The vast majority of human resources (HR) professionals say that a growing skills gap is making it incredibly difficult to recruit suitable candidates in a broad range of job categories. To address this gap, organizations are increasingly leveraging their HR intranets to implement, manage, and track a variety of training and development programs.
According to recent research by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 83 percent of HR professionals said they had difficulty recruiting suitable candidates in the previous 12 months due to a decrease in the quality of applicants. More than half said that the skills gap has worsened or greatly worsened in the past two years.
Traditionally, employers have addressed talent shortages through expanded advertising and outsourced recruiting efforts, but these remedies alone are no longer sufficient due to a dearth of available candidates. According to the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Labor, there are 7.1 million job openings in America and only 6 million available workers.
These figures suggest that organizations must invest in training and development programs to boost the skills of their current employees. The HR intranet or portal is an essential element of such efforts, providing a platform for delivering training and educational programs for new hires, onsite employees and remote workers.
Continuing Education is Key
The HR portal can be used to deliver a variety of formal training and career development programs such as instructor-led classes, webinars and video training sessions, and serve as a central repository for whitepapers, lesson plans and other research and training materials. It can also be used to facilitate one-on-one development programs such as job sharing, coaching, mentoring and role-playing exercises.
Self-service portals make it easy to give employees access to eLearning tools for specific skills training. Employees can access videos, documents, testing modules and more right from their workstations, and HR can quickly make updates to those materials as requirements evolve.
Additionally, the portal enhances HR’s ability to track and manage training programs through a variety of reporting and analytics features. For example, analysis of annual performance reviews can help identify particular skills gaps, and that data can then be used to configure and build highly targeted training programs.
Data analysis can help identify which employees need additional training, what types of training they need and whether they are meeting baseline requirements for that training. Through the portal, HR can also establish individualized training schedules with deadline reminders, updates, alerts, milestones and test results.
Tracking training and development results produces tangible benefits for companies and their HR staff. Analysis of this data can help HR assess the company’s hiring needs and identify prospective internal candidates. These programs can also improve workforce retention by giving employees a clear picture of the skills and training required to advance their careers.
According to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workforce Learning Report, 94 percent of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development. Improved morale also helps organizations reduce the time, effort and costs involved with recruiting, hiring and training new employees.
Analysts offer a variety of conclusions about the nature of the skills gap. Some argue that it is the result of an educational system that isn’t properly preparing people for today’s workplace. Others believe the gap is a natural consequence of technology advances that create rapidly shifting job requirements. Regardless of the drivers, organizations can take steps to close the gap with well-developed training and development programs administered through an HR portal.
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Written and composed by Lyndsay Soprano, Director of Marketing