Employers Still Hesitate on Training Despite Transformation Worries

Empty Classroom

While many employers have expressed concern about the need to train or reskill workers to handle new technologies, remarkably few offer necessary learning programs to their workers.

According to Randstad Sourceright’s 2020 Talent Trends Report, 92 percent of HR leaders believe their company should be responsible for providing the reskilling employees need to meet business needs. However, only 22 percent actually do so. And, nearly one-third of those who intend to offer reskilling aren’t sure how they will.

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Meanwhile, 38 percent say reskilling is important to redeploying workers who are at-risk of losing their jobs to automation.

The training employers envision covers a wide swatch of ground. Two-thirds, 66 percent, say they’ll offer technology-focused programs, while 60 percent will provide training on soft skills. That all roughly aligns with the interests organizations expressed in 2019, when the most-sought skills included technical capabilities (43 percent) and soft skills like communications (41 percent).

Among the report’s other findings:

  • Besides AI and soft skills, companies plan to train workers in analytics (59 percent), technical capabilities (57 percent) and cloud computing (54 percent).
  • Forty-seven percent of companies will increase investments in their internal mobility programs in 2020, up from 39 percent in 2016. Candidates will like that: In Randstad’s 2019 survey of talent, 31 percent of working professionals said ideal employers would offer opportunities for career progression.
  • Nearly three-quarters, 71 percent, of C-suite and HR leaders believe technology has made the their part of the recruitment process simpler and more efficient. Roughly the same number, 72 percent, believe that tech helps them make better hiring decisions.
  • Talent analytics plays a critical role in the TA process, according to 81 percent of executives. Nearly half (47 percent) are investing in predictive analytics for talent, and 54 percent are investing in digital specialists to support HR.  
  • Business leaders seem to be getting more comfortable with the idea of digital transformation. In 2019, 60 percent said transformation was moving too quickly. This year, that dropped to 45 percent. Randstad believes this signals that companies are transition their cultures to align with the increasing use of digital tools.

Rebecca Henderson, CEO of Randstad’s global businesses, said it’s “troubling” that so few companies offer training even as they acknowledge that reskilling is crucial to keeping up with changing technology and bolstering soft skills.

Troubling it may be, but it’s not unexpected. While executives across the organization seem preoccupied with transformation, their concern seems to only slowly transform to action, especially when it comes to HR and workforce issues.

In October, cloud-solutions provider Sage found that despite “widespread recognition” of HR’s changing dynamics, many corporations haven’t prioritized the function in terms of budget, investment and vision. More than half of HR leaders—some 57 percent—said they don’t have the resources to invest in new technology. Meanwhile, 51 percent said their organization’s lack of vision and leadership was preventing change.

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