How to combat labour shortages by improving L&D opportunities

Ceridian’s Rob Squires discusses the importance of addressing skills mismatches through technology and talent development.
By: | November 15, 2023

Labour shortages are hurting organisations globally, and not finding the right employees with the right skills to match open positions is a big part of the problem.

In the Ceridian 2023 Executive Survey, 66% of organisations globally experienced labour shortages in the past 12 months, and 65% in Singapore. The Executive Survey polled more than 2,000 business leaders in seven countries.

Impacting performance

The shortages will deeply impact organisations. Half of the business leaders surveyed say the shortage of labour and skills will limit their ability to achieve their business priorities and goals in the next 12 months.

AI is helping. More than nine in 10 leaders in Singapore (93%) say they are using AI to replace manual work on repetitive tasks—which should free employees for higher-value tasks.

Still, organisations struggle to find the right skills for open positions. In Singapore, the top two reasons cited for labour shortages are too much competition for labour (45%) and employees lacking the right skills (32%).

The first problem (too much competition) may involve external factors and be hard to address head-on, but the second problem (skills) is something they can address immediately.

Building skills and talent

By providing employees with learning and development opportunities, organisations can reduce the skills gap. The same result can occur if organisations get better at discovering hidden skills in their workforce and enabling talent to move to other jobs within the organisation to showcase those skills and develop new ones.

In Singapore, 51% of leaders say employers and employees share the responsibility to develop skills. Leaders know they play a role in making the most of their labour force. Furthermore, six in 10 Singapore leaders say their organisation already offers skills training to help employees stay current in jobs, transition to new ones, and create value for future roles.

With that strong foundation, organisations can increase L&D and internal talent mobility to reduce skills shortages. Doing so will pay big dividends. Ceridian’s 2023 Pulse of Talent report found that, among flight-risk employees, 51% would consider staying if their employer provided opportunities to change career paths within their organisation. Not losing talent is one big pillar of besting labour shortages.

Top ways to improve L&D and talent mobility

  • Understand employee aspirations. To become an employer of choice, uncover what employees want from careers and provide career development plans to give them more control over those plans.
  • Align employee ambitions with organisational goals. By aligning corporate goals with employee goals, you will be more likely to achieve outcomes that work for everyone.
  • Be consistent with learning. Make skill-building part of a regular routine with continuous learning that follows a regular schedule.
  • Embrace different learning styles. Some people learn visually; others need to be able to apply skills practically in workshops, while others might prefer listening. By catering to individual learning preferences, you will get more buy-in. By allowing employees to determine what, when, and how they learn, your training will be more effective.
  • Invest in external training programmes. They bring fresh ideas and approaches to help employees engage in learning activities. Ask for feedback when training is delivered to help identify best practices and new types of skills/content to explore in the future.
  • Embrace technology. Technology can be a powerful way to drive upskilling and retraining programmes. Yet just 43% of 2023 Executive Survey respondents in Singapore indicated that they use technology to identify skills gaps. Technology can capture a baseline of employee skill sets and what is lacking. This is a great starting point for training. Technology will also enable training programme growth, which is critical to outpace competitors.
  • Train all levels. No one is immune from the need to upskill, given how fast technology is changing how we work, communicate, and live.

“The demands in organisations to innovative and move quickly only get bigger and bigger. Organisations need the right talent with the right skills in the right jobs—all the time.” – Rob Squires, VP Regional Head of Sales, Asia and Japan, Ceridian

All in one place

The demands in organisations to innovate and move quickly only get bigger and bigger. Organisations need the right talent with the right skills in the right jobs—all the time.

HCM technology, like the Dayforce platform, enables employers to use data-driven insights to make that happen. Dayforce enables L&D that upskills and reskills. It helps employees identify open roles internally and the skills they have and need to get there. While labour shortages may persists, organisations that use technology, learning and development and internal mobility will be better positioned to make those labour shortages someone else’s problem—not theirs.

About the author: Rob Squires is VP Regional Head of Sales, Asia and Japan, Ceridian.

Join him at CHRO Malaysia on 22 November 2023, where he will share more insights into how organisations can harness the full potential of today’s modern workforce.