Last updated 26 June, 2023

How to solve the skills crisis: adopting a skills-based approach

Predefined roles may have worked in the past, but the modern job market is rapidly evolving, with technology being at the forefront of innovation. Adopting skills-based talent management has emerged as a critical strategy for businesses to thrive in these dynamic times. This approach provides organisations the flexibility to assign job tasks based on employees’ complete skill set, thereby improving the overall outcomes.

A case in point, according to Harvard Business Review, the practice of requiring a bachelor’s degree for jobs that don’t necessarily need it has become a barrier for many individuals seeking employment opportunities. Despite possessing the necessary skills and aptitude for these positions, they are often overlooked due to the emphasis on educational qualifications. This trend intensified during the GFC, with job postings demanding a bachelor’s degree increasing by 10% between 2007 and 2010. Even as the economy recovered, countless jobs remained inaccessible to individuals without university degrees. 

IBM’s SkillsFirst initiative by then CEO, Ginni Rometty, serves as an example of a company widening its talent funnel. The initiative involved overhauling hiring practices to create pathways for overlooked candidates and build a pipeline of non-degreed workers. 

The pace of technological advancement is rapidly accelerating, and in such an environment, organisations must foster resilience amongst their workforce by promoting continuous learning. Evolving technology and automation are expected to transform up to 40 percent of core skills by 2025, and up to 50 percent of workers will require reskilling. Hence, organisations must focus on developing the skills of their employees and not just assign them to predefined roles.

Adopting a skills-based approach provides several benefits for an organisation. It enables organisations to be more agile, identifies skill gaps and implements training programs to enrich employees’ skills, improve employee engagement and diversity, and align vital skills with high-engagement tasks.

Identifying the critical skills that are essential for a company’s success and assessing them with respect to the existing employee skill set are the first steps in implementing skills-based management. Tailored training programs can then be designed to address skill gaps. The effectiveness of these programs can be measured through data analytics, enabling the company to continuously update their talent management strategies that align with changing business objectives.

Soft skills are just as crucial as hard technical competencies. While the latter gets the hard work done, the former helps absolve any bumps in the process. Strong leadership skills in communication, delegation, and resilience, together with critical thinking and empathy, are some examples of the key soft skills most sought after by organisations. With one’s technical proficiency likely being shared with scores of others in the same field, an individual’s soft skills may be the ultimate differentiator.

Skills-based talent management is a transformational approach that prioritises skills over roles, facilitating agility and accelerating adaptation to changing market demands. It’s time to embrace this approach – let your organisation unleash the power of skills!

Hello Coach empowers employees to boost their soft skills through 1:1 or group leadership coaching. 

Book a demo to see how Hello Coach can help your organisation today. 

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