The digital skills gap is a growing problem for individuals and organizations. Last week, we explored how middle-skilled workers could achieve upward mobility by acquiring new digital skills in our blog post, “How The Digital Skills Gap Impacts Middle-Skilled Workers." This week, we’re looking at how the digital skills gap affects organizations searching for talent.
The global workforce is in the midst of a digital transformation, where more and more initiatives are relying on digital technologies and competencies to drive the business forward. However, the lack of digital skills among workers is hampering the transformation for companies around the world.
There are four steps companies can take to close the digital skills gap and prepare their workforce for digital transformation:
Evaluate employee skills. What digital skills do your employees currently have that are a value-add for the business? These can include software knowledge, CRM experience, Microsoft Suite expertise, or internal, proprietary systems.
Reveal gaps in talent. Do you have the workforce in place who can handle digital transformation, or do you need to seek outside talent?
Offer on-the-job training to your existing workforce. Continuing education--whether in the workplace, through a professional association, or at a higher education institution--can supplement an individual’s skill set and have a big impact. According to a report on adult training and education from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, 66% of adults surveyed thought a work experience program was very useful for improving work skills. Read more here.
- Promote from within. Promoting internally is significantly less expensive than recruiting for the same role externally. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM’s) Human Capital Benchmarking Report, the average cost-per-hire is $4,129. And, external hires often get paid more. A study by Matthew Bidwell, an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, showed external hires get paid 18% to 20% more than internal employees do for the same job.
Shifting the emphasis from manual skills to digital skills in the workforce is critical for companies to stay ahead of competition, lower the cost of doing business, and maintain a productive workforce. Implementing a digital credentialing program within an organization can help ready it for the digital transformation. Digital badges allow a company to quickly identify talent, promote from within, and reward lifelong learning.
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