Digitalisation: implications for talent acquisition

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Anthony Haynes

Anthony Haynes writes: If ‘digitalisation’ has become a buzz word, it is for good reason: the trend towards digitalisation at all levels — for example, service delivery, internal communications, marketing, and procurement — continues apace. Few organisations can ignore the trend.

The is evident both in our industry — the talent sector — and in the sectors we serve — membership organisations, learnign providers, and awarding bodies.

But what are the implications in terms of organisations’ demand for talent?

In a study involving 27 organisations drawn from a variety of service sectors, three researchers — Theoni Paschou, Federico Adrodegari, and Mario Rapaccini — sought to find out.

Using focus group methods, they identified four areas of skills or competences required for success. These were:

  1. competences for managing and analyzing data that underlie organisations’ business models
  2. skills for the creation of new digital content, including creative coding skills aimed at developing applications, tools, and solutions for complex business problems.
  3. soft skills, such as results orientation, time management, communication and leadership
  4. skills related to the ability to stimulate and guide the processes and dynamics of innovation and transformation.

The researchers then sought to identify the rarest and most sought-after skills. They identified two types: those that characterise:

  • Data scientists/analysts
  • Data security managers.

According to the study, these skills are “located at the intersection of computer science, statistics, information technology, law, management and strategic marketing£ and require be “people able to identify socio-cultural trends, aggregate and process data sources, interpret the gathered data and give a first interpretation in terms of business impact”. Such skills are needed not only in operational roles but also at senior (‘C-suite’) levels.

The researchers conclude that “the greatest obstacle related to development of digital servitization is not the availability of technologies, but human digital competences to support the strategic development of new product-service offerings, and value-added solutions”.

Retraining existing staff is part of the solution — though only a part: the organisations that have responded most successfully to the challenge have developed a “structured path” of acquisition and development of new competences.

The report is published on the SI2 hub, here:

https://serviceinindustry.com/2018/07/24/new-human-competences-in-digital-servitization/.

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