How to improve talent development: 7 focus areas for your business

Digital transformation has led to a rush in hiring and developing employees with the right tech skills, according to a LinkedIn Learning report.

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Learning and development professionals are playing a more strategic role in the enterprise, amid increased budgets and executive support for finding and developing talent, according to LinkedIn Learning's third annual Workplace Learning Report, released Monday.

LinkedIn surveyed more than 1,200 talent developers and 2,100 workplace learners to examine industry trends. Digital transformation efforts underway at most organizations have left companies playing catch-up, the report found, as they try to hire and develop employees with the right technology and soft skills to give their business a competitive edge.

SEE: The future of IT jobs: A business leader's guide (Tech Pro Research)

Of the top seven areas that talent developers said they expect to focus on through 2019, four are aimed at addressing skills gaps, the report found, indicating that this is still a major challenge for most organizations.

Here are the top seven areas talent developers said they will focus on this year, according to the report:

  1. Identify and assess skills gaps
  2. Increase engagement with learning programs
  3. Develop career frameworks
  4. Provide consistent and valuable learning to employees globally
  5. Train for soft skills
  6. Deliver company-specific insights to close organizational skills gaps
  7. Understand the impact of technology and automation on skills development

With a focus on closing skills gaps, talent developers are working more closely with business partners this year than in the past, the report found. Some 52% of talent developers said they leveraged business partners in 2018, compared to 32% in 2017. Another 61% of talent developers said they attend meetings with executives or senior partners to help identify the most important skills to train employees on.

While many companies look to hire tech talent, training employees in in-demand areas like cybersecurity can be a more effective way to fill talent gaps, while offering employees a chance to expand their role. Retraining employees to fill tech roles is especially important for retention in the age of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, an Udemy report found.

To learn more about how to train IT employees, check out this Tech Pro Research IT training policy.

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