Nearly two-thirds (60%) of talent managers across Europe claim that the high turnover of young people leaving their jobs and the inability to find people with the right experience and skills to replace them is their biggest barrier to solving the skills shortage, according to the 2023 Global State of Upskilling and Reskilling Report from learning platform, 360Learning.
More than a third (38%) of those surveyed across the UK, France, Germany and the US said losing the knowledge the older generation takes with them when they retire was the most significant hurdle. This problem was most pronounced in the UK among 48% of respondents.
In France and the US, finding enough new hires with the right competencies was cited as the most overwhelming skills challenge. The baby boomer issue was the second biggest challenge in France among 41% of managers, and the youth problem was the second biggest challenge in the US.
The data shows that these problems are exacerbated by the fact that companies are finding it hard to upskill and reskill their employees fast enough when both young and old people leave. In fact, the loss of knowledge from departing staff members was seen to be more impactful to UK businesses than the monetary cost of replacing those members.
In the US and France, significant staff turnover was said to be demotivating for those left behind, while in Germany, the cost and delay of trying to fill roles made vacant by staff turnover was the biggest problem cited by managers. Employees who struggle to see where their next move with their company might come from, are more inclined to look externally for a new job, the report shows.
When looking to replace staff, US talent managers said they struggle most with managing the transfer of knowledge between experienced colleagues and newer team members. In Germany, respondents said that the rapid pace of tech innovation was depleting skills. While in France, understanding which are the most in-demand skills represents a significant hurdle for talent managers.
Shifting hiring practices
Hiring externally has long been the focus for businesses across all sectors. However, now we’re beginning to see more businesses shifting to focusing on hiring from within because of the savings in terms of cost and time, as well as increasing proprietary skills amongst current employees.
Across all of the countries surveyed, a quarter of talent teams prioritize internal hiring over bringing people in from outside. In the UK, US and Germany, talent teams are predominantly taking a 50/50 approach to internal and external hiring, while there’s a slight preference for external hiring in France.
Yet there’s still a long way to go. When asked how effective their organization had been in upskilling them, almost two-thirds of respondents described it as inadequate. More than half (58%) said that the sharing of knowledge between more experienced colleagues when they moved internally, was “well-meaning..but full of gaps.”
This may be explained by the fact that in Germany, only 34% of L&D teams are involved in mapping skills to job roles and implementing upskilling and reskilling strategies. In the US, that figure is 36% and in France, it’s 37%. It’s only in the UK that the L&D team is more closely involved with 50% of respondents saying the L&D team plays a part in mapping skills to job roles and implementing upskilling/reskilling strategies. Research by LinkedIn has shown that employees are more likely to stay at companies that invest in their learning long-term, demonstrating the positive impact that implementing upskilling/reskilling initiatives can have on workforces.
David James, Chief Learning Officer at 360Learning, said: “The skills crisis is putting significant pressure on businesses of all sizes with the loss of internal skills and knowledge, whether from high turnover amongst younger employers to baby boomers retiring and the inability to hire skilled talent. As a result, the demand for talent is far outstripping supply. To rectify this, employers need to create a culture of continuous learning and give their teams the tools and opportunities to advance their skills. In this way, they can build resilient and adaptable workforces without having to resort to lengthy, expensive hiring processes.”
Original Article: HRnews
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