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Prepare Your Workforce for a Recession: Focus on Skills

  • Publication: 
    Denver Business Journal
    November 13, 2019

    According to a slew of economists, a recession is on the horizon. While its severity and timing are widely debated, employers are reading the proverbial writing on the wall and taking steps now to prepare for the economic storms ahead.

    Recession plans will naturally differ between industries and individual employers. But they will all take the company’s workforce into consideration. How quickly can the workforce switch gears when priorities change? When the rubber meets the road, how will you decide what competencies are critical to the company’s health and survival?

    The answers to these questions lie in skills-based talent management practices. Employers that prioritize skills specific to the job (both foundational competencies and occupational abilities) can be better prepared than companies that use traditional talent management practices. Those traditional practices tend to overly rely on proxies for skills, such as degrees, certificates and background, to guide their recruiting, onboarding and training processes. Using traditional approaches can hurt employers by excluding great talent that can support companies as they weather economic storms.

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