The value of addressing skills gaps in the digital age

February 22nd 2023 | Posted by Phil Scott

Digital technology plays a vital role in the growth of businesses. However, an organisation can only optimise technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) if it has employees with the skills to understand and utilise it.

Experienced HR managers recognise that they have a vital role to play in ensuring this is the case.

They do this by establishing the requirements of the business and speaking to existing teams. Doing this allows them to see what skills are already available to the business and where a skills gap exists.

Once they have this information, they make plans to develop the current workforce accordingly or to recruit appropriately qualified individuals. There are certain skill areas that HR managers are most concerned with right now. We are going to take a closer look at three of them.

Understanding programming languages

Roles such as software architect are pivotal to using AI and digital tools in a business. This type of role requires knowledge of various programming languages such as Python and Java. Python is the most widely used language due to its power and simplicity.

This means that HR professionals often find they already have people experienced in this language working for the organisation. Java is more often used in areas such as building search algorithms and machine learning. Top HR managers understand the importance of knowing which programming skills are most needed by the business. Having this knowledge allows them to identify and fill any existing skills gaps so that the business can optimise its digital infrastructure.

Machine learning and data results

AI algorithms are valuable tools for a business, but they are only effective if they are built correctly and understood. For example, an individual requires well-developed linear algebra skills to build machine learning algorithms that a business can use to improve customer engagement or data retention.

When it comes to analysing the results of AI tools, individuals require strong statistical skills. Successful HR managers recognise the skills required to optimise the use of AI in the business. They spend time determining if these skills already exist in the organisation and ensuring that skills gaps are filled in order to drive the business forward.

Handling big data

Building AI algorithms is only part of the story. Experienced HR professionals know that people who understand how to utilise the big data gathered using AI are vital to the organisation. These individuals are able to extract patterns, and develop insights, from vast data sets.

A major part of this understanding is recognising that information fed into AI systems must we properly prepared if the results are to be useful.

These skill areas are vital to businesses that want to grow and compete in a crowded marketplace. Individuals who have the relevant skills allow the business to optimise its digital architecture and make best use of AI.

The role of forward-thinking HR professionals is to understand whether the teams that already exist within the business have the required skills. If this is not the case, their role is to develop existing personnel to fill the skills gap, or recruit qualified individuals if necessary.

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