Blog post

You’re responsible for reskilling…. Now what?

Read time:
4 minutes

4 key steps on how to get your reskilling programme started.

Reskilling is high on the agenda for a growing proportion of organisations due to a combination of factors, not least its financial contribution. 

With mounting evidence enabling HR and People leaders to make a compelling business case, more and more enterprises are trialling reskilling programmes. 

For those HR professionals tasked with overseeing the pilot programme, it can be unfamiliar territory. So, where do you start?

1. Identify high-growth roles

Pick high-growth roles that you’re looking to hire for, especially ones that are proving difficult to fill through external recruitment. 

For instance, this might be digital-focused roles where the talent pool is very limited or for which there is high competition. 

Identify the behavioural and technical skills required for success in this role to build a skills profile, combining hard and soft skills. This process should pull on multiple sources of information, including industry data, job descriptions, and hiring manager and employee surveys.

2. Assess employees

Identify a cohort of employees who are potential candidates for reskilling. These are usually staff in declining roles at risk of redundancy, for example, customer-facing roles in branches that are closing down. 

Conduct a skills assessment of these employees to ascertain how well they align with the role skills profile. The assessment should focus on behavioural content, as the crucial technical skills will be acquired through training. But it should also include personality, motivation, and cognitive elements. 

Assessment of employees should ideally also encompass elements such as manager surveys and a skills self-assessment. 

3. Identify employees suitable for reskilling

When making the final decision about employee suitability, any transferable or adjacent skills should also be considered, as these could potentially accelerate time-to-productivity in the new role. 

Additionally, their adaptability and the strength of their motivation for reskilling should also be factors influencing the final decision. 

“From a reskilling point of view, there are always going to be gaps - we’re not going to find people who are an exact match,” notes Nick Shaw, Co-Founder of Spotted Zebra. “Part of the Spotted Zebra skills profile focuses on potential, so we help the organisation to find people who have the ambition, the ability to adapt, and the desire to grow.”

4. Collaborate with L&D to deliver training

Throughout the assessment process there should be collaboration with the L&D team to ensure that the training programmes are ready for the first cohort of reskilling candidates. 

Developing this partnership with L&D during the pilot programme will lay the foundations for a wider reskilling initiative in the future. 

“If the need for learning is going to be constant, you want to get the conditions and processes for that learning in good order and allow that to fuel whatever reskilling or upskilling is necessary,” says James McKenna, speaker, learning consultant, and author of Upskill, Reskill, Thrive

Build relationships with managers, people who are going to be integral to any learning effort. Those folks are the best messengers of the value of any learning initiative; they're often the most available coaches to help put that learning into transfer, and they can alert you to emerging learning needs that are directly related to business outcomes.” 

Learn more

Want to learn more about implementing reskilling in your organisation? Download our handy guide here:

Ready to chat to an expert? Let’s book you in for a reskilling workshop today!