Upskilling & mobility | Quiet Hiring: Managing your global skills strategy

Quiet Hiring: Managing your global skills strategy

2024 is set to be another turbulent year as companies continue to face complex macroeconomic and industry pressures. We’ve already seen several businesses announcing layoffs, and understandably, employees are worried about what this means for them. 

With these changes in hiring, there are also new opportunities for employees. Not only are global employers keen to tap into the talent pool impacted by layoffs, but data from Deel’s Global Hiring report shows that the hiring of UK talent by international companies increased by nearly 10% last year. But, with the acceleration of AI and a renewed focus on sustainability targets, businesses will be under more pressure to rethink outdated hiring practices and look for the right skills in new places. 

Last year, quiet hiring - acquiring new skills without increasing headcount - was placed #1 in Gartner’s workplace trends predictions. Why? Because a focus on upskilling and internal talent mobility ensures that employees are fulfilled while meeting evolving organisational needs.

It’s, therefore, unsurprising that this trend hasn’t disappeared and remains relevant today. Its ongoing prevalence signals to critical themes and trends global businesses should consider when managing their organisations global skills strategy. 

Below, Nadia Alaee, Head of People at Deel, explains how, in the age of accelerated technology change, businesses can manage their global skills strategy to keep their staff happy and plan for potential skills gaps… 

1. Skill first global hiring 

Looking overseas to recruit talent can be a competitive advantage in times of uncertainty. One way to do this is by adopting a global approach to hiring to support businesses in closing skills gaps by widening the talent pool from which they are hiring. It opens the door to a diverse range of people with different and well-needed skills. 

Companies wanting to build a future-proof workforce should consider hiring without borders. Whilst traditional methods of global hiring were previously costly and time-consuming, new advancements in technology mean there are now more accessible routes businesses can take to speed up the process, whilst remaining compliant.

Despite its many benefits, businesses must be armed with the tools to support global hiring. It has complexities, particularly in navigating unique legal and administrative requirements. But, using tactics like hiring non-employee workers makes payroll easy, ensuring compliance will not be an access barrier to new talent pools. 

2. Upskilling Initiatives 

Throughout 2023, the number of AI, Software Engineering, and Data Science roles paid through Deel organisations grew by 60%. 

And this year, we can expect organisations to hire multiple individuals with AI skills that can be applied to elements of a vast array of jobs. This means that the days of AI specialists sitting in silos are gone. As such, job seekers and employees alike will likely expect their employer to support them in their skill development when using tools like AI. 

HR leaders are responsible for ensuring staff is getting the training they need when embracing AI tools in the workplace. One of the best places to start is to identify where skill gaps currently exist in the business. This will support HR teams in designing tailored Learning and Development (L&D) programmes to upskill talent within the team. 

Another tactic HR teams can employ is empowering employees to take more control of their skills development - for remote teams, it’s not always possible to gather team members to collaborate, especially if they operate in different time zones. Instead, courses can be designed to be self-led and asynchronous so that remote and hybrid workers can complete their work independently whilst not missing out on the opportunity to upskill.

HR teams can also consider combining synchronous and asynchronous learning methods. For example, why not host a kick-off video call at the beginning of a course to incorporate social learning and networking elements into their learning experience? Then, have the learners complete the remainder of the course asynchronously. At the end of the course, consider bringing the group back together for peer review - fostering a sense of collaboration and community

3. Internal Hiring and Global Mobility Programmes 

In today’s job landscape, mobility, flexibility, and growth opportunities are critical to the success of a business. And HR teams need to keep these in mind.  

Let’s take mobility programmes as an example. A mobility programme is a strategy that organisations implement to manage the relocation and transfer of employees across different countries worldwide.

These provide a range of benefits to both employees and businesses. Employees with a mobile package have reported benefiting from a solid work-life balance and feeling more satisfied at work.

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This satisfaction can have a huge positive impact on performance and productivity. What’s more, implementing global mobility defies the common misconception that the best talent comes from certain countries and ensures ability alone determines opportunity. Basically, anyone can work from anywhere and be successful. 

Another way to reduce skills gaps is to ensure internal mobility programmes are encouraged and promoted. For many employees starting in their careers, knowing that their employer has a dedicated internal hiring strategy can be a desirable work perk when considering long-term goals. 

This is because for employees looking to climb the ladder, but perhaps not always vertically, it’s reassuring to know you can apply for a side move within the organisation where you’ve already built trusted relationships. But it’s not just employees who stand to reap the rewards here. For businesses, internal hiring is a no-brainer. It allows you to retain top talent within the business whilst building a culture of progression and collaboration across departments. 

How to navigate this for your company

Businesses are currently challenged with navigating a complex labour market. And it’s unpredictable. But talent management can remain within an organisation's control by planning for the future and implementing the strategies needed to grow and nurture existing and future talent. Finding new hiring strategies and upskilling initiatives that complement the growing need to encourage new and evolving skills will be crucial to keeping staff happy and planning for potential skills gaps.

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