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Link leadership development with digital economy: Skillsoft

Skillsoft is a leading global provider of high-quality, innovative, cloud-based learning and performance support resources. Enabling organizations to achieve competitive advantages through superior enterprise-wide knowledge and skills.

Here, Krishna Prasad, Senior Director of HR & Operations, Skillsoft India & APAC, talks about the challenges, post-Covid-19. Excerpts from an interview:

DQ: Why is virtual hiring, assessment and talent development the need of the hour amidst the COVID 19 outbreak?

Krishna Prasad: Considering the safety of both the candidates and HR team members, organizations have moved to virtual hiring and onboarding to keep the operations ongoing. Technology has been a big savior in times like these, which lets HR function schedule virtual hiring via video calls. This not only helps candidates attend interviews from their homes, but the talent acquisition team can also stay connected with the candidates throughout the process.

Similarly, making use of online assessments as part of the hiring process, especially for the IT and tech roles, helps to quickly filter and move the candidates to the next level. This approach ensures that there is no physical exposure between the candidate and interviewer.

By highlighting the importance of continual learning and encouraging reskilling, the upskilling of their workforces, the organizations will instinctively keep employees engaged and motivated in these uncertain times. Right from executives to managers and senior leaders, organizations can reap the benefits of digital learning and continue to build the foundation for an effective digital learning culture and enable a digital workforce prepared for the future.

DQ: How do you develop a learning culture conducive to building leadership competencies?

Krishna Prasad: The business landscape is evolving rapidly and with it demands leadership development to change along with it. What used to work in the past is not going to bring any significant change in today’s scenario. According to recent Fortune survey, only 7% of Fortune 500 CEOs believe their companies are building effective global leaders, while just 10% think that their leadership development initiatives have clear business impact. One way to develop a learning culture that is conducive to building leadership competencies is to link leadership development with the new strategic imperatives of the digital economy.

Leaders need to be prepared for the future and they need to be taught new leadership competencies like resilience, leading change, cognitive flexibility, agility and skills for leading virtually. By developing a learning culture within your organization, every employee can learn to adapt to new and different situations and adjust their behaviors accordingly.

DQ: How can we use AI in recruitment?

Krishna Prasad: Today, artificial intelligence and machine learning play a significant role in recruitment. They not only simplify but also streamlines the talent acquisition process by making the best use of cutting-edge tech tools to automate transactional processes and lay greater focus on tasks that mandate human intervention. This includes conversing with shortlisted candidates, boosting candidate experience and adding value to the onboarding process.

Machine learning algorithms can seamlessly match job requirements such as skills, experience and salary with those mentioned in candidate applications. Thereby enabling hiring managers to shortlist suitable candidates within no time. It has proven to reduce the time taken to complete the hiring process as recruiters do not have to manually go through thousands of applications.

DQ: How is technology playing a major role in upskilling the existing employees?

Krishna Prasad: Organization’s requirement of learning and development has evolved owing to the need for reskilling of their workforce. For instance, IT industry needs to constantly upskills and reskill their talent pool to keep up with the changing dynamics of the industry. Relying on traditional legacy learning management systems will not fulfill this requirement as they are no way capable to deliver desired output.

What organizations need is a technological upgrade in the form of Learning Experience Platforms, which deliver a hyper-personalized experience to each user. This type of learning is characterized more by ‘pull’ learning than ‘push’ learning. These modern LMSs offer a consumer-grade user experience; diversity of content, including access to open, free content; social features such as gamification; a much superior mobile experience; and intelligent recommendations powered by AI technologies.

DQ: What is the future of ed-tech going to be?

Krishna Prasad: Online learning is growing at a fast pace and gaining popularity among the younger generation across the various industries, including IT, engineering, pharma, telecom, aviation, etc. Today’s learners want to learn digitally anytime, anywhere and at their own pace. All they require is a reliable Internet connection, laptop/mobile device and a desire to learn.

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