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A HR Guide To Reskilling and Upskilling: Definition, Differences & More

The labour market evolves, and it does so at an astonishing speed – there is always something more to learn, changes to adapt to and new technologies to use. The number of challenges to be met requires today’s professionals to have high levels of resilience and adaptability. In this article we will analyse why upskilling and reskilling processes are so important within companies.

The Labour Market is Constantly Evolving

The labour market is undergoing such rapid and dynamic changes, it is often difficult to predict what direction it’s heading to and what it will look like in the years to come. This continuous evolution certainly brings great opportunities, but not without a few problems and complications. Technological innovations have a fundamental weight and the arrival of new technologies requires workers to develop new skills.

One of the biggest and most recent changes that has strongly impacted workplaces and employees worldwide was the arrival of remote working. The physical working environment has suddenly been drastically altered.

Due to the massive spread of COVID-19, most companies found themselves having to rethink and adapt their business in a very short period of time. Consequently, companies have undergone a profound digital transformation and have realised traditional people management methods don’t work remotely.

While it is not easy to predict how the current situation will develop, one thing seems quite clear: it is no longer possible to move forward without digital HR processes. Human resource processes must be optimised in order to ensure efficient people management. Only when HR managers have freed themselves from repetitive and time-consuming tasks can they truly focus on strategies that really matter and bring real value to companies, such as training programmes for employees.

Reskilling and Upskilling: Training for New Skills

In our current job market there are many more soft skills than in the past, when candidates were hired for their hard skills. These skills were thought to cover the company’s internal needs and were intended for specific tasks. In fact, holding the same role for many years in the same company was considered to prove outstanding skill and authority. These profiles made recruiters’ eyes shine… but is that still the case today?

The importance of soft skills

The COVID-19 crisis has initiated a new hiring trend, in which soft skills are a lot more relevant when hiring new talent. Employees with diverse professional backgrounds and experiences are much more appreciated in today’s job market.

The reason for this is that handling different tasks across different areas, departments and companies, forces professionals to develop diverse skills. These employees have the ability to adapt to new situations and are more open to changes, having already experienced and witnessed them firsthand.

For companies going through a period of radical transformation, these workers prove to be fundamental. They will contribute to the overall business evolution and help colleagues who are more resistant to change understand the need for it.

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Making Ongoing Training a Priority

The skills needed for business growth vary constantly and companies cannot aim to keep up by hiring new talent non-stop. A better strategy may be to resort to existing staff instead of new recruitments – and this is why ongoing training is a key element companies must invest in.

Employers often focus on training during the onboarding process but, in order to ensure continuous talent development within teams, training must not be limited to the first few weeks.

This is even more so for roles requiring specific knowledge related to software development, for instance. Given the rapid evolution expected from this field, there may come a time when the need for new employees will be faced with a shortage of professionals available.

If companies can’t count on external resources to cover new roles, they’ll have to focus on growing their existing talent.

Upskilling and Reskilling: Differences

As stated above, the labour market changes rapidly and new needs constantly arise. This also means new professional profiles or roles can become obsolete very quickly, which is when upskilling and reskilling should be considered – two distinct concepts that shouldn’t be used interchangeably.

What is Upskilling

Upskilling programmes aim to expand employees’ skills within their areas of expertise. In other words, employees get a skill “upgrade” in order to be more efficient and productive in their roles.

What is Reskilling

On the other hand, through reskilling, employees develop new skills that will allow them to fill different positions. It’s therefore a re-training process for existing talent.

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The Benefits of Upskilling and Reskilling

How do you maximise your employees’ potential? With specific training courses aimed at upskilling and reskilling. Offering continuous training will benefit the company in several ways:

  • Upskilling and reskilling courses guarantee employees have the opportunity to grow within the company. Ongoing training is perceived as an important investment companies make in their staff and contributes to employee engagement.
  • Upskilling and reskilling ensure employees are always up to date with new knowledge and market needs, which will, in turn, allows companies to remain competitive.
  • Recruiting needs are reduced. Hiring processes can involve high costs and investing in existing human capital can help bring these numbers down drastically.
  • Employee loyalty and talent retention. Losing talent is as expensive as hiring it and employees – those from younger generations particularly – expect to receive ongoing training so as to upgrade their skills. Whenever this is not guaranteed, there is a high risk of losing talent to competitors.

Upskilling, Reskilling and Human Resource Management Software

How do you know what skills your employees need if you don’t monitor their performance? Once again, technology comes to the rescue.

The first step in providing suitable upskilling and reskilling schemes is to understand each employee’s strengths and weaknesses. That is, by monitoring their performance.

Factorial’s all-in-one software offers a unique solution that can be customised to fit specific business needs. With a comprehensive performance management feature, HR teams can obtain feedback, comments and also implement various self-assessment processes.

Having qualitative data makes it easier to design upskilling and reskilling programmes. Not sure how to build your own employee performance evaluation?

Factorial has got you covered with templates that will help you come up with the best one for your business. Moreover, with Factorial’s customised reports, you’ll be able to track performance over time.

✅Download your free performance appraisal template

This post is also available in: Italiano

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