Companies turning to retention to fill skills gap in digital age

    Companies in search of workers in today’s tight labor market are increasingly training existing employees, seeking to improve internally the skills they need as the modern workplace becomes more digital, The Wall Street Journal reports.

    “The level of commitment in investing in employee training and retraining is at a level that we have never seen before,” Johnny C. Taylor Jr., chief executive of the Society for Human Resource Management, or SHRM, tells CFO Journal.

    Since the middle of 2017, finance executives have listed the limited availability of skilled talent as their top challenge, according to surveys by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.

    For example, Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.—which provides analysts and systems support to the National Security Agency, the Pentagon and other U.S. intelligence bodies launched a push in 2017 to add 5,000 workers with data science skills.

    It couldn’t fill all those positions from the outside, so the firm looked it internally. By the end of the month, Booz Allen expects to training to about 1,000 employees already on the payroll.

    Training “comes at a cost, and it certainly has increased over the last five years,” Lloyd Howell, the company’s finance chief, says, declining to give specifics. “But this is an important, dynamic area for us to keep pace in.” Read the full story.  

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