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Tech industry shows retraining is the new recruiting
June 18, 2017, 1:03 pm

Amazon creating supermarkets without sales people and doing delivery using drones, McDonald’s replacing all its cashiers with self-serve kiosks, and Caterpillar investing in driverless tractors, are just a glimpse of what the future holds as many traditional jobs are lost to automation.

The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2020 over five million jobs, in fields like manufacturing and customer service, will disappear. Meanwhile, the demand for jobs that require technical skills continues to rise and not be met. Jobs that require coding skills are multiplying and growing fifty-percent faster than the market overall. As more industries become digitized and compound the need for technical talent, the problem only becomes more exacerbated.

In the increasingly competitive market for talent, tech companies are leading a new type of labor innovation: retraining as the new recruiting. Although investments in computer science education and vocational schools will be invaluable in the long run, retraining offers a more immediate solution. As companies in other industries race to be on the forefront of innovation, they should adopt not just Silicon Valley’s technological contributions, but also the blueprints for retraining talent.

Rather than pour more money into the recruiting battle, companies should test strategies for developing the technical talent they need by looking to retrain in house. Rather than recruit outsiders, many companies are finding it more efficient to retrain their own staff, especially if there are staff who are likely to be retrenched as a result of automation.

Enabling employees from within has allowed companies to not only fill open technical roles faster, but also to retain the institutional and product knowledge that employees had already developed.

Tech companies are also pioneering new training programs for their own staff to develop emerging skills, rather than going out into the recruiting market to seek an ideal candidate., Companies in other industries should also be looking at developing similarly resourceful and nimble training practices to develop their existing talent. A commitment to educating and up-skilling workers also allows companies to differentiate themselves in the recruiting process.

As employers strive to retain and recruit their workforce, providing employees the opportunity to develop new skills and progress in their careers is one of the most competitive benefits companies can offer.

Whether it is to develop technical talent that has yet to exist or to provide career opportunities for existing employees, companies at every stage are beginning to use retraining as a dynamic tool for developing a modern workforce.

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