Unemployment is at an all time low and the US economy has added 428,000 new jobs. Yet over the last few months, the technology sector in markets around the world have been consistently laying off staff; with more than 38,000 people laid off in the US alone.
Technology teams and organizations are at a crossroads. On one hand, they are being forced to cut staff and development spending for their teams, while on the other, also being asked to continue to deliver on the work at hand. This opens up a bunch of questions around how to best move forward:
- Do I still have the people with the right skills to do the job at hand?
- During a hiring freeze, how do I know what skills I truly need to recruit for?
- If I can’t recruit, who can I invest in internally to develop and solve customer problems?
- What do I need to do to create opportunities for individualized career development?
- How can I ensure I’m retaining the people I still have?
Tech leaders need to be data-driven in their decision making – and it starts and ends with changing the lens from jobs, to skills.
Here’s where skills management comes in. A tool that removes dependence on spreadsheets and out-of-date data while empowering you with a centralized location for skills insights. This helps you understand skill gaps, skill strengths, and skill interests amongst your people.
Here are a few critical reasons why as a technology leader, you need to invest in skills management.
Team upskilling and reskilling
You need to make the most of your training budget, and ensure a defensible position for additional investment that’s ruthlessly focused on measurable ROI. The reality is that each person in your team is at a different stage of their development. Each person has their own interests and desires, and each form of training needs to be tailored to the skill gaps of the individual.
By investing in skills management, you invest in your workforce. Rather than pushing long expensive courses on your team, you can understand each individual skill gap, and assign micro-targeted courses to get them up to speed. You can then observe the application of specific training, to see what’s working and what isn’t.
It’s not just upskilling and reskilling. It’s right-skilling.
Team growth and mobility
The notion of the vertical career path is dead – and for good reason. With average tenure at historic lows, and career development being a major factor for retention, you need to give your people the opportunity to grow and thrive. It’s not just a factor of promotion within their current roles, but understanding where skill adjacencies lie and interests lie.
Let’s say there is a marketing gun in your organization who is fascinated by web development, HTML5, CSS and all things front-end. They have shown interest in development and are losing interest in the marketing function. By understanding these granular skills insights you can be proactive in giving that person opportunities to join the development team rather than that person leaving with their years of domain expertise.
The magic is that Skills Management lets you see the whole person, not just the title.
When revenue is on the table, or new product functionality is being added, you need to ensure you have the right people, with the right skills, solving the problem at hand. By focusing on skills insights, you aren’t just looking into the gaps, and interests, but instead you are seeing the whole picture of the strengths and attributes of your workforce both across the team and for each individual
Let’s say you have a geographically dispersed field service team that you deploy to customer locations and sites. In time sensitive and high-value situations you need to ensure that you have the right skill set at your customer location. Skills Management software gives you the granular control to analyze your workforce, build teams and actively deploy people as you see fit.
Reduce risk and deliver better customer outcomes.
Technology leaders and managers don’t just have to solve the work today, but understand how to remain competitive in the future – as new technologies are deployed, and potential risks are uncovered.
Let’s say that over the next 24 months you are investing in your product suite to enable Machine Learning insights for your user base. You are still unsure about what investment has to be made from a talent acquisition perspective to reach this goal. By identifying the skills you need, and then measuring your existing team, you can begin to gather the insights necessary to support not just hiring, but the development of internal candidates.
Are you ready to help your tech team thrive?
Today’s employees have different expectations and are more open to reviewing their options. Having a laser focus on skills builds trust between employee, manager and employer. The skills data acts as a source of truth to support collaboration. By creating a skills based team, staff can feel confident things are working and their career is developing.
Are you ready to help your tech team sit at the forefront of the industry? Regularly assessing skill and competency levels across your workforce with Skills Base can help. We work with technical teams every day and understand how important managing employee skills and competencies is, so get in touch to see how we can help!