Skills gap: further training instead of recruitment – but how?

McKinsey-Report: Companies that meet the skills gap through training and development are better prepared for disruption!

The latest McKinsey-Report says that 44% of the organizations that address the skills gap with internal training feel prepared for role disruption. This is considerably more than the 19% of those who do so only through recruitment.

This makes a lot of sense in the context of the demographic development with the cohorts of low birth rates arriving!

The biggest skills gaps are found in higher cognitive and emotional skills

The most prioritized skills are first “critical thinking and decision making”, followed by “leadership and managing others”. In fifth[1] place follows “adaptability and continuous learning”.

Therefore, pure knowledge transfer does not work: Rather, these are general and thus transferable skills. They can only be learned through practice, joint reflection and frequent repetition!

Thus, watching videos and answering quiz questions does not work. Neither do PowerPoint presentations in the seminar room. Development programs must promote and challenge the skills mentioned above through their learning architecture alone.

Time is the scarcest resource – not money!

At the same time, the biggest hurdle for companies is the balance between training and operational business (53% of all answers). In today’s market economy based on data and key indicators, 41% of companies cite measuring a program’s impact on the business as a problem. 29% have difficulty motivating employees to participate in the programs. In contrast, financing is seen as an obstacle by only 23%.

Reducing the skills gap effectively: Integrating work and group learning experiences

To effectively counteract the skills gap, learning must take place at work and have a direct effect there.

At the same time, intensive workshops and practice groups are important. This activates the participants emotionally and thus creates personal relevance. Without it, learning does not take place. It is also easier to learn together – especially when things get difficult!

What is your answer to these challenges – as a company or as a training provider?


[1] In third place is „advanced data-analysis and mathematical skills” followed by “project management”