Filling the “Talent Gap” – With You

Many companies are complaining about a “talent gap” these days, since they don’t have the skills needed to keep pace with new competitive challenges. Companies have several options for filling this gap, and one of them is to invest in you.

Companies have three main choices for filling the talent gap: Buy, Build or Borrow.

Buy means ‘hire.’ Companies that choose this path will look outside the company to recruit needed skills. The problem, they find, is that talent is in short supply, (hence the talent gap), and it can be quite expensive to obtain.

Companies can Borrow talent by hiring role-players on a temporary basis. This is faster and cheaper than investing in new full-time staff, but it’s really just a quick fix. Companies that over-rely on temps are failing to build these needed skill sets into their organizations on a permanent basis.

This leaves us with Build –wherein companies upgrade the skills of existing staff via training. For an enterprising employee (you, perhaps), this option can be a real win-win, for both employee and company.

So, how do ambitious employees go about persuading their employers to invest in career development?

As a first, don’t wait for your company to come to you with a proposal; make the case yourself. Schedule meetings with your manager, and your human resources department. Find out where they are facing a skills shortage.

There’s a good chance that something you’ve done before – either in terms of education or work/life experience – might serve as part of a solution to your company’s “talent gap.” But, don’t assume that your bosses know what you’ve done – even if it’s in your resume. You have to let them know.

If you’ve identified an area where your company needs a boost, put together a proposal. Let them know how you can be upgraded to provide that boost, and what it will cost. In many cases, the cost of providing you with additional training will be a fraction of the cost of recruiting a new employee.

You must be proactive, and you must make a case for yourself. Be prepared, and be confident. After all, these are the general attributes of an employee that companies want to invest in. Be that employee.

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