As the shelf life for skills continues to shrink, it’s never been more important or challenging for employees to have the right skills at the right time. According to World Economic Forum, 85 million jobs will be displaced by 2025 and 97 million new jobs will be created. Additionally, a recent workforce trends report from Deloitte found that the top need among executives is the ability of their people to adapt, reskill and assume new roles. With these figures in mind, forward-thinking organizations are focusing less on hiring for specific roles and more on hiring for skills and developing skills internally.
Gartner’s 2021 HR Priorities Survey found that 68% of HR leaders cited building critical skills and competencies as their number one priority in 2021. However, while most organizations are prioritizing employee skilling, many rely on an outdated approach to skill building and career pathing, assuming that the past will be an accurate guide for future roles and needed skills. To overcome this challenge, we developed Randstad RiseSmart BrightFit™, technology that takes into consideration the rapidly changing world of work, including automation, digitization and AI, to predict the market outlook (desirability) of jobs and the in-demand skills desired by employers.
BrightFit provides current and predictive insights – not just data – about careers and skills to help current employees and those impacted by workforce restructuring explore roles with a bright market outlook, uncover their skills gaps and identify courses to take their skills to the next level.
When BrightFit data-driven insights are combined with the experience and expertise of RiseSmart’s career coaches, individuals are empowered to choose the best path to future-proof their careers, while organizations are better positioned to build sustainable workforces. We call this ‘career intelligence.’ Even with access to relevant job market insights, all employees can benefit from personalized 1:1 guidance provided by a career coach. Personalized coaching helps employees expand their perspectives about their career options and focus on the optimal career and skilling choices. Coaching guidance can help people pursue careers they hadn’t previously considered, discover untapped skills or focus on building new skills needed to fill critical gaps to help your business thrive.
From an outplacement perspective, BrightFit supports transitioning employees by pointing them to opportunities that have a strong market outlook and roles that best match their skill sets. From a redeployment and career development angle, BrightFit helps produce more agile and sustainable workforces and increases employability – and therefore retention. When workers can not only see the internal opportunities available to them, but also a pathway to advance their careers with the help of skilling and coaching resources, they are more likely to remain with the company.
This combination of predictive technology and personalized coaching offers a variety of key benefits for both organizations and employees. Below, we’ve highlighted how this approach can drive better outcomes for your skilling initiatives.
benefits for employees
provides context for career mobility and promotes more intelligent career decisions
The Randstad Workmonitor, December 2020 edition, found that 40% of workers globally are struggling to learn the new skills required in this new digital age. While many organizations offer employees a list of available courses and access to skilling resources, employees often don’t have the necessary insights or guidance to develop skills that align with their passions and career goals and that are in-demand both at their current organization and in the broader job market. This can leave employees overwhelmed and focused on skills and career paths that aren’t necessarily the most relevant.
Employees don’t necessarily need more data and more choices. They need insights and a strategic roadmap. With predictive insights, they can be better positioned to evolve their skill sets and either grow in their current roles or take on new roles internally as business needs evolve. BrightFit’s insights enable individuals to better understand their skills and competencies in relation to their current and desired roles, and instantaneously receive a ranked list of in-demand skills, relevant courses and alternative role suggestions.
Let’s take an individual in an accounting position as an example. We'll call her Mary. Using BrightFit, she can see a list of the accounting-related skills in highest demand by today’s employers – such as data analytics and Microsoft Excel – as well as skills projected to grow the fastest in the coming years for her profession. Mary can rank her level of competency for each. BrightFit then provides her with a skills-fit score and highlights the skills she needs to further develop.
Mary can then gain deeper insight into the market outlook for the role – as well as recommendations for skills to further develop and relevant courses. In addition to recommending skills to grow in her current role, BrightFit also shares potential high-growth roles to explore – such as accounting manager and accounting analyst. The technology’s ‘surprise me’ capability even suggests roles Mary may not have considered but for which she has transferrable skills such as business intelligence analyst or finance data analyst.
Armed with these insights, Mary can seek additional guidance from her career coach, who can help her consider all possible options and choose the best course of action. A certified learning advisor can also work with Mary to develop a personalized learning plan and help her stay on track to achieve her goals.
