SHRM: Employers must invest in training, partner with schools to survive
- As part of a new initiative to engage stakeholders in conversation about the transforming workplace, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is calling attention to the skills gap. HR professionals are reporting that high-demand technical and soft skills are in short supply, the organization said.
- The skills gap will be among several topics discussed, and SHRM says it’s imperative that the gap be closed. "If employers can’t find talent with the skills required for job openings, they must build the talent by investing in employee training and partnering with educational institutions to ensure individuals are prepared to enter the workforce," it said.
- Hersey's SVP and CHRO, Kevin Walling, called employers to action in a video opening the discussion. "The facts are clear," he said. "We have an aging demographic. We have a skill shortage that is not in tune with the current needs of a digital industry. Without taking proactive action in how we’re developing the next generation of the workforce, we will be at risk."
As SHRM noted, training will be essential if employers want to survive the digital transformation. As employers continue to grapple with low unemployment, the ability to hire fully qualified workers as needed is becoming a thing of the past. Instead, employers are finding success identifying applicants and staff who can be upskilled quickly.
Likewise, many have launched partnerships with educators. As tech evolves faster than degree programs can keep up, employers are finding that they must be involved in designing curriculum if they want to maintain a robust talent pool. In fact, "demand-driven" education must be the new norm, according to a new report from Pearson and Jobs for the Future. The report says that to meet the needs of employers in the future, educators will have to focus on turning out grads who are job-ready, having the qualifications and soft skills employers want.
Finally, some long-term planning can go a long way. Upskilling isn't a one-time event. A culture of learning, ongoing access to training and career frameworks can help companies maintain headcount while also showing employees where they fit into an employer's future plans.
Follow Riia O'Donnell on Twitter