skills gap is a hot news topic, and will continue to take up many column inches and debating time in 2016. Everyone from George Osborne and David Cameron to leaders in the health, retail and finance sectors is discussing the skills gap and its impact on the UK economy. Skills shortages within workforces and the recruitment talent pool are partly to blame for holding back businesses and ultimately the UK economy. According to a British Chamber of Commerce survey, the rise of digital is also contributing to the shortfall; two-thirds of UK businesses believe technical knowledge is key when hiring, but a quarter of firms report digital skills shortages. The new digital world doesnt only present challenges it offers a solution. Digital can help to remedy the skills shortage through its most valuable asset: data. Data is already being used to address some of the worlds most pressing challenges, from scientific research and weather predictions to anticipating our shopping needs and viewing preferences. The power of data is also valuable in the management world, where it can form a powerful tool for ensuring the right skills are available within a business. We can’t tackle the skills shortage until we know where the gaps lie, and data can shine a light on individuals, teams and the business as a whole. The first stage to applying data to the skills gap is of course collecting it. Theres a range of technology applications or platforms available to businesses which can help in this regard. Sales organisations have access to automated compensation solutions that can track different aspects of a salespersons performance in order to calculate their commission; this information also shows managers the aspects of the job where employees are performing well, and pinpoint where gaps might lie. For example, the platform may identify an employee who is great at finding prospects, but struggles to convert them into sales. Their manager can work with the salesperson and develop a personalised training plan to address this.
Read more on the skills gap:
- Are your expectations too high Firms must look for potential greatness in apprentices
- Skills gap is a myth bosses just too demanding and offer low wages
- Smashing Britains digital skills bottleneck: The business questions, risks and solutions
Amid the skills gap problem, the top ten industries with the most demand for graduates and the most popular degrees have been revealedTom Castley is VP of SaaS provider Xactly EMEA Image: Shutterstock
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