Upskilling and reskilling: Meeting digital transformation needs through proactive hiring

March 22, 2023

Each particular stage of a company’s journey out of infancy requires a different approach. In order to keep up with turbulent markets head-on, companies need to have a workforce of certain capabilities, skills, and industry knowledge, all while maintaining the understanding that these very needs are subject to change down the line.

Over time, it becomes clear that in order to achieve certain business goals, additional talent is required. But with a highly turbulent talent market that’s limited by travel restrictions and a looming pandemic, the pool of applicants has become limited.

As a solution to the widely acknowledged skill gap, companies turn to methods such as reskilling and upskilling in order to ensure that mission-critical talent is available before it’s even needed.

Reskilling & upskilling: What’s the difference?

Upskilling refers to learning new skills or teaching employees new skills that would help them move forward in their current role.

Upskilling can actually be a pillar of your company’s culture, as it engages the workforce into a program of continuous learning in order to further cultivate their career. Well-planned upskilling programs can in fact help the team develop both individually and as a unit. These advanced skills play a critical role in closing the skill gap within your workforce.

Reskilling refers to learning new skills or teaching employees new skills so that they may take a different role altogether. This applies to your existing workforce and new hires alike.

In a global talent market that’s increasingly troublesome to navigate, it can be especially difficult to find candidates that possess the necessary skill set, educational background, or experience. However, it should be less difficult to locate candidates with skills that are very similar to the ones your company requires.

In that case, it’s possible to train these candidates to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to undertake a more necessary role. It gives employers the opportunity to train new hires into the workforce they need, rather than wait for the perfect candidate to apply through a job ad.

Reskilling is a direct involvement in the employee’s career pathing and a solid method to address the skill gap issue. Furthermore, it sets the precedent for an effective training program that remains applicable and continuously under development for the next generation of company employees.

Both methods (reskilling and upskilling) of employee development are effective in solving a company’s skill gap. However, the lack of financial resources or technological support often causes these initiatives to remain on the shelf.

The skill gap

The first step is to identify all that your goals demand, but that your workforce lacks. It’s important to analyze your needs first, as this will outline which direction you should orient your upskilling and/or reskilling efforts.

Given the current global situation, companies have the option to focus on upskilling their existing workforce and hiring new talent for reskilling purposes simultaneously. In other words, the current workforce is given the support, training, and opportunity to further develop and advance their careers.

At the same time, the company makes the most of the turbulent global market to acquire promising adjacent talent and train it to take on needed roles.

The outcome

Analyzing opportunities for reskilling and upskilling within your workforce should be a continuous activity. Taking note of every employee’s career pathing choices and preferences, as well as their skill and performance, provides many opportunities for growth or change.

This can be done by identifying which professionals have the most potential for growth in their role, and which would thrive in a completely different one. Getting involved in the workforce’s individual career opportunities is a difficult task, but it tends to boost loyalty, employee engagement, and reduce turnover rates.

Making the most of a turbulent talent market does not necessarily mean acquiring top talent that checks every single box on the list of requirements. It can be the acquisition of promising candidates that can be retrained to undertake a role that better suits their skills.

In order to effectively source candidates that fit the requirements for reskilling, it’s best to delegate the search and recruitment to a professional team of headhunters who are familiar with the current global talent market.

With JB Hired’s access to a global network of professionals and an untapped talent pool, locating and sourcing talent for the digital technology industry is a matter of time and patience in navigating the new professional landscape. We commit to sourcing top senior talent that meets and exceeds your company’s needs.