How to develop the technology skills of your employees

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The year 2020 brought many disruptions and businesses were faced with the need to embrace technology and accelerate digital processes: from implementing systems for remote resources management through to remote working programmes, and the implementation of e-commerce.

Owing to these changes, the industry demands human capital to acquire new skills, not only soft skills — such as conflict management, stress management, communication skills, emotional intelligence, among others, but also technology skills that will help the company forge ahead, since technology systems have arrived here to stay.

The workforce must now be trained in Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, Big Data, Machine Learning, Digital Marketing and Cybersecurity. That is what the World Economic Forum explains in its study “The Future of Work”, because by 2025 most jobs will be related to these fields.

Demand will also increase for workers in jobs to do with the green economy, new engineering functions, and product development. However, jobs like accounting, executive or administrative secretaries, and generally operations managers will be at risk.

In fact, 40% of core skills will change in the next five years as a result of digital transformation, and talent will need to be constantly upskilled due to rapid technology adoption by companies.

But where do we find this skilled talent? The answer is not simple, as the current educational system is not training this talent, especially in Latin America, so there is a gap between the skills that students graduate with and those required by industry.

Although specialist schools are starting to emerge, there is still a long way to go before the talent coming out of universities possesses all the tools and, most of all, the technology skills that companies need.

In fact, 50% of people specializing in Big Data and Artificial Intelligence come from other fields. These people studied a degree that did not confer them skills in these fields, so they had to train independently.

How to acquire talent

It is hard to find specialized talent as we saw earlier, there are few graduates with these skills and those who have the talent are highly sought after in the working world, which leads to high costs.

So where do we look for them? The answer is not to look for them, but to create them. Indeed, develop these skills in the existing employees. Anyone is capable of developing these technology skills, although some more than others.

Start by analysing the qualities of your talent, see in which fields they perform best, discover their hobbies, and ask about their personal and corporate interests. Where do they see themselves in five years? What projects do they have in the company? Do they like what they do? This will help you discover potential talent.

For example, a systems worker may acquire the skills to become a cybersecurity specialist, or someone in accounting may have an interest in data analysis and become a data scientist.

After identifying the employees, develop a training programme, do not forget to involve all areas of the company, and inform attendees about the growth they will experience both professionally and personally.

Ideally develop a hybrid programme, combining online and practical courses. In this type of skills training, practice is essential, learning by trial and error will help to reshape knowledge.

Invite workers to propose projects to be developed in the same company, so that their hands-on practice become more authentic.

If your company is small or you don’t have enough staff for developing their skills, you can go to a talent incubator, a place where you can find people who have already taken courses on these new skills.

All you have to do is orient these people to your needs, that’s all. This talent will become part of your workforce and help you transform the company to take it to the next level.

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