Skill gaps have always been one of the most prominent issues businesses face. This has only been amplified in the last decade due to the world’s increased reliance on technology. So what can we do about skill gaps?
Some companies decide to fill these gaps by hiring new employees with the necessary skills. This can be pretty costly but also offers a quick solution. On the other hand, some businesses decide to upskill and reskill their current employees.
This route is not only cheaper, but it motivates employees and builds trust between them and management. So, which way is better?
Koen Vanpraet is a business leader with decades of experience. He has worked as a consultant for many very successful businesses and has dedicated his career to improving teams and helping them achieve their goals.
I talked with Koen Vanpraet in order to find the best ways to deal with Skill Gaps.
Koen Vanpraet says that if you decide to hire someone new to fill skill gaps, you should look in the places that others refuse to look at. For example, older people are constantly being overlooked by businesses that think they can’t be an asset.
These businesses do not realize that these older generations have impeccable work ethics and are much better at learning technology than we give them credit for. There are plenty of other groups that get overlooked just as much too: ex-cons, foreign employees, veterans, and the disabled.
Again, if you decide to head in the hiring direction, you’re going to need to train up your hiring team. They need to understand how to look at individuals beyond just a resume.
Teach them how to look for qualities that cannot be marginalized on a piece of paper. Things like grit, determination, loyalty, and confidence.
Koen Vanpraet loves upskilling. He says it is probably one of his most used strategies when consulting a management team. Upskilling works out for everybody from top to bottom, and it motivates and instills trust in your team members.
While Vanpraet admits you will sometimes need to hire, a masterful business leader should opt for upskilling as the business’s first option. Usually, you will have team members more than willing to put in the work to learn new skills, especially if explained why these skills are necessary and how they will help the team and the individual.
Reskilling is another fantastic tool that management can put to use. If you already have extremely smart individuals on your team but need someone to do something else, then it can be as simple as reskilling one of your high-skilled employees.
Reskilling is not the same as upskilling since we are not exactly teaching something completely new and different. Instead, we’re taking someone and placing them somewhere else that we know they will thrive after some training.
If you decide to upskill or reskill (again, Koen Vanpraet recommends as a first option), you will need a good training team. This team could be internal or outsourced, but you must do your due diligence to ensure that your training team teaches modern techniques and best practices.
If they’re not, then you will have to look elsewhere for training or outsource training for your training team.