With the Great Recession finally in the past and key economic indicators back to pre-2007 levels, 2013 marked the year businesses finally began hiring again.
Or, it seems, it would have.
Because even with the benefit of one of the most employer-friendly job markets in history — with a huge pool of potential candidates seeking new positions after surviving unemployment, going back to school, or weathering the recession at an existing job — 2 in every 5 organizations worldwide still reported experiencing difficulty in filling open jobs.
At the heart of those challenges wasn’t availability — any hiring manager can tell you these days just about any job listing will be met with a deluge of resumes — it was technical know-how and specialized experience.
It was the skills gap.
The Skills Gap is Real
As one could expect for any trend that would impact unemployment rates, the existence and extent of the skills gap has been a subject of some debate. In the wake of hiring difficulties data above as reported by the Manpower Group, economist James Bessen dug further into the details to separate fact from fiction.
According to Bessen in his report for the Harvard Business Review, there is considerable evidence to support the existence of a skills gap — with especially compelling data to suggest that in today’s job market businesses are being forced to pay a significantly higher (and steadily rising) price for skills related to new technology, and in particular, to information technologies.
To Bessen, hiring managers are simply caught in a bind brought on by today’s speed of technical innovation:
“New technologies frequently require specific new skills that schools don’t teach and that labor markets don’t supply. Since information technologies have radically changed much work over the last couple of decades, employers have had persistent difficulty finding workers who can make the most of these new technologies.”
Every Business’s Skills Gap is Unique
The problem with an all-encompassing term like “skills gap,” however, is that it doesn’t indicate the breadth of its scope.
In today’s organizations, there are no more standard tools or practices. Virtually every single business around the world employs its own mix of tools, technologies, processes, and programs as part of getting work done.
- Sales processes might require connecting the company’s CRM, resource portal, and a productivity suite.
- Customer service may need vendor management tools, access to inventory, a different CRM, and more communications capabilities.
- A normal IT ecosystem may easily include a few off-the-shelf vendor products, a couple heavily customized solutions developed with expensive consultants, at least one proprietary piece of software written in the pre-Internet era, and countless applications and patches written on the fly to make it all miraculously work together.
Just how all those processes and technologies are set up — and how they enable the actual day-to-day work of your company — is one-of-a-kind for every organization. It’d be complex even for someone with 20 years’ experience at your closest competitor to figure out — often, it’s little short of incomprehensible for many job candidates.
The good news is, you can fix that.
How To Solve Your Skills Gap Challenges In-House
The maze of strategic and technical processes, solutions, and programs in place in any given business means there’s really only one person fit to solve your skills gap — you.
You have access to the business owners and subject matter experts. You can chart how all the pieces fit together to drive productivity. Your employee training team is the one resource in the world charged with ensuring everyone in your organization knows what they need to.
In the past, the level of detail required to solve the skills gap with employee training software would have simply been too great a challenge.
But today, new tools exist that can help you scale your employee training efforts, take advantage of institutional knowledge and social learning, and alleviate the skills gap by quickly teaching new hires what you need them to know — and exactly the way you need them to know it.
Video makes it easy to capture your internal expertise. With video, you can ask subject matter experts to give a quick overview of how virtually any process or program works — the same way they already do on a one-to-one social learning basis with their peers. But instead of fading away when the conversation ends, the resulting recording can be stored in your corporate video library where it can be searched and shared anytime — and so any employee, new or old, can quickly brush up on their training and close their skills gap.
For a quick sample of just how easily video can be used to train for very specific skills, watch this sample recording of a team leader sharing how the organization works through the budgeting process:
Organizations that rely on complex processes and technical architectures may benefit even more from video training. Video creates an on-demand step-by-step guide to solving technical challenges and working through complicated issues.
For another sample of how an organization can use video to train for those skills, see this recording of a technical SME teaching how to diagnose and address SQL Server database deadlocks.
Try Panopto In Your Organization
Learn more about how you can use Panopto’s desktop video presentation software to solve your skills gap challenge — by scaling your in-house expertise. With Panopto, your institutional knowledge is easy to record, share, and search — so your team will always have access to the knowledge it needs.
Ready to solve your skills gap? Contact our team today for a free trial.