Top-Shelf Tip No. 31:
“Hire character. Train skill.”
Peter Schutz
Compelling Approaches To Address The Skills Gap

According to Gartner, talent shortage is one of the top risks facing organizations today. At a time when talent is scarce and getting scarcer, most companies aren’t prepared to handle the skills gap. That’s why it’s important to take steps now to build and manage talent, according to Salil Parekh, the chief executive officer and managing director of Infosys.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we discuss Parekh’s top approaches to managing the talent gap and setting your organization up for success.

Do more with your talent. Nearly every company tries to develop the talent it already has. However, while traditional methods for developing talent have not entirely fallen by the wayside, learning is becoming more experiential. Self-guided online education is becoming as widespread as in-class courses, and leading organizations are adding digital campuses, boot camps and hack-a-thons to their skills development offerings, says Parekh.

Use data to cast your net not just widely, but also accurately. As the battle for new hires continues, organizations must go beyond traditional means of recruiting. From digitizing recruitment processes to using machine-learning algorithms to select potential employees, the data generated on employability, employees and recruitment methods are proving the gaps in skills are likely to be filled by hiring from unlikely sources. Can students of liberal arts, community colleges and trade schools be trained in the relevant expertise? Will those returning to the workforce after military service or parenting breaks have skills required in the digital age? The answer is an emphatic yes, according to Parekh.

Ignore the gig economy at your own risk. According to HBR, approximately 150 million workers in North America and Western Europe have left the relatively stable confines of organizational life to work as independent contractors. This is not always easy, and the strategic approach requires robust internal processes to contract, integrate, manage and release workers as projects spin up and then wind down. Parekh notes that successful companies have better means to engage temporary workers strategically and better manage them, increasing the value the gig economy can provide to enterprises.

Get ready for “holacracy.” According to Parekh, companies must move away from hierarchical organizational structures to team-based, self-managing ones for agile project needs. Creating customer experiences and achieving new business-related goals can be successful when there is a team-based model, where multiple groups work toward a common objective.

Tap into talent beyond your immediate jurisdiction. A carefully curated mix of talent and academic institutions, enterprise partnerships, on-demand design and innovation hubs, along with startups, will give you instant access to new technologies to differentiate your business and create collaborative solutions.

Embrace duality. People are works in progress. The more enterprises that embrace this idea, the more likely they are to commit to nurturing the talent they need to compete in the digital era.

To stay competitive, companies must contemplate how they will handle potential talent shortages. Start by considering the approaches above.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Salil Parekh is the chief executive officer and managing director of Infosys. He has nearly three decades of global experience in the IT services industry and was credited for bringing scale and value to Ernst & Young’s Indian operations.