Closing the Great Skills Divide

 -  10/12/12

Organizations are struggling to fill mission-critical positions with the skilled talent they require. Here are seven strategies to help close the skills gap.


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Many companies are surprised to learn that the skills they need already exist somewhere in their organization.

As the effects of the global recession linger, organizations are reporting great difficulty in finding the skills they need. The skilled talent is out there, but organizations are having trouble finding it.

One reason a mismatch has occurred is because to hold down the jobs which make up today’s knowledge-driven economy, individuals must develop not just one or two functional skills, but an increasingly diverse portfolio of skills. Assembly-line positions, such as auto production workers, for example, now require proficiencies in technology, communication and problem solving.

At the same time, take any given skill in a portfolio and chances are organizations are demanding it be more sophisticated. One-size-fits-all leadership skills, for example, no longer make the grade. In today’s global economy, successful leaders tailor their methods and styles to specific countries and cultures.

Further, in the face of fluctuating customer demand, companies can drive new products and services to market faster by tapping workers on-demand, pulling in skills wherever and whenever needed. This can be difficult in an era when competition for talent has grown not only cross-industry, but cross-border as well.

In short, finding and keeping talent is more challenging than ever. Many organizations are pursuing a strategy that involves making, buying and borrowing talent — or going beyond those three approaches. There are seven strategies available that organizations can use to close skills gaps more quickly, thus providing a competitive edge.

One: Look Beyond Specific Skills
By focusing too narrowly on specific skills, an organization may miss out on hiring top performers. Organizations may complain they can’t find someone with experience implementing a specific accounting software package, for instance, but that mindset might cause them to overlook top-performing candidates who don’t have keywords on their resume but who could readily perform the job.

By developing a more open mind, hiring managers can increase the odds of finding people who, with a little additional training, can meet a job’s highly specific skill requirements.

Article Keywords:   critical skills   skill set  

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