Identifying skills requirements early: HR Working Group presents new approach
Munich, 15 February 2022
In the digital age, companies are faced with unprecedented levels of dynamic change. This makes it increasingly difficult to identify the skills that their employees need so that they are well prepared for future challenges. A methodology for systematically identifying skills requirements has been developed by acatech’s Human Resources (HR) Working Group, which brings together the HR directors of leading technology companies and service providers with members of the academic community.
Digitalisation is accelerating technological, economic and social developments in a way that is also fundamentally transforming how we learn. In the future, the knowledge and skills that we acquire will go out of date increasingly quickly, nowhere more so than in our professional lives. As a result, traditional HR planning and development instruments are no longer enough to anticipate tomorrow’s needs today.
acatech’s Human Resources (HR) Working Group has developed a methodology for tackling this problem. Its five steps help companies to analyse their general environment and skills requirements and identify and implement the corresponding training measures for their employees. The guide, which is mainly aimed at larger companies, was developed by a working group led by Immanuel Hermreck (Chief Human Resources Officer, Bertelsmann), Ilka Horstmeier (Member of the Board of Management, Human Resources, BMW) and economist Isabell M. Welpe (Technical University of Munich).
Businesses have to keep developing so they can actively shape the digital transformation and remain competitive. They will be best placed to do this if their employees have both technological and personal skills, are good at communicating and resolving conflicts, and enjoy working with diverse teams. Accordingly, companies must systematically identify and develop these skills as soon as possible.
Immanuel Hermreck & Ilka Horstmeier, co-leaders of the working group
(The quote comes from an article published in the journal “Personalführung” (9/2021))
A five-step skills requirement analysis
To make the methodology easier to use, each of the five process steps is supported by an optional practical aid or “canvas” that allows users to see at a glance the questions that are relevant to each phase and the key tools and people. Company case studies bring the methodology to life and provide further insights into its practical implementation, while interviews and guest articles by other researchers offer a wide range of perspectives on the topic.
Ergonomist, HR Working Group member and co-editor of the publication, Dieter Spath, explains how the methodology can help employees: “Companies need to analyse and define their skills requirements so that they can provide targeted professional development that is aligned with their corporate strategy. Employees obviously play an important part in this process, since much of the responsibility for an individual’s learning biography lies with the employee themselves. A holistic approach to skills requirement analysis offers them guidance and helps them acquire the right knowledge and skills for their own personal needs.”