Building a More Productive Workforce – Closing the Skill Gap
46% – The percentage of Baby Boomers that have attended college.
61% – The percentage of Millennials that have attended college.
Society is placing more and more importance on higher degrees of education, and this can easily be seen in the labor force. Those with higher levels of education tend to have an easier time finding a job and many positions require it. However, even with the importance our society places on higher education, once out of college and in the actual workforce, Millennials are starting to question the true value of their academic education.
According to a global survey of nearly 8,000 millennials, the “majority of Millennials agree that when they left college, they did not offer the full range of skills, personal qualities, and experience for which today’s businesses are looking.”
These Millennials overwhelmingly rated the skills that they gained on the job after graduation as more helpful than what they learned in college. They were not as confident in specific business skills including; financial, economic, and general business knowledge, the ability to challenge or disrupt current thinking, the ability to create opportunity, sales and marketing, etc.
These studies indicate that higher education doesn’t completely prepare graduates for the workforce. The gap between what Millennials are learning in college, and what is needed in order to best perform the duties required for the job is known as the skill gap and is hard, if not impossible, to avoid when hiring employees directly out of college.
There are only two ways to handle the skill gap, avoid it, or implement strategies and programs within the company that might help to close the gap.
Some popular strategies that are being implemented to close the skill gap include;
Talent Mobility Programs – Talent mobility programs can help to build business skills while simultaneously giving employees the development and advancement opportunities that they seek. These programs place the best of your newest employees into foreign markets for several months where they can acquire new skills and are responsible for teaching their teams what they have learned.
Online Education – Consumers have quickly become used to online education sites such as Lynda.com, Khan Academy, and Coursera. The same format could be applied to learning programs within a company. Courses can include a variety of characteristics and skills applicable to the job that can easily be utilized by employees.
New Performance Management Models – Older performance management models include annual reviews, and leave the employee to their own devices for the majority of the time otherwise. The newer performance management models include more check-in meetings, direct reports, and hands-on coaching. Working closely with new employees can help to make them feel confident that they are on track and quickly allows for any questions they may have to be answered.
At HT Partners, you won’t need a program to bridge a skill gap, as our rigorous recruiting and screening process, based on your input, feedback, and our extensive experience, reduces the skill gap and ensures a successful hire every time!
[*the Whitehouse.gov link above is now a dead link. As of 2018/06/14, the following is a working link for the same pdf: http://templatelab.com/millennials-report/]