Reskilling your staff in the current market

Mar 21, 2022
I find that lately I’m spending a lot of my time contemplating what’s happening in the labour market...

Whilst you could say it’s an occupational hazard, my interest is piqued more than usual. In part due to everything that’s going on in the world, and in part prompted by the results of Clicks’ latest IT Employment Confidence Index. The index, which we release quarterly, measures the optimism of respondents in terms of their role, employer, and the market in general.

In my readings, I came across a survey on Employers’ Recruitment Experiences on the Labour Market Information Portal. It revealed the top things employers look for are communication skills, teamwork, problem solving ability, organisational skills, creativity and initiative.

The results are unsurprising. Regardless of the role, these are the skills my clients look for when they’re hiring. It’s what we look for when we hire at Clicks. What struck me was how these skills are even more relevant right now. This was underpinned in a report by the Foundation for Young Australians about the changing world of work for young people. The report says that “when a person trains or works in 1 job, they acquire skills for 13 other jobs, on average.” This seems like a bold claim. Reflecting on my own hiring experiences, a candidate’s potential to effectively transfer to new roles does ring true.

During my time at Libranet, I’ve had a successful track record of hiring individuals who had some technical skill gaps but made up for it by being strong in the desired areas listed earlier. Here are some of the strategies I used to achieve effective transitions into new roles:

  • Breaking down key skills of the role into smaller activities and tasks
  • Providing opportunities early for quick wins to build confidence
  • Creating incremental learning opportunities and work experiences that apply knowledge through doing
  • Understanding how they like to learn and work
  • Providing clear objectives and deliverables
  • Teaming them up with a buddy and mentor
  • Providing regular and timely feedback
  • Communicating what good and great outcomes look like as they develop proficiency

In the current climate, redeploying and reskilling staff is well worth considering. Some of the benefits include increased employee loyalty and retention while reducing onboarding costs. You’ve got employees who already know the business, industry, company culture and ways of working. You can retain business knowledge, including knowledge of bespoke systems and internal processes.

I appreciate some organisations are doing it tough. So many have made, and will continue to make, tough staffing decisions. Where possible, I think hanging onto staff with the skills I mentioned earlier and supplementing their technical skills through redeployment and reskilling is a great option to consider.

Matching Job seekers with Employers

Have an idea? Let's discuss it!