are available from the job seekers. Most of the companies complain about not getting the suitably skilled workers fit to fill in the vacancies in their companies. This is in its truest form known as “Skills Gap,” which is proving to be a barrier to the growth of the companies and hence, the companies are trying to reduce this gap.

There are two groups of people who fall under this “Skills Gap,” new graduates and older workers. New graduates lack the experience that the employers look for in the employees to fill in the vacancies. Whereas, older workers are often made redundant by the companies because older workers are not open to welcoming new change and often cannot keep themselves updated with the technology upgradation. However, the skills gap is not attributed only to the lack of education as sometimes there come situations where the employees happen to be overeducated than required by the job. In such cases also employers find it difficult to fill in the positions by overeducated employees.

Persistent unemployment may also create a “skills gap.”  Some of the skills that are needed to work on contemporary technologies can be just as hard to measure as also they are to manage, which in turn can make the skills gap more complicated.

Impacts of Skills Gap

The skills gap can have negative impacts on business enterprises. It can cause revenue losses and limited access to various opportunities needed for expansion. Moreover, it can also lower the morale of the employees. Statistics have shown that a company that remains vacant due to a lack of skilled workers, for an average of 3 months, can cost the company around $14000. The skills gap makes it difficult for employers to fill in the vacancies.

Another impact of the skills gap includes delivery delays, existing employees having to work overtime due to which they lose motivation, eventually resulting in making costly mistakes. All these can adversely affect the customer services the companies intend to provide. Global economies are feeling the negative impacts of skills shortages in the areas of health, production, technology, and others.

How can the skills gap be resolved?

Talking about the skills gap, Amy Wright, the Managing Partner of IBM, commented, “Organizations are facing mounting concerns over the widening skills gap and tightened labor markets with the potential to impact their futures as well as worldwide economies. Yet while executives recognize the severity of the problem, half of those surveyed admit that they do not have any skills development strategies in place to address their largest gaps. And the tactics the study found were most likely to close the skills gap. The fastest are the tactics companies are using the least. New strategies are emerging to help companies reskill their people and build the culture of continuous learning required to succeed in the era of AI.”

Big companies like IBM has taken the following measures to reduce the skills gap.

Reskilling the workforce

IBM focusses on reskilling the workforce by implementing the multi-modal development procedures that are customized for individuals and built-in data. Employees are exposed to educational journeys that are based on their current experience level, job roles, skills, and career aspirations.

Creates Open Collaboration

IBM tries to help the employees to digitally reinvent themselves while creating a work culture for them that are open to collaboration and continuous learning. The professionals sit together with their clients and develop new ideas. Then the ideas are tested on a random and based on that the decision is taken whether to approve or discard the proposed ideas. These help in eliminating the barriers and traditional silos.

Utilizes AI to look for skills available

Big companies like IBM makes use of AI and analytics to predict what skills are available within the company and then eventually that information to infer a continuous culture learning in the employees. This continuously helps the company to provide its workforce with much-needed insight into the most critical areas. In fact, the AI capabilities help the clients to foster their hidden talents and transform the business fit for automation and AI. Partnering with intelligent machines helps in shutting down the “skills gap,” and helps in addressing the biasness in the recruitment and hiring processes.

In fact, IBM recommends the companies to reap the advantages of their partners’ ecosystems, which will thereby help the companies to expand their horizons of access to the content and to leverage innovative learning capabilities. This will eventually help in sharing skills and talents within the organizational boundaries.

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