The Conference Board Review (02/11) Liberman, Vadim
Problems with the nation’s school system are not the issue when it comes to getting more innovative and ambitious thinking from employees at all levels, considering a company’s skills gap pertains to future workers and current staff. Skills gaps are natural to doing business in changing marketplaces, and the goal should not be to eliminate them so as much to narrow them. Skills evolve rapidly, but companies should not view this game of impossible catch-up as an unwinnable race; you are not competing with a skills target but with other companies, and the winner is the one that best plans ahead for the skills it needs. To develop the essential skills that companies claim to lack, organizations must give workers chances to flex those skills by rotating them into different positions, sending them abroad, assigning them unfamiliar projects, and encouraging them to take chances. In addition to offering experiential learning opportunities, companies can teach people analytical problem-solving and other techniques that can take on an innovative dimension. When it comes to bringing in talent to fill a gap, companies should spend less time looking for perfect candidates and more effort finding people who can demonstrate overriding behavioral skills. Moreover, companies should consider fitting jobs around their people instead of creating a job description with a long list of requirements.
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Skill gaps are commonplace in all businesses thus necessitating the need for a strategic and continuous training and development program.