No matter the company, whichever the industry, one thing is more than likely. That they’re currently facing a skills shortage. In fact, Canadian unemployment rates continue to rise, hitting 5.7 percent in October as businesses continue experiencing difficulties with filling vacancies in 2023.
Why? Well, the reasons are many and varied. One being that younger workers often struggle to possess the skills and experience accumulated by older workers who then go on to retire.
It could also be chalked up to the fact that many workers, particularly post-pandemic, are placing more priority on their wants and needs from a workplace. Whether this might refer to a higher salary, more flexible working practices, the type of workplace culture, for example, many companies can struggle to attract staff in what is now a candidate-driven market.
But in an era defined by rapid technological advancements, (hello, A.I.…) the digital skills shortage has become a pressing concern for businesses everywhere.
Even in just a matter of months, the business landscape has evolved, with industries increasingly reliant on technology. And as a result, businesses are finding it challenging to recruit and retain professionals with the expertise necessary to thrive in the digital age.
But the question is: just how can businesses remain competitive and maximize productivity and efficiency?
Natalie Shallow, Head of Service at BrightHR Canada, leading provider of HR and health & safety software and solutions, says:
“Staying current with the latest tools and trends is a formidable task for both employees and employers. But it’s a necessity.
“That’s where a comprehensive learning management system comes in. This allows employers to create and manage training programs tailored to their organization’s needs, empowering employees to acquire and enhance the digital skills required for their roles. In turn, businesses experience increased retention because of staff feeling more engaged with their roles and boosted morale as clear investment into their development is demonstrated.
“As the demand for digital talent surges, fierce competition among employers for the best talent ensues. Attracting—and then of course retaining—skilled professionals is becoming ever-challenging. It’s a jobseekers’ market and they ultimately call the shots now, meaning it’s crucial for employers to offer enticing packages.
“Salary will always be the one of the most—if not the most—important aspect of a role, with 55% of jobseekers looking for higher wages. But perks such as an employee assistance program, access to learning opportunities, salary sacrifice schemes, discount platforms, flexible working arrangements, enhanced vacation entitlements and dedicated mental health days, for example, go a long way in appealing to would-be or existing staff.
“So, imagine you’ve got that perfect benefits package already, and you’ve already spotted the ideal resume. If the hiring process is too lengthy, 60 percent of those candidates will lose interest and look elsewhere.
“The next step is ensuring a streamlined hiring process, and one way to do this is through using a recruitment platform as a good number of recruiting professionals cite recruitment tech as the way forward in improving recruiting performance.
“As we enter a new age of tech, the digital skills shortage is likely to intensify before it gets better. But that’s not to mean we can’t navigate our way through it. And let’s not forget, that this isn’t the first time that digital enhancements have widened the skills gap. We’ve experienced this before, perhaps most saliently when the use of computers rose to prominence, and then later, the world wide web.”