Companies are not doing enough to improve the skillsets of their employees, according to a new report co-authored by computer consultancy firm Capgemini and LinkedIn. The survey, titled ‘The Digital Talent Gap – Are Companies Doing Enough?’, analyses the demand and supply of specific digital skills and the availability of digital roles across multiple sectors.
The survey is worldwide in scope, questioning over 1,200 individuals – from employees to leadership teams. To assist with accuracy, human resource executives and digital and technology recruiters were also questioned, while LinkedIn also collaborated with information on demand and supply for specific digital skills and roles.
Widening digital skills gap
As a worldwide average, every second organisation that the Capgemini team interviewed reported that the digital gap is indeed widening. The problem is reported as most widespread in the United States, where 70% of US companies claimed that the digital talent gap was growing in size.
Moreover, 54% of companies worldwide admitted that the problem was hampering their digital transformation plans, and conceded that their organisation had lost competitive advantages because of a paucity of digital talent within their company.
Despite the problem worsening, finance for training digital talent has plateaued or decreased in more than half (52%) of organisations (responding in June-July 2017). 50% of companies conceded to ‘talking’ about the digital skills gap, but doing nothing to address it.
Skills turning stale
A stagnant approach to digital skills could have knock-on consequences – 29% of employees told the survey that they believe their skillset is redundant now, or will be within two years. 38% report that their skills would be redundant in three to five years. Averagely, 18-36 year-old employees claimed that they would be hit in the most widespread numbers – 47% reported that their skills would be redundant in the next four to five years.
Employees also claimed in widespread numbers that their organisation’s training programmes are ineffectual. More than half reported that training schemes are ‘not helpful’ or that they are not given time to attend. 45% described their organisation’s training programmes as “useless and boring”.
Moreover, most employees claimed that they were willing to take action. More than half (55%) already skilled workers asserted that they would be willing to move to another organisation if they felt their skills stagnating, while nearly half (47%) reported that they were willing to move to another employer offering better skills development.
Employers conceded that they were also worried about the movement of upskilled staff. In line with the employee statistics, just over half (51%) of organisations believe that their workers will leave if they are offered better training elsewhere, and half (50%) of companies admitted that their digital skills training sessions are lack attendance.
Gaps are more pronounced in hard skills than soft
The report also revealed that persons with experience in hard digital skills – advanced analytics, automation and cybersecurity – are in high demand as 51% of organisations identified an absence within their organisation. However, soft digital skillsets – customer-centricity and passion for learning – are most in-demand from companies. These are regarded as increasingly important characteristics of a ‘well-rounded digital professional’.
Claudia Crummenerl, Head of Executive Leadership and Change at Capgemini, underscored the stark nature of the findings. Crummenerl said: “Organizations face a mammoth task in terms of digital upskilling. Given that skill redundancy is a key concern among our employee respondents, ensuring a clear development path is essential to address this.
“In the future, the digital talent gap will continue to widen and no company can sit back and be comfortable. Organisations need to be consistently innovating and planning their workforce evolution.”