The challenge is made harder right now because the skills landscape is changing so rapidly. HR leaders have typically relied heavily on fulfilling the skill needs outlined by business leaders, but in fast-changing conditions, business leaders themselves are unsure what digital capabilities they need now and will need in the future. HR therefore needs a more dynamic skills strategy — and that requires a diverse set of inputs for skill needs analysis.
“In today’s highly disrupted environment, you can’t just check in with business leaders to see what they think they need,” says Scott Engler, VP, Advisory, Gartner. “You need a data-driven approach to understand evolving industry and competitive skill sets, skill profiles and shifting workforce dynamics — especially given limited budgets for recruiting and training.”
Analyze data on competitors for critical skills
The challenge for recruiters is that everyone is chasing the same talent, which drives up salaries and leads to vacancies in critical roles. Data on employer and competitor segments can help to unravel where the real competition for skills lies and can help you hone your search.
Gartner TalentNeuron™ job-posting data shows that AI skills are sought more often than any other digital skillset across “leading” organizations — a group that in this dataset comprises:
But while AI skills as a whole are widely sought after across all leading organizations, more granular data shows the nuanced picture. Of all the fast-growing in-demand digital skills, few are in demand by all three groups. Demand growth has been highest among S&P 100 companies for skills in Asana, software-as-a-service designed to improve collaboration and workflows. Among FAANG postings, demand for blockchain skills is growing fastest.
Real-time labor market data shows the demand growth1 for Asana skills has topped 680% each year since 2017 among the S&P 100. The annualized growth1 rate for in-demand blockchain skills among the FAANG group has also topped 600%.
Knowing this level of detail can help you hone your requests and prioritize skill sets for which there is less competition. For example, if you look for “AI skills” in general, you encounter a huge demand: 77,000 job postings globally in July 2020 alone. By contrast, just over 1,000 postings asked for “automation anywhere” and just over 3,000 for robotic process automation (RPA). Both of those AI subsets are key to business process digitalization.
This type of labor market intelligence can offer HR leaders a valuable independent input to validate and influence the needs analysis conducted by business leaders — and to prioritize learning and development and recruiting investments.
Broaden tactics to develop and acquire critical skills
A dynamic skills strategy uses these types of labor market insights to determine demand, supply and availability of talent. For example, you can direct your recruitment and development efforts more effectively if you know who you’re competing against for specific skills, and where the talent you need already resides.
More generally, data insights can help you diversify the tactics you deploy to develop and acquire skills. Among your options:
The original article by Scott Engler, vice president for advisory at Gartner, is here.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of HR&DigitalTrends. Image credit: iStockphoto/marchmeena29