Staying on top of role-related needs is a crucial part of maintaining operations

suad-kamardeen-MYKAZlzW6Nw-unsplash-1Skill shortage issues can crush productivity and profitability — yet as technology continues to evolve, employers will likely face an ongoing need for employees who possess new, emerging skill sets.

If G20 countries can’t, through training and other methods, adapt the available skill supply to meet the new technological era’s needs, they risk forgoing up to $11.5 trillion in GDP growth over the next nine years, according to an Accenture analysis.

Take a cue from companies that have made strides in preparing for potential skill shortage threats and start safeguarding your organization with some of the following techniques — before you experience any productivity or other issues:


Technology altering certain job requirements can present employers with a decision: Search for new hires who already have the necessary experience, or offer current employees instruction to help them perform the role. More than 40 percent of corporations said they plan to focus on reskilling employees, rather than replacing them when technology changes require it, according to a 2018 Bloomberg Next and Workday survey. For organizations to be prepared to reskill employees, they’ll need to adequately budget for additional training; a number may want to offer instruction relating to data and business, the two major areas a 2019 edX survey found workers were lacking skills in.

rawpixel-679097-unsplash-220737-editedMentoring employees

Pairing experienced workers with less experienced ones can provide both formal and informal training opportunities to help companies circumvent future skill shortages. Employees may support the effort: Coaching and mentoring were ranked as one of the top three preferred workplace learning methods in a D2L survey of knowledge workers. Generation Z members age 21 to 25 and baby boomers named experienced workers mentoring employees as the number one learning method they’d like to use.

Considering nontraditional candidates

By expanding their current qualification requirements, organizations may be able to tap into a wider candidate pool and connect with jobseekers who have capabilities the company needs to avoid anticipated skills gaps.

Goldman Sachs, for instance, began re-examining the factors it had used to identify the best potential candidates a few years ago. The investment firm has already seen indications students that are recruited from venues it hadn’t previously considered as often perform just as well as ones from schools the company used to view as “the best” — and in some cases are more likely to remain with the company longer, according to an article about the company’s findings published in the Harvard Business Review.

For more information about preventing skills gaps — including ongoing initiatives that can produce effective results — view these blog posts on bridging the skills gap, manufacturing or prevention with reverse mentoring.