How Important Are Digital Skills In The Current Scenario?
The World Economic Forum says that around 55% would be needing proper reskilling by 2022. Thus, in the contemporary times, it's imperative to create a talent pool that would provide the ability to inculcate and harness advanced technologies
It’s not a secret to note that there is a shortage of digital skills among majority of the workforce today. And, it’s of paramount importance that SMEs and startups need to upskill and reskill their employees and also take care of ways that would make the learning process quite easier. Several organisations and corporations have already started walking down the same path. Ravi Kaklasaria, CEO & Co-Founder of SpringPeople tells us why reskilling is the need of the hour.
With the pandemic situation in purview, what kind of transition is likely to be seen when it comes to restructuring courses?
The pandemic has surely disrupted the traditional way of work and even now, we can only speculate on how long telecommuting will continue to be the norm. As we can see, corporate training, like all the other business functions, had to quickly salvage the situation by rapidly shifting online. Though this has been a crisis-response, I think this trend will continue as organisations become aware of the multitude of benefits online courses provide. For instance, online courses can be gamified, self-paced, and customized, which can translate to advantages such as greater flexibility, higher engagement, convenience and lesser cost.
I definitely see a blended learning approach emerging as the new learning paradigm for current and future corporate training.
How has the process of hiring and restructuring has changed in companies and industries across sectors?
Companies are now actively only hiring for critical roles that need to be filled for ensuring business continuity. For other roles, they are either being replaced by technology, being consolidated under new job descriptions or being offered to gig workers.
As you can see, hiring has definitely taken a hit. This is because of the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic. However, there are certain industries that have started hiring more to cope with the increased demand like logistics and healthcare to name a few. Virtual interviews and virtual onboarding has emerged as the default hiring method for the majority of organisations today.
What is the kind of hiring trend that will be witnessed in the coming years amongst the startups and SMEs?
I think in the coming years we can expect to see start-ups and SMEs leaning more towards the gig economy, with short-term contacts and freelancing being more prevalent than permanent jobs. Companies will be using the existing workforce for business continuity and thus, will be willing to hire only the right talent.
What kind of disruption have the IT companies faced since the pandemic?
In general, IT companies have seen a significant slowdown because of the slow decision making process as companies are still evaluating the business impact of the pandemic. Another major impact has been the immediate disruption caused to supply chains, especially due to the slowdown of the chinese economy. Also, the other factors crippling the IT sector are the cancellation of major tech events which has hindered new partnerships, global travel restrictions affecting project executions, cancellation of projects due to closing of cities and client bankruptcy or client-side delay of resource allocation, to name a few.
What kind of short term courses will be seen in demand amongst the professionals?
In the times that we live today where we have an increasing reliance on machines, it is important to learn to interact with it. What I mean is that learning programming languages has become as critical as learning english. Therefore, investing in learning Python, Java, or any other programming languages is surely a good idea. Also, IT courses such as Artificial Intelligence and non-IT courses such as Digital marketing are few futuristic skills that are seeing a rising demand.
How will SME companies sustain temporary job staffing?
Most startups and SMEs are sustaining their operations by upskilling their existing workforce to take up additional responsibilities and new roles. They have realised that investing in their current employees is a cheaper alternative. Startups are also looking to gig workers to meet their business needs.
What kind of shifts has been observed in the landscape of learning and development in IT firms and what are the shifts in training practices which have been observed recently?
In this lockdown, we have seen an increasing number of L&D professionals expressing interest in our virtual classrooms. As a response to this, we have started organizing knowledge sessions like webinars, industry articles and discussions in our L&D exclusive whatsapp community to educate L&D leaders on the benefits of virtual classrooms, virtual onboarding, and effectiveness of blended learning approach and gamification for increasing learner engagement during the pandemic.
As highlighted before, we have identified that a blended learning approach increases the efficacy of online training sessions.
How organisations are looking to reskill people to fill up the key roles?
The pandemic has taught organisations that increasing their learning budget to reskill their existing workforce in critical cognitive, social, digital and emotional skills is important for future-proofing their organization from any future disruption.
We have realised this as our certification courses in digital technologies, emerging technologies and soft skill courses have seen an upward rise since the pandemic. Also, the majority of these training sessions are being booked for experienced professionals, meaning that it is the existing workforce that are being up-skilled or reskilled.
How SMEs and startups are realigning and reskilling their workforce?
To cope with the rapidly advancing tech space, and rise up from the COVID-19 crisis, start-ups and SME’s are looking to create cross-functional teams as opposed to training new employees that will cost the company in terms of time and resources.
In order to create cross-functional teams, they are heavily investing in their existing employees through virtual training programs. A key way in which organisations are ensuring that their learning programs online are effective is by delivering it through learning management systems(LMS’s) as it helps them to track their employee learning in real-time, customize it and also provide them hand-on practice to ensure that their upskilling and reskilling initiatives are effective.
We have been actively helping organisations who don’t have an in-house LMS by offering our in-house enterprise learning platform LNDCloud. LnDCloud has been developed for the very purpose of supporting organisations to roll out their learning interventions effectively.
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