If an organization wants to fill a particular talent gap, it’s pretty common for them to look to hire. Because what better way to infuse talent into an organization than going out and grabbing a highly skilled candidate, right?
There’s no doubt that a splashy hire is often a good decision, but companies shouldn’t turn a blind eye to another talent source — their own existing employees. Instead of always looking outward to acquire talent, organizations should also focus on “upskilling” the people that are already on staff. Think of it as developing talent as opposed to acquiring talent.
Sachin Gupta, cofounder and CEO of HackerEarth, writes in Fast Co. about why this developmental approach is such a good idea. He identifies three key reasons why organizations should focus on upskilling current employees:
- It’s good business
- It increases employee satisfaction
- It makes learning easier
I encourage you to check out the full piece below for more on each of these points. Mr. Gupta also notes that upskilling is trending upward, citing Amazon’s pledge of $700 million on upskilling 100,000 frontline workers by 2025 as one noteworthy example.
There’s a big opportunity for mobility programs to help with upskilling. Sending employees on assignment, particularly internationally, is a great way to expose them to different parts of your organization and help them develop professionally. When the assignment is up, you’ll be left with an employee who has new skills and experiences, ready to take on new challenges.
The pandemic is still making travel difficult between certain locations, but it could be a great time to identify and plan for future assignments. Then, as restrictions are lifted, you’ll be able to quickly kick things into gear and elevate your upskilling efforts.
Instead of just chasing top-tier talent in any sector, leaders would be wise to invest in their existing employees to cultivate the talent they need. The most agile companies have already embraced remote hiring to increase their available pool of candidates, while shifting to remote work and accelerating digital transformation efforts. But there is only so much trained talent to go around, particularly in the tech sector, unless organizations proactively put resources toward upskilling and reskilling their own people too.