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Emerging Skills FAQ

What are emerging skills?

The world of work is in constant flux. As technology evolves and new trends develop, employers in all industries can find that their continued success relies on new and emerging skillsets. For example, Uber and other ride-sharing services may not have “killed” the traditional taxi market – despite steep falls in ridership – but these new entrants have forced older organizations to become more tech-savvy and app-friendly.

That’s just one example. New market pressures force constant change on nearly all employers in all sectors. In turn, that leaves HR and recruitment organizations struggling to align hiring with these changing demands.

Why are emerging skills an issue for employers?

Keeping up with new business models, trends, and technologies is a lot to handle, and many companies are concerned about their recruitment capabilities in this arena. According to Deloitte’s 2017 Human Capital Trends report, only 14% of companies feel they are “excellent” in understanding emerging skills and critical capability gaps. Worsening the situation, Deloitte reports that emerging skills are expected to have a shelf-life of just five years before they too are replaced.

What are some examples of these so-called emerging skills?

A good example is data science. As more companies invest in and rely on Big Data to help answer important questions, develop new products and business models, and proactively serve customers more efficiently, they come to rely on a very specific set of experts. Another example is cyber security, an arena that is in nonstop motion as bad actors constantly search for new vulnerabilities to exploit and security specialists work to close those security gaps.

How can you remain competitive in recruiting emerging skills?

First, make sure you follow all best practices in attracting and retaining talent.

Next, bolster learning capabilities. There’s no need to constantly source a new worker if you can simply train existing staff on the skills they need to develop. If nothing else, IBM has found that well-trained teams have 10% higher productivity and realize $70,000 in cost savings versus less well-trained groups. New employees are also 42% more likely to stay when they receive appropriate skills training.

Finally, consider getting hip. Modern recruitment itself requires advancing and emerging skills.


CoAdvantage, one of the nation’s largest Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), helps small to mid-sized companies with HR administration, benefits, payroll, and compliance. To learn more about our ability to create a strategic HR function in your business that drives business growth potential, contact us today.