New industry-led research reveals that organisations are altering their approach to hiring new talent.
Naas, Ireland – July 6th, 2023: Research carried out as part of Skillnet Ireland’s Industry Insights series The Skills-First: An emerging approach to managing human resources for the new world of work report was commissioned by L&D Skillnet in collaboration with Skillnet Ireland and Learning & Development Institute (L&DI) with research carried out by Professor David Collings and Dr John McMackin.
Currently three in four EU companies have difficulty in sourcing workers with the skills the organisation needs, which is leading to prolonged and chronic shortages of the skills required to deliver on the organisation’s strategic objectives. Crucially, structural labour market changes combined with demographic changes mean that these challenges are likely to grow in the future. Data from Professor David Collings and Dr John McMackin’s recent research on skills in the workplace suggests that most organisations are poorly prepared for bridging the skills-needs gap. Their findings suggest that there is a need to shift the focus of HR from jobs to skills, or Skills-First HR. Transitioning to Skills-First HR is not without challenge and will require some reorientation of HR teams.
The researchers have developed a roadmap for the implementation of Skills-First HR based on four building blocks identified in their research. These are skills taxonomies, skills audits, demand analysis and streamlining of job architectures. The skills landscape is changing quickly, and the half-life of skills continues to fall. This means that building employee skills and capabilities should be the number one priority for HR leaders.
Sinead Heneghan, CEO of L&DI, said: “This research offers valuable insights into how HR departments can proactively address the skills gap and equip their organisations with the necessary tools for success in the future by adopting a ‘Skills First’ approach to managing human resources and future proofing learning and development.
“This research finds that high performing organisations are leading the way in building skills databases and leveraging that information to deploy internal talent and opportunity marketplaces.”
Tracey Donnery, Director of Policy & Communications, Skillnet Ireland, said: “Skillnet Ireland is pleased to launch this research from L&DI Skillnet in partnership with DCU Business School and Trinity Business School. This research examines the rapidly changing future skills needs of organisations and offers key industry insights into the emerging area of skills-first human resources. The report’s findings provide a practical roadmap for business leaders and HR professionals to effectively map current employee skills profiles to emerging skill demands, to support the development of a world class talent pool for business leaders across all sectors in Ireland.”
Researchers Professor David Collings and Dr John McMackin said: “2023 has been designated European Year of Skills by the EU Commission, which reflects the challenges organisations now face in meeting current skills needs and future challenges in meeting emerging skills needs. Our research shows that many organisations are redesigning their people management processes to respond more dynamically to and plan for skills demand, which in turn will enable organisations to adapt to changes in their environment with greater agility. We label these responses skills-first HR and our report outlines the key enablers of these approaches well as identifying the steps an organisation should follow in moving towards skill-first HR”.
FOR FURTHER COMMENT OR INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Joe Finegan (085 1481447 – firstname.lastname@example.org) L&DI Communications Manager
ABOUT L&DI Learning & Development Institute (formally The Irish Institute of Training & Development), founded in 1969, is the professional body representing members concerned with Learning and Talent Development in Ireland. L&DI is an authoritative source of industry knowledge, expertise and opinions, and the membership community of choice for L&D professionals and interested parties. L&DI contribute to national policy on L&D related matters and are promoters of best practice and standards across the L&D profession.
ABOUT SKILLLNET IRELAND Skillnet Ireland is the national workforce development agency. We are a business support agency of the Government of Ireland, responsible for advancing the competitiveness, productivity and innovation of businesses through enterprise-led talent development. Skillnet Ireland partners with 57 industry bodies through its Skillnet Business Networks across most sectors and all regions in Ireland. Skillnet Ireland is funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
David G. Collings (PhD) holds the Chair of Sustainable Business at Trinity Business School, Trinity College Dublin. He is a Member of the Royal Irish Academy, a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. He was the 2021/22 Chair of the HR Division of US Academy of Management. He previously held academic appointments at the University of Sheffield, Dublin City niversity and, the University of Galway and visiting appointments at King’s College London, Nanyang Business School, Singapore, Simon Fraser University and Cornell University as a Fulbright Research Scholar. His research and teaching interests focus on sustainable work, talent management and global mobility. A particular focus of his recent work is the future of work and sustainable performance. A recent Stanford-led study ranked him in the top 2% of scholars in business and management globally based on citations. He has been named as one of the most influential thinkers in the field of HR by HR Magazine on five occasions, most recently in 2021. He has published numerous papers in leading academic journals and leading applied outlets such as Harvard Business Review and MIT Sloan Management Review. He has edited 12 books, including The Oxford Handbook of Talent Management with Wayne Cascio and Kamel Mellahi. In 2015 the impact of his research was recognised with the DCU President’s Award for Research.
John McMackin is an Associate Professor with the Work, Psychology and Strategy group at Dublin City University Business School and Chairperson of the School’s Executive MBA Programme. He previously held the position of Director of Executive and International Education at the school. Prior to his association with DCU John enjoyed a banking career in Dublin, London and New York, and later developed a successful HR consulting business based in Dublin. From 2014 to 2021 John was a Board member and non-executive Chairman of RecycleIt, a social enterprise based in Clondalkin, Dublin which creates jobs for long-term unemployed people. John holds an MBA from Columbia University New York and a PhD from the University of Oregon; his research has been published in major journals including the Academy of Management Review and MIT Sloan Management Review. His current research focuses on skills in the future of work and the application of agile principles to the people side of organisations. Contact John McMackin here.
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