Alissa Hawkins headshot Written by: Alissa Hawkins

Reskilling and upskilling employees

The pandemic and current economic climate have accelerated the trend of “reskilling and upskilling employees.” With so much uncertainty about the economy, reskilling and upskilling employees is necessary. It’s a solution for many things we’re all facing from layoffs to quiet quitting to just budget restraints.   

Two guys sitting at a work desk looking at a laptop talking about reskilling and upskilling employees

Reskilling employees looks like training them on new skills. While it can be something close in comparison to what they’re currently doing, it will be an entirely new skillset for them to learn. This gives you the opportunity to utilize your current employee in other areas vs hiring someone new. 

Upskilling is a little different. While reskilling is about equipping your employees to learn something new, upskilling is focused on making employees more knowledgeable in their area of expertise. This is all about expanding skillsets. 

When you’re reskilling an employee, you’re putting them on a new path in your organization. However, when you upskill an employee, they’re on a linear path. Both are valuable and completely dependent on your company’s needs and situation. However, both are going to be needed in the near future (if not already). 

“50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025, as adoption of technology increases”

World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report

Are you hiring people that have the capacity to reskill/learn new things? More than 70% of businesses say that their current employees lack key skills. You can not afford to hire (or keep) an employee that does not have key skills and knowledge your company needs. We simply can’t afford it anymore.

A few things you need to look for when interviewing (vs focusing on skill set alone):

  • Adaptability
  • Flexibility and agility 
  • Capacity
  • Grit
  • Want

These are skillsets that show employees have the future ability to reskill or upskill. Interviewing should be about focusing on what employees can learn and apply at work vs what they already know. If they fit in your organization culturally, and have the basic skills required, reskilling and/or upskilling can happen down the line after you make the hire. 

We’re all looking at what this new trend of reskilling and upskilling employees means for us. Do you have current employees you’re confident you could reskill and/or upskill? Does it make sense to you right now? Something to think about as we all face this uncertain economic environment.