Demand for digital skills, in recent years, has seen an exponential increase, far outstripping the supply. This mismatch in demand and supply is likely to continue in near-to-medium future, threatening to slow down the digital progress of organizations.While organizations have ramped up their hiring, it hasn’t kept pace with the demand.
At Greyamp Consulting, we believe bridging this demand-supply gap will require a strategic rethink in the way organizations hire. Organizations planning to hire for the future will need to shift towards a competency-based approach.
Hiring for the Future : A Shift Towards Competency-Based Approach
The traditional approach to talent management has been focused on skills-based assessments. Organizations assess the skills of their employees and identify any gaps, then design training programs to help bridge those gaps. However, this approach may no longer be sufficient in an era of rapid transformation and innovation.
What organizations need now is not just skilled employees, but individuals who are poly-skilled and, most importantly, have what we call “Learn-ability”, the ability to learn and adapt to not just acquire new skills, but to apply, validate, and relearn them.
Therefore, as organizations plan and execute their next skills assessment, they should also consider a more holistic, competency-based assessment that takes into account not just an individual's skills, but also their ability to "get things done" and continually learn and adapt. This approach will provide a more complete picture of the employee's capabilities and potential to contribute to the organization's success.To transition towards a competency-based hiring approach, we recommend the following approaches
A: Rethinking the job descriptions is a great place to begin
Rather than insisting on the qualifications expected to attain the desired results, the capabilities needed from the applicant should be the focus. This allows for more candidates who may not have the standard requirements like a four-year degree.
Goldman Sachs has a reputation for being one of the most selective banks in the world, but they don't necessarily require a formal qualification for all roles. Instead, they focus on hiring individuals with the right combination of skills, knowledge, and behaviours to succeed in their role.
B: Assessment Tools
Organizations can use a range of assessment tools to measure the competencies of job candidates, such as behavioural interviews, work samples, situational judgment tests, and personality assessments. These tools can help organizations identify individuals with the right combination of skills, knowledge, and behaviours required for success in a role. For instance, Situational Judgment Tests (SJTs) offer realistic scenarios to candidates and challenge them to determine the optimal solution. Such tests aim to evaluate an individual's response to various circumstances and enable organizations to assess their competency levels for the role in question
C: Train the talent pool for learnability & develop a growth mindset to exponentially grow and sustain
In the long term, the skill of learnability trains the mind to become agile and makes one better decked with a rich spectrum of skill sets. To foster learnability and cultivate a growth mindset, leaders can consider these approaches
* Offer Learning Opportunities: Ensure there are plenty of learning opportunities available for employees, both inside and outside the workplace. Learning opportunities such as courses, workshops, books, and articles.
* Foster a Culture of Risk-taking: Encourage employees to take risks and try new things. Praise them for trying something new, even if they don’t succeed.
* Encourage Feedback: Encourage employees to give and receive feedback. This will help them learn from their mistakes and improve in the future.
* Model a Growth Mindset: Be a role model for a growth mindset yourself. Show employees that you are constantly learning and growing. This will encourage them to do the same.
* Discuss Learning Often: Host weekly office hours for the team to get together and do nothing else but discuss what we’ve learned in the past week.
Leaders need to evaluate how employees are growing and developing, they can consider setting goals that have more to do with improving their skills than their output. Ensure that learning is included in OKRs for individuals and organizations
Business transformation leaders can close the widening digital skills gap by embracing a competency-based hiring approach that prioritises a candidate's capabilities over their qualifications or past experiences. To effectively implement this change, the right tools must be employed, and a focus on promoting a learning-oriented and growth-focused mindset must be embraced. This will not only benefit the growth of individuals, but also align with the growth trajectory of the organizations