July 19, 2022

What is upskilling and reskilling?

While the world of Human resources is always changing, right now it is going through one of its most important changes ever: the digital transformation. It’s estimated that by 2025 about 50% of employees will have to develop a new set of skills. The impact of technology offers many benefits, but also presents some challenges that modern organization must face and overcome. 

In this current context of changes and uncertainties, the concepts of upskilling and reskilling arise. You probably have heard about it. Do you want to know more? At T2W we have an extensive experience in personnel management so, we can help you. Here we take a closer look at the concepts of upskilling and reskilling, as well as their importance in the current professional world. 

What is upskilling? 

Upskilling is the process of developing and updating the skills of employees so they can have a better performance in their respective positions. While all organizations want to recruit only the best professionals, it doesn’t mean that the talent entering the company must stay the same. There is always room to capitalize the full extent of workers’ potential. 

Therefore, we have upskilling as a way to improve the skill set of employees and keep them up to date inside their particular specialty area. However, is it really a priority for the organization? You have to consider that developing these skills is key in the context of mutual benefit between the employee and the company. 

What is reskilling? 

On the other hand, we have reskilling. This consists in teaching employees completely new skills so that they can work in a different area inside the organization. These skills have to be unrelated to the current specialty field of the employee. As you can notice, reskilling is related to the ability professionals have to face new challenges. 

However, is reskilling really necessary? When we need talent in the organization, we have two options: recruitment or development. Both are valid options, but each alternative will work out different depending on the context. Reskilling is related to internal recruitment and offers the benefit of career development for employees, which is important for modern professionals. 

Additionally, we have to consider the investment the organization makes. The financial cost of hiring someone new can be high when comparing it to developing new skills in the talent we already have. Also, the recruitment process can take many months and, even after we hire the right person, it will take some time for that person to adapt. 

Difference between upskilling and reskilling  

Difference between upskilling and reskilling

While both concepts refer to the process of developing new skills, the context is different. Upskilling is about looking for a vertical improvement in the knowledge, that is to say, improving current skills that will be useful in the current job position or other similar in the same area. Reskilling focuses on developing a completely new skillset. It transforms employees so that they can handle new tasks in different positions and new areas. It has a horizontal approach. 

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Upskilling and reskilling in an organization 

While upskilling and reskilling can give great results in any organization, applying them requires a good measure of analysis and planning. It all starts from a good talent management strategy. The area of Human resources has to align its strategy with the main objectives of the company. Based on this, you will be able to identify if you have the talent necessary to achieve those objectives and create a personnel strategic plan. 

At this point, it’s important to have a deep understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of employees. Keep in mind that each area in the organization will require a different skillset. Collecting all that information usually can take time and it will change according to the company’s size. Only through frequent employee monitoring you will be able to identify their current needs. When the current talent the organization has is not enough to keep growing, that is the ideal scenario for upskilling and reskilling. 

As you can notice, upskilling and reskilling offer many benefits for employees and organizations. On one hand, companies invest on developing the talent they already have, which in turn improves the overall performance in the organization. On the other hand, employees update their skills and develop a better future for their careers. 

Now you know the meaning of upskilling and reskilling. Also, we have briefly seen the way both cab be applied inside an organization. In a context where technology intertwines with businesses, these two concepts can be a great tool for modern organizations. 

At Talent2Win, we strive to align your company’s business objectives with the best Talent Acquisition strategies available. If you want to learn more about the services we offer, do not hesitate to contact us.  

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