“The gradual rebounding of the South African economy should be seen as an opportunity for companies to change the way they look at skills development. Experts say a bigger emphasis should be placed on planning for the future, and now is the perfect opportunity for that type of thinking in business. A report published by the department, states that it is critical that the education and training system responds appropriately to the skills needs of the labour market and economy, and promotes collaboration between employers in both private and public sectors towards the creation of a skilled labour force.” Source
Human Capital within an organisation is key to a business’ competitive advantage yet is often an area that gets the least amount of focus and planning. This process is not only about identifying the roles individuals play within the team but is the catalyst to future business revenue growth.
“Because human capital is a complex, multi-faceted asset that requires careful, strategic thinking and holistic, organisation-wide planning and management,” says Mikaela Robertson, Key Accounts Manager for SDC (Skills Development Corporation) who oversees the SDC Skills Audit Service. “The correct identification of the skills required within an organisation will lead to targeted and focused training that is effectively aligned to a company’s business strategy that adheres to local skills development legislation.”
More than simply identifying scarce and critical skill deficits within an organisation, is the need to bridge the competency gaps for future skills requirements. Skills required for a job today, may not look the same in 5 to 10 years’ time so building a skills development strategy that is robust and scalable is important to be able to stay abreast of what we know to be an organisation’s most important asset.
“Our methodology involves us meticulously measuring and recording the skills of an individual as well as a group to identify an organisation’s existing talent skillset, where there are deficiencies – both immediate and for future skill requirements, and creating comprehensive strategies that mitigate these identified gaps,” says Mikaela.
SDC don’t only conduct an audit for the business itself, they consider external factors too like Sector needs that are aligned to pertinent SETA SSPs (Sector Education & Training Authority’s Sector Skills Plans); Organisational needs that look at the overall strategic objectives of the business as a whole; the Group or Level Specific needs which are triggered by a group of people needing to work together that optimises team output; and Individual needs which are focused on how individual employees are required to perform in their roles.
“To report on a skills audit effectively means that we need to use tangible data and insights to analyse and inform our detailed Learning and Development Implementation Plan that preceeds the knowledge and information transfer through a bespoke Work Place Skills Plan and Personal Development Plan,” says Mikaela. “This process requires scrupulous control processes and procedures that need to be consistently managed by an expert.”
Jobs of the future will no longer be based on the ‘what’ is needed but will explore the ‘why’ and will use science to motivate key business decisions when it comes to meeting objectives identified in human capital strategies.