Sunday, January 25, 2015

Digital Master Tuning XXII: The Cause & Effect of Talent Gaps

Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” -Einstein

We live in a time of rapidly changing technology and business dynamic, some new skills, or digital capabilities are needed every day. From talent management perspective, more specifically, what are the cause and effect of skill gap issues (some are real, some are “artificial,”) and how to handle them effectively in shaping both individual and corporate Digital Master?

The gap is caused by traditional HR perception -thinking people as cost or resource; not capital to invest with. Businesses can only blame themselves because they didn't invest in the people asset so that the skill they need now and into the future are there. It would be great to see more corporations doing the same kind of long-term solution thinking. As soon as there's a new innovation (tool, process, platform, software language...), there's a shortage of skills to use it. Unfortunately upskilling and training is too often seen as a cost and not an investment in the business and industries future. It is also strategic in producing as much "home grown" talent as practical. The advantages are clear developing current employees, good succession planning, mentoring and robust career-focused training will not only motivate recipients but also those around them.

There exist a stereotype about the skills set an individual is perceived to possess. But in the reality, there can be more or even less than expected. There are talent areas such as synthetic capability, not very specific skills, can't be easily analyzed and hence, a recruiter fails in fitting right person to the job. They might even sometimes reject the correct person for the job based on the same stereotyped perception. If these organizations are not finding qualified talent for their roles in a variety of verticals, you then need to start looking at the recruiting process. Hire talented, intelligent people who are ready and able to continuously learn without needing hand-holding. Understanding the talent and skills availability helps the business make more strategic HR decisions and look at longer term talent pipelining, so they are ready to access to labor pools full of well-educated and life-long-learning employees.

There is a shortage of effective management which could be translated to a skills shortage.... You can give most people skills easily when compared to trying to give/develop the ability, attitude, flexibility, intelligence, practicality, pragmatism etc. Managers who complain rather than solve the problem, managers who complain about the cost but fail to understand the lost opportunity costs. The list goes on. There needs to be a better appreciation for problem-solving abilities; to examine a situation from multiple angles and develop new approaches, because once you could identify the right fit, you had one less task to handle. At the societal level, there are needs to change so that the independent and critical thinking are encouraged and problem-solving minds are engaged. They need to be pragmatic and practical, analytical and empathetic, have an eye on solving the problems and continually striving to make things better and the society better.

It helps to mind the gap by analyzing the causes: Obviously, individual companies will see different things depending on how they recruit, hire, pay, etc, there are some common causes of talent shortage
1). Globalization & liberalization
2). Retirement or Superannuation
3). Lack of Knowledge or experience to the freshers
4). Resignations.

There are set of questions can help you check the status:
1) Peel back the layers of the position. What are the necessary skill sets for a person to be successful in this role?
2) What tools and networks are you using to identify talent? Building a strong network in niche fields allows you to utilize other subject matter experts and their professional network.
3) What are you offering in comparison to your competitors?

Learning agility is the key: Research shows that people are much better at remembering where to find a piece of information than the information itself. It no longer makes sense to hire someone just because they already have the pieces of information or certain linear skills, as clearly it is not necessary. What is necessary is to have the information organized so workers can access it whenever and wherever they need it, and build the “recombinating” capability to solve more complex problems and spark the next level of innovation.

Digitalization is like a flywheel, and Digital Masters are the one riding above it. Surf more Information about Digital Master:


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