Tackling the Talent and Skills Conundrum via Customer Advisory Boards

Before COVID, we would often hear from business leaders about the challenges they faced surrounding talent and resources. Executives were seeking peer advice on how to invest in current employees to keep skills fresh and up to date. They wondered if new entrants in the market had the more creative, innovative skills needed. And, they wanted to understand the best way to reskill employees — through in-house training, external partners or a combination of both.

Now, in the thick of a pandemic, leaders we speak to share the same sentiments about talent and skills, but with additional layers of complexity. Below are some of the areas clients have highlighted over the past few months around talent and skills:

Technology Skills. Technology has continued to progress and evolve at a rapid pace, and some leaders have accelerated their technology transformation plans within their organizations, with AI or cloud. In turn, there is a need to quickly reskill existing employees to take advantage of new technology, and hire new talent with the right skills.

Onboarding New Talent. While the increase of remote workers is no surprise, executives have the added challenge of acquiring talent and finding ways to onboard those new hires with technology versus the traditional office setting. How do you make those people feel connected to the rest of the team and understand the company culture, even when the entire team is virtual?

Hiring Outside the Region. Finding the right person with the right skills can be difficult, but due to remote work capabilities (which many leaders have said will not go away), organizations can expand where they look for talent. If more employees can be remote and not travel to an office, where new hires are located doesn’t matter as much. It allows for access to a bigger talent pool during the hiring process.

How do customer advisory boards relate to the talent and skills discussion? A customer advisory board gives participants a platform to hear from one another, and it’s a valuable opportunity to learn how cross-industry peers are addressing the talent and skills enigma during a health crisis; how they’re approaching the onboarding process or where to source talent. The workplace environment is rapidly changing, and utilizing a customer advisory board is one way to help your organization tackle the skills and talent conundrum.

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