As the new world of work awaits to unleash new challenges, opportunities, and innovations, companies need to ensure that they have the right skills mix to thrive in this new world of work. According to a recent study by LinkedIn, Future of Talent report, upskilling will be core to many firms’ talent strategies. Further, there has been an increasing shift towards skills-based hiring. Employers are shifting their focus from prioritising a candidate’s education and past role or experience to a set of skills that they would need in the new role in that organisation. Hence, in the coming times, the speed and scale of upskilling and reskilling human capital will determine which organisations gain a sustainable competitive advantage over others.
With skills being an engine of growth now and into the future, HR and business leaders must be equipped with advanced tools like data analytics. These tools can help them to identify both potential candidates who have those sets of skills and internal hires who can be reskilled.
In a recent virtual panel discussion by People Matters and LinkedIn Talent Solutions, leaders from India and South East Asia came together to share actionable insights around reinventing a skilling strategy that embraces the future of work. Themed around, OneHR: Building future-ready organisations through skills, the panel discussion was moderated by Frank Koo, Head of Asia - Talent and Learning Solutions at LinkedIn along with Sapna Purohit, SVP and Head Of Human Resource at Sun Pharma, Amit Prakash, CHRO at Marico Limited, and Tery Chua, VP Group HCM; Principal NETS Academy at NETS.
Here are some key takeaways from the session:
Skills-based hiring: An opportunity to seize
Traditionally, the value placed on one qualification, and past experiences used to play an instrumental role in getting hired. However, with the dynamic shift in the way businesses struggle to keep up with the changing market and customer demands, influenced by macro-& micro-economic changes, the value has shifted towards the skills and the ability to perform a role.
Tery Chua, who set up the inaugural NETS Academy and is cultivating learning organisation within NETS, a FinTech company shares, “Given the requirements of our business– Finance, Technology, and the new business dimensions we are pioneering within the FinTech Space in Singapore, we may not be able to find the right candidate if we rely on a set degree, or qualification, or maybe even exact experience.”
He adds the business priority is to hire the right people who can perform a job and further upskilling them to take up new responsibilities and roles.
Adding on to the perspective, Amit Prakash, CHRO, Marico Limited shared the key areas where the company has prioritised skills-based hiring:
- The organisation has identified some of the roles which are routine or temporary which creates a lot of impact from sales or manufacturing perspectives. Hence, Marico looks out for skills-based hiring to fill these roles.
- The hiring team at Marico has initiated deep references in terms of the critical skills that a candidate brings to the table before he/she is made an offer.
“The workforce of today on an average spends 3-5 years with an organisation, hence, the performance of the new hires become critical and hence, skills-based hiring becomes paramount for business,” Amit Prakash, CHRO, Marico Limited.
- The company continuously maps the key strategy capabilities they are trying to build for the future. Instead of just relying on outside talent, Marico is also augmenting the internal capabilities to support internal mobility and prepare to fill the future key roles as they emerge.
Acknowledging a similar thought, Sapna Purohit, SVP and Head Of Human Resource, Sun Pharma shared “At Sun Pharma, we have been hiring a lot of young, fresh and local talent. Given the fact, we are a regulated industry, we train our people to perform any task before delivery. And hence, we hire talent on what they are capable of learning and how we can move them to the next level–how we can groom them to those levels of specifications which we want them to perform.”
Buying talent vs. building talent: Overcoming the talent crunch
With the impact of the pandemic, the world is facing closed borders which has disrupted talent mobility and definitely added to the talent crunch. This challenge brings us to the question–Buying talent vs. Building talent.
Sapna reflecting upon the challenge very well explained that both buying talent and building talent go hand in hand. However, in both cases, organisations need to give opportunities to grow.
Quoting an incident from his own organisation, Tery shares that last year in the middle of a pandemic, they required someone to fill the vacuum in their Data Analytics team. And hence were in a dilemma whether to hire a new candidate or build the right skills internally to fill in the role. “We identified that one of our VPs in the Consumer Sales could fill up this role. He was aspiring to take up that role and wanted to try something new and from his past experience, we found that he has a capacity to adopt new skills and grow in a role. He didn’t have any prior skills in data or analytics but his capability to learn and develop new skills helped us to fill the Data Analytics role and saw a great performance,” add Tery.
Marico too has a commitment to growing internal talent. Amit shared that in the leadership positions there are at least 80-85% of the people who are grown internally. However, they look out for external talent in an event where the business requires an immediate niche role to be filled in.
Preparing the workforce towards better growth pathways
Unanimously, empowering talent to take ownership of their learning turned out to be the key to better growth pathways. Besides structured programs around Digital skills, Soft Skills, and Transferable skills, it was acknowledged that when leaders make an effort to implement learner-centred principles in the learning technology they adopt, coach & communicate with the talent, and make them owners of their learning, will help employees shape their learning and long-term contributions for the better.
This article is based on a panel discussion as a part of LinkedIn’s campaign– OneHR. To watch the full conversation and get more actionable insights from the leading industry leaders around reinventing skilling strategies for the future of work, click here.