Have you ever felt that the moment you master a new technology, it seems to become outdated? With technology evolving at breakneck speed, it is foolish to become complacent in one’s current skill set. Constant skilling and upskilling has now become an integral part of modern work set up.
The need to upskill and reskill the workforce, coupled with rapid globalisation has meant that not only does the modern employee require a technological “upgrade” but a communications one too. As the world shrinks and our workforces become more and more global, focus has also increased on ensuring that language skills are also being worked upon.
In order to get a better understanding of how large corporations are dealing with the fast-growing reskilling and upskilling requirements through their L&D initiatives, PeopleMatters, in association with Pearson, spoke with Rohin Nadir, KPMG India’s national head for Capability Development.
What will be your L&D priorities in 2023? And how do you think they are specific to your Industry?
A key area of focus would be to help shape KPMG in India into an organization with a growth mindset so that our professionals are able to reskill themselves for the problems of today and tomorrow. Smarter learning strategy through better use of data analytics will be a significant area of effort for us. ESG and Digital are shaping our world and will continue to see sustained focus. Wrapping this will be a learning ecosystem providing a high-quality learning experience, through a combination of world class learning offerings, coaching for leaders and marquee learning offerings.
What do you think will be your biggest challenge as you endeavor to focus on these priorities?
We need to help our people prioritize learning in today’s hybrid world of work. There are so many things that compete for a learner’s attention and time hence the learning narrative and the learning experience have become crucial. The second challenge is about straddling the world between scale and hyper-personalization. The advances in technology and user experience have created unique opportunities and challenges. The third challenge is about reskilling the learning function as a change agent.
Over the past few years, we have seen increased focus on Learning and Development and upskilling/reskilling of the workforce. How important do you think it is for the HR functions of organisations to pay attention to L&D in 2023?
In the last few years I have seen L&D being given a lot more prominence and it is now the tip of the spear for strategic HR. The HR function is looking at the learning function to provide more strategic insights, partner more effectively with recruitment and line HR and deliver more tangible results that then line up with the larger HR strategy. Hence, I see an urgent need for L&D functions to examine the nature and expectations of their role beyond solution design and program management.
As organisations try to increase overall efficiency, including during the hiring process, what has worked for you and your company? How do you ensure that the right candidate is hired for the right job?
Hiring the right candidate at KPMG in India is a multifaceted process, with a combination of strategies. Having a clear/quality job description helps to set expectations for employers and candidates. It also helps candidates clearly understand goals and objectives of a position.
Leveraging historical data is another valuable strategy to narrow down our search and improve selection ratio. The hiring team gains valuable insights by analysing data from previous hiring cycles and performance reports. This data driven approach then also helps on channel optimisation and enhancing efficiency. In our experience, leveraging technology assessment tools in certain areas are yielding positive results. We are also looking at investing on training our interviewers for an effective assessment and so as to leave a positive impression on candidates.
The world of work is changing at breakneck speed. What kind of tools have you employed in your organisation to make sure that your workforce’s skills remain up to date?
Our view of the tools comes from a larger strategic view of the learning ecosystem. This system is built around a few key pillars:
- A great Learning Experience Platforms (LXP) is critical to how learners experience the KPMG learning ecosystem. A single point access with personalized learning is central to this ecosystem.
- Online learning platforms are extremely useful in the world of hybrid learning. Building curated and bespoke online learning offerings has helped us do some very creative problem solving.
- Assessment and certification platforms are becoming increasingly popular. Smart assessments linked to customized learning paths and certifications are fantastic additions to the learning arsenal.
- Design Thinking and Behavioral Economics are two fields we believe all L&D teams should focus on.
Could you share with us an example of an L&D activity that, according to you, has had a really positive impact on your employees.
If I had to pick one, I would say it has been our institutionalization of online self-paced learning to support just in time skills. Looking at our recent figures, we were very happy to know that the adoption of self-paced learning seems to be much higher than the norm in the industry. Having a great online learning ecosystem helps our people address just in time skill needs, unique to their roles, projects, and preferences.
What are some of the upcoming trends in L&D about which you are really excited?
We are super excited about learning technology. We are seeing some very good things come up and as technology gets better and more economical which it is bound to, its downstream impact on how we work and how we live is going to be amazing. Some things that we are watching are AI based coaching platforms as well as immersive learning simulations.
This article is part of a series on learning, powered by Pearson. Through this series, we speak to leading industry experts to understand the learning and development landscape and the trends to keep an eye on.
Pearson's suite of corporate solutions include Versant - a smart, AI-powered tool that helps understand the true English capabilities of your current workforce and gives you the power to drive your teams’ performance and business results. Key clients using Versant are KPMG, Aegis, Concentrix and Metlife.
Credly by Pearson, on the other hand, is a total suite of solutions for Digital Credentials and Verified Skills transformation.