HomeFuture of WorkHR EffectivenessThe skills shortage battle: Winning strategies for a thriving workforce

The skills shortage battle: Winning strategies for a thriving workforce

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In a recent wave of redundancies in the tech sector, up to 95,000 workers across 297 tech companies have lost their job. HR leaders now face the unique challenge of preparing their workforce for the present and the future, while also addressing a skills shortage. Furthermore, the tech industry could lose more than 900,000 jobs […]

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Jason Fowler: The skills shortage battle: Winning strategies for a thriving workforceIn a recent wave of redundancies in the tech sector, up to 95,000 workers across 297 tech companies have lost their job. HR leaders now face the unique challenge of preparing their workforce for the present and the future, while also addressing a skills shortage.

Furthermore, the tech industry could lose more than 900,000 jobs in 2023. This is nearly six times as many as in 2022 if cuts proceed at their current rate. And yet key skills remain a critical dependency for most organizations. So, how does HR navigate this paradox? What are the other issues within our industry? And what solutions are available to mitigate these challenges and find new diverse talent?

Talent is a top skills shortage priority

First things first, talent is a critical component in building a skilled workforce. However, the primary challenge lies in the fact that managers and leaders need to see the potential of employees rather than focusing solely on their experience. This requires creating time and space for the workforce to gradually develop new skills, experiment in new roles, and change careers midstream.

Implementing programs for ongoing learning and development is one way to manage this challenge. These initiatives give staff members the chance to develop new skills, relevant to both their current positions and potential future endeavors. This enables them to grow personally and professionally and is a vital solution to the skills shortage.

The hiring process should be inclusive from the outset and a means of identifying and valuing differences. No matter their background or experience, HR departments need to ensure they are attracting a diverse pool of candidates. This promotes organizational dexterity and more innovative solutions in addition to helping to build a more welcoming and supportive workplace culture.

Balancing current and future needs 

The urgency of training staff for current needs while also providing opportunities for on-the-job learning is a challenge for HR departments. On the one hand, they must ensure that employees have the skills necessary to perform their jobs effectively in the present. On the other hand, they also need to provide opportunities for employees to develop new skills that will be relevant in the future.

To address this challenge, HR departments need to take a long-term view of people development. To enhance talent programs, it is important to provide employees with regular coaching-based performance conversations to evaluate progress, identify areas for improvement, and create growth opportunities. This also involves investing in continuous learning and development programs that open doors to new skills. It is also important to provide employees with regular feedback on their performance, so they can see how their skills are developing over time.

Additionally, HR departments can involve leaders who have gone through similar career transitions in the hiring process. This not only provides a valuable source of support and guidance for employees, but it also helps to build a more supportive workplace culture. When HR departments give employees opportunities that they may not have thought were available, they can help foster a sense of growth and development within the organization.

The hybrid working model 

Industry experts have heavily discussed hybrid working for the past three years. And yet organizations are yet to realize its full benefits. HR leaders must create a hybrid working model that can lead to more talent and less competition. This involves finding the right balance between remote work and in-person work. Such a balance ensures employees are productive and engaged, regardless of their location.

One of the key benefits of a hybrid working model is that it provides greater flexibility for employees which in turn allows them to balance their work and personal lives more effectively, leading to improved job satisfaction and a more motivated workforce. Additionally, it expands the pool of potential talent to a wider range of individuals, including those who may not have been able to work in a traditional office environment. This leads to a more diverse and inclusive workplace culture, which can drive innovation and creativity.

To effectively implement a hybrid working model, HR departments need to have clear policies and guidelines in place. This includes setting expectations for communication, collaboration, and productivity. It also means providing the necessary tools and resources to support remote work. Additionally, HR departments need to regularly assess the effectiveness of the hybrid model and make any necessary changes to ensure it is meeting the needs of both employees and the organization.

Overcoming the skills shortage will future-proof your workforce

The future of the workforce can seem quite uncertain. But HR departments play a critical role in navigating the challenges and building a skilled, diverse, and inclusive workforce. HR leaders should prioritize talent, balance current and future needs, and implement a supportive hybrid working model. This will ensure that their organizations are well-positioned for success in the years to come.

HR departments can influence the future of the workforce and bring about positive change within their organizations. Programs for ongoing learning and development, involving leaders in the hiring process, or adopting new working models can all help win the long-term skills shortage battle.


Jason Fowler, Vice President, and Fujitsu’s Head of HR for Europe

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