According to Gartner, the number of skills required for a single job has increased 10% year-over-year since 2017 – and the global pandemic has further exacerbated employee skills gaps. When employee skills become outdated, problems are solved in old ways using old methodologies, which can have a negative impact on long-term business success. Outdated skills also harm individuals’ long-term employability and career growth.
When people have an ‘always-learning’ mindset and can tap into predictive insights, they’re able to strategically plan their career trajectories and stay focused on developing skills that are in-demand now and will be in the future.
shortens time to land new roles
Whether employees are transitioning to a new role internally or have been impacted by a workforce reduction, a skilling solution that combines predictive insights with strategic guidance helps individuals quickly identify needed skills and pursue the best course of action.
According to our ‘Skilling Today' global survey, of employers who underwent a workforce reduction, 50% offered skilling to employees in outplacement. Among this group, 85% said they believe it helped impacted employees find new work.
Investing in skilling as part of outplacement might seem counterintuitive but helping impacted employees reskill and upskill may well help them land new roles sooner, in turn potentially reducing the employer’s severance costs and unemployment taxes.
By investing in employees and helping them grow their skills, even after making the difficult decision to restructure your workforce, you can increase the likelihood that these individuals will land their next role sooner, while also supporting their long-term employability – both of which will reflect positively on an organization's brand.
benefits for employers
engages individuals through the pursuit of meaningful careers
Top employees thrive on new challenges and opportunities to sharpen their skills. If they can’t find these opportunities with their current employer, they won’t hesitate to seek new roles elsewhere. A survey from Prudential Financial found that of workers planning to leave their jobs this year, 72% say that the pandemic caused them to rethink their skill sets and 80% are concerned about their career growth. Additionally, the survey data shows that among employees planning to look for a new job in 2021, having ‘mobility opportunities’ is a top factor that would encourage them to instead stay with their current employer.
With the right skilling solution, individuals can take charge of their careers and be confident that the role and skill-building choices they make will yield optimal, satisfying careers. When employees participate in career development and redeployment skilling opportunities that include a combination of technology and human guidance, they can more effectively pursue opportunities that are both in their interest and the organization’s. The downstream effects are likely to include a boost in productivity, engagement and retention.
For individuals impacted by workforce restructuring, offering skilling during outplacement can help you not only do right by these individuals but also generate positive alumni sentiment that can show up in positive reviews on social media and job monitoring sites. Data from Glassdoor found that 86% of women and 67% of men in the US wouldn’t join a company with a negative reputation, meaning maintaining a positive reputation is critical to attracting top talent.
builds productive, agile and sustainable workforces
Our recent ‘Skilling Today’ survey found that of organizations that offered upskilling and reskilling in 2020, only nine percent of HR professionals are confident that employees can guide their own skilling journeys effectively. When HR professionals were asked what would have helped employees make better choices about which courses to take or which on-the-job experiential learning opportunities to seek, top responses included:
- assessments of skills, career interests and possible career paths (57%)
- access to a broad view of learning opportunities, including courses, certifications, academic degrees and experiential learning (50%)
- guidance with selecting the best-fit skilling options (43%)
- insights into in-demand skills (41%)
When employees have the right technology and resources to keep their skills relevant, your organization can build an agile and sustainable workforce that is better prepared for any business shifts that may come your way.
reduces long-term talent acquisition costs
When individuals continually build the highest-value skills, organizations can generate an internal talent pipeline that is better able to meet the demand for new skills and competencies.
Randstad Sourceright’s 2021 Talent Trends report found that that 87% of human capital and C-suite leaders believe reskilling their employees will strengthen retention. Additionally, data from a 2020 LinkedIn study shows that employees who make a lateral move within three years of joining a company have a 62% chance of staying with their current employer long-term, 17% higher than employees who do not make internal career changes.
Not only can offering employees an impactful skilling solution help you drive retention and engagement, but it can also lead to long-term cost savings. According to data from Josh Bersin, it can cost up to six times as much to hire externally rather than build talent from within an organization. Between expenses related to job advertisements, background checks, assessments, onboarding and training, new hire costs can add up quickly.
By combining data-driven insights with the expertise of RiseSmart coaches, career intelligence is delivered to individuals at every stage – whether they’re pursuing career development, redeploying internally or moving to their next role outside the organization.
Are you interested in learning more about how to improve the effectiveness of your employee skilling initiatives and drive workforce agility as a result? Learn more about BrightFit here.