The chronic issue of the skills gap in digital has developed into a sharp pain. Our global lurch online continues to generate unprecedented demand for the skills to support digital marketing, experience and commerce and businesses are hard pressed to satisfy it.
The share of recruiters reporting that the gap has grown is up 30% year-on-year after a similar increase in 2020 and nearly 90% of companies say they’re having trouble finding candidates with the necessary digital skills.
In the field this makes companies slower and less capable, with digital skills a major factor preventing them from hitting their CX objectives.
The interplay of hiring, outsourcing and upskilling is out of balance
Companies are working with familiar tools to address the issue, but the typical interplay between hiring, using agencies and upskilling is out of balance.
The universal emphasis on first-party data is limiting how many organizations work with agency partners and driving many toward in-housing roles that touch customer data.
Simultaneously, hiring digital talent is a challenge driven by two years of pent-up demand and double-digit growth in job vacancies related to digital and a trend that warrants its own discussion.
These factors highlight the need to upskill existing employees, though it has always been the most accessible and least expensive way for organizations to efficiently add to or improve their capabilities.
Fortunately, learning has evolved rapidly to meet demand and the challenges of a distributed workforce, a “trend” that’s increasingly looking like a fait accompli.
Prior to the pandemic, the choice was often between in-person training or on-demand video. The first approach requires large blocks of time but ensures engagement and completion. The second is convenient but lacks the interactivity and commitment of group learning.
Today, the idea of a team spending three days in a conference room seems antique, but we also recognize that the solitary experience of on-demand videos can’t solve for every use case.
Over the course of the pandemic, the industry has learned how to combine asynchronous, on-demand content that is energized by live, virtual elements. The result is an approach with tangible benefits that can, at its best, deliver highly effective learning and help build team cohesion.
Read more of Econsultancy’s 2022 predictions and analysis
The benefits of hybrid learning
- Improving engagement is the perennial top challenge for L&D professionals. Live elements ensure greater engagement because they give employees a place to be at a specific time, together.
- On-demand video is highly effective at answering questions, but hybrid learning lets employees put new skills into practice through workshops, debriefs, missions and Q&As.
- Group learning helps to establish a common language and skill level for disparate teams, especially during the onboarding process. This shared foundation saves time for the learner and for veterans who would otherwise have to slow down to help them catch up.
- Hybrid learning provides the organization with a better understanding of where their employees are today and where they need to go, because they’re interacting with instructors as well as learning management systems. L&D managers have the benefit of qualitative and quantitative feedback.
- Hardest to quantify, but perhaps most important, live learning is an opportunity for far-flung teams to trade institutional knowledge and build rapport outside of the day to day – to problem solve, share best practices and be creative in a rare, interactive setting.
The future of work is hybrid and corporate learning will have to be
No matter how our workplaces evolve, training won’t often return to the three-day seminar model. A hybrid approach is flexible and effective, not only at building vital skills but in providing a platform for sharing knowledge and building culture for a distributed workforce.