About your organisation
Combining more than 40 years of expertise, we offer end-to-end talent lifecycle solutions by leveraging our consulting and analytics capabilities to help businesses more effectively source, manage and develop talent at scale. ManpowerGroup is the umbrella brand and Talent Solutions, Manpower, Experis sit underneath. Our capabilities include workforce consulting, workforce analytics and data-driven insights.
How has coronavirus impacted reskilling?
Workforce demand has shifted rapidly as a result of the pandemic. We’ve seen the biggest workforce shift and reallocation of skills since World War Two, with some roles becoming obsolete and others seeing unprecedented demand. We’ve also seen new positions like contact tracers, distance monitors and temperature checkers emerging as fast as others decline. All of these elements have driven an increased focus on reskilling.
With some sectors seeing demand increase to levels which significantly outstrips the available talent, reskilling has taken on an increased level of importance as talent pools are expanded to include candidates from different areas – shifting the focus from skills to competencies. In response, we’ve been working tirelessly across our brands to help candidates and clients ensure their reskilling requirements keep pace with the workforce changes which have been accelerated as a result of COVID-19.
At QinetiQ, one of our Talent Solutions clients, our specialist professional delivery teams in Experis support their demand for roles such as combat systems engineers and systems engineering architects, but this is a small talent pool. Developing new talent has historically been challenging, with limited training resources available in the marketplace to upskill individuals with the right aptitude, attitude and cultural fit required.
For another Talent Solutions client, the difficulties the organisation experienced in recruiting for experienced Robotics Process Automation (RPA) business analysts further highlighted the lack of relevant training programmes in the UK market, exacerbating resourcing challenges.
Through our research and direct experience across ManpowerGroup, we have also seen an increase in the difficulty of attracting and retaining the right talent. Thirty-eight percent of companies said it was harder than ever to train for in-demand technical skills and 54% of employers could not find the skills they needed in an ever-changing world. It was also noted the number of employers planning to upskill increased from 28% in 2011 to 75% in 2020, highlighting an increased recognition of its importance in the workplace.
What goals or outcomes did you want to achieve?
Our goal is to support as many people as possible into work, helping them to prepare for the next step of their career at every stage. We work towards this goal in a number of ways throughout the organisation.
With our recently launched MyPath programme, our goal was to enable people to access jobs and grow in in-demand careers, by providing personalised guidance, learning programmes, upskilling opportunities and practical on-the-job training so that they can achieve more. For clients, MyPath is designed to provide them with tailored solutions that accelerate upskilling, rewarding and certifying talent for high-growth roles.
At difficult times like this, the importance of what we do as a business really shines through for our clients and candidates. I have been amazed by what our teams have been able to do, going above and beyond for our candidates, associates, clients and colleagues. The importance of reskilling will not go away as we emerge from the pandemic, and we will continue to work hard to support those who have been displaced into the roles of the future across our ManpowerGroup brands.— Jill Bassett, Operations and Board Director, ManpowerGroup
What was your solution?
In partnership with QinetiQ, Talent Solutions designed and delivered three Train-to-Fit programmes for combat systems engineers, ISTAR systems architects and combat systems architects. The programmes combine bespoke classroom training with on-the-job mentoring and hands-on experience to provide Train-to-Fit candidates with a blended learning approach. Each individual was assigned to a range of different projects, with responsibility for completing key tasks – helping them to develop their experience.
Using Experis’ market leading recruitment capabilities, we created a comprehensive overview of transferable skills in the market, across a range of experience and backgrounds. And by taking a less conventional hiring approach, we were able to build a diverse candidate pool in line with QinetiQ’s recruitment strategy. Working with our network of training providers, we then engaged the right specialists to deliver each component of our Train-to-Fit programme.
Talent Solutions’ worked with another client to create a training pathway aligned to their client’s specific business needs to support the Robotics Process Automation (RPA) arm of their business. To develop the right talent for the clients’ needs, we worked closely with them to build a bespoke RPA training solution that met the exact needs of their internal and client environments. The candidates learning progress was tracked and supported throughout the programme by a designated Experis staffing manager and training manager.
Separately, our MyPath programme is designed to build the talent pool of the future, providing our clients with a sustainable solution to access predictable, in-demand talent. It starts by motivating and retaining associates so loyalty and understanding can be built with the best talent on the market. Key career pathways are developed both to support clients and independently, with specialist consultants guiding associates throughout their career and helping them to develop their skills to meet employers’ job needs today and into the future. The programme provides personalised guidance, career development through educational opportunities, training, and continuous access to jobs.
Our consultants have been through a certification process in order to become a Talent Agent. The Talent Agent certification requires demonstration of a deeper and more sophisticated level of coaching, consulting, listening and anticipating –over and above the consultant role –in order to build long-term sustainable relationships that add value to associates.
How did you approach reskilling with your clients?
At Talent Solutions, we spent over a year talking to our customers about the skills challenges that they face, discussing existing solutions available on the market and brainstorming the type of solutions that we could provide to meet these business challenges. We needed to complement our customer’s existing talent strategies with a product which enabled them to grow their own talent, supporting their existing early career strategies and traditional sourcing activities for experienced hires.
Following the successful completion of all three programmes over the pre-agreed nine-month period, all ten of our Train-to-Fit consultants were offered permanent roles at QinetiQ. Our consultants had a positive experience with their learning and with the support and project experience that they were offered throughout the programme. QinetiQ and Talent Solutions are now discussing how we can develop and scale this programme further following the successful pilots. This will help QinetiQ to get ahead in a niche talent market which continues to struggle with skills shortages.
How have you tackled reskilling with ManpowerGroup internally?
Internally, we champion ‘learnability’ – the desire to learn and upskill in order to keep up with the rapidly changing world around us.
Throughout the pandemic, we have worked with our people to ensure that they have the skills they need to flourish at a difficult time – whether that’s resilience or time management capabilities. Reskilling has been most important to us with our associate network, supporting them in moving out of sectors which have been heavily impacted such as aviation and hospitality, to areas where we’ve seen significant growth such as logistics or social care. Throughout the process of matching an associate to a role that will require reskilling, we take care to ensure that the right competencies and cultural fit are there so that they have the best chance of success in the role.
As part of MyPath, we’ve also trained our own consultants to become Talent Agents – a role which is crucial to the reskilling and upskilling of our candidates and associates.
What advice would you give to other businesses that are uncertain where to start with reskilling?
We would advise companies to look at reskilling in the wider context of their talent strategy. An effective talent strategy should have four parts: build, buy, borrow and bridge. Build your talent pipeline; buy skills where necessary; borrow from external talent sources; and bridge people with adjacent skills from one role to another to complement existing skills.