The skills shortage is changing recruitment, with transferable skills as necessary as capabilities.

Transforming the traditional talent pipeline

The traditional talent pipeline from academia to industry is being disrupted. The skills shortage is changing recruitment, with transferable skills as necessary as capabilities.

Capability matching vs skill spotting

UK unemployment is at a generational low of 3.7%, and with millions of open vacancies, the country is open for business. But our economic recovery will come to a standstill if companies can’t find the skills they need.

Those recruiting for digital roles face an acute shortage of candidates with the right skills. The Learning and Work Institute estimates the skills shortage could cost the UK economy £130bn by 2030.

Traditionally, the talent pipeline would fast-track graduates confident with numbers into a career in finance. But the world of finance is changing, and so are the most in-demand capabilities. In its Future of Work Report, the World Economic Forum found that digital companies expect their workforce to change in the coming years.

“Data skills, analytics, data visualisation – all are critical skills to the finance function of the future,” says Joe Atkinson, Vice-Chair of Chief Products and Technology Officer at PWC. “But so is agility, a “product mindset,” and an understanding of the concepts behind human-centred design.”

The increasing adoption of technology means employees need a much broader range of talents, including confidence with technologies and the ability to use data to develop insights.

The pace of change is rapid. Companies surveyed by the WEF estimate that around 40% of workers will require reskilling within six months of starting a new role. An overwhelming 94% of business leaders say employees will need to learn new skills to ensure they’re able to perform their roles.

Future lens

The challenge for recruiters today isn’t about talent matching but skills spotting. As far back as 2014, academics were predicting the digital skills gap. “Geopolitics, business, industries, and jobs are changing so rapidly that it’s impossible to predict the capabilities employees and leaders will need even a few years out,” warned Claudio Fernández-Aráoz in the HBR.

New technology such as AI, blockchain and increasing use of data will shape the future of finance, predicts Deloitte. “Finance talent models are evolving quickly, with a premium placed on data scientists, business analysts, and storytellers,” they believe.

Organisations can’t look to the past for the answers, says Deloitte, but to the future. “Your finance organisation should be looking at every new hire through the 2025 lens,” they recommend.

The solution: transforming the traditional talent pipeline.

Hijacking talent

Saragossa’s approach hijacks the pipeline and diverts talent, providing new opportunities to candidates who would never have imagined that organisation or industry.

Our unique approach to talent-matching focuses on the future. We succeed by providing clients with candidates with different talents and skillsets. In many cases, these candidates would never have been considered but are a huge success, with many excelling in their roles.

Instead of judging candidates simply by what they studied or where, we focus on their core skills – with our 16-point appraisal process playing a central part. Alongside the ability to manage the technical aspects of the role (or their willingness to develop these skills), we explore their abilities in customer service flexibility, problem-solving ability, and collaboration.

We believe that thinking outside the box can create unexpected and powerful outcomes for our clients. So we’ll challenge the norm, using our industry knowledge and trend tracking to help you shape roles, ensuring candidates are the right fit for the future.

We know that traditional talent spotting approaches in specific sectors can entrench inequalities, but we need to keep challenging and resisting that approach.

We support organisations and clients to review and refresh their practices to ensure that talent is recognised and rewarded. By focusing on the importance of transferable skills and core capabilities, we can create a more transparent, fairer, and future-focused pipeline.

Transforming the talent is essential, but it won’t be easy. “Employees will be doing new things, in new ways,” predicts Deloitte.

We believe this is a good thing. Change is rarely easy, but it is essential, and we love a challenge.