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Recruiters prefer investing in AI rather than upskilling, finds survey

The report, titled ‘Closing the Skills Gap 2019’, surveyed 600 HR leaders and found that 64% employers thought there’s a skill gap in their firm, up from 52%.

, ET Bureau|
Sep 18, 2019, 07.19 PM IST
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Around 90% of employers said they would hire a person without a 4-year college degree, although 68% said that a college degree was used to validate to hard skills.
NEW DELHI: The skills gap is widening, found a global survey by Wiley Education Services and Future Workplace. It also found that the number of recruiters who would prefer to invest in AI (artificial intelligence) rather than upskilling their employees had increased to 40% this year from 29% last year.

The report, titled ‘Closing the Skills Gap 2019’, surveyed 600 HR leaders and found that 64% employers thought there’s a skill gap in their firm, up from 52%. The top reasons for the skill gap were found to be the pace of change due to technology, a lack of skilled talent that can move into the required positions, and a lack of candidates who are qualified.

Around 90% of employers said they would hire a person without a 4-year college degree, although 68% said that a college degree was used to validate to hard skills.

Nearly half (47%) the companies surveyed said they preferred to hire gig workers instead of full-time employees, a jump of nine percent over 2018.

While 68% of respondents said they very often or always communicates the value of upskilling, less than half the companies (48%) spend more than $500 per year per employee on upskilling or continuing education.

“The skills gap is growing, becoming a larger and more serious drag on business efficiency,” said Jeremy Walsh, vice-president of enterprise learning solutions at Wiley Education Services. “Our research shows that, for the second year in a row, companies are grasping for solutions to improve their ability to find basic talent needs and one thing that is becoming very clear, companies that are willing to build talent versus simply buying talent will be the winners over the next few years."

“Now is the time for companies to take concrete steps to address this issue before it further impacts business outcomes,” said Jeanne Meister, founding partner, Future Workplace in a release issued by Wiley Education Services. “Companies should not choose between investing in artificial intelligence or upskilling employees, they need to do both! No industry will be immune to the shortage of skilled labor needed to remain competitive today.”

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