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More Than Upskilling: How re-skilling and upskilling helps save recruiting costs


Due to rapid technological developments and innovations, more and more companies are encountering difficulties in finding qualified workers who meet the specific requirements of their industry. In such a landscape, upskilling and reskilling existing employees can provide a sustainable and cost-effective solution.

Upskilling allows companies to expand the skills of their workforce, mitigating the impact of skilled labor shortages. On the other hand, reskilling enables employees to take on new tasks and prepare for future challenges. But what exactly do these two terms mean and why are they so crucial in the modern workplace?

In this article, read how and why re-skilling and upskilling saves recruiting costs and how to successfully implement re-skilling and upskilling in your company. As a bonus, we present 5 proven technologies to help you implement them.


Upskilling vs Reskilling

Differences, similarities and importance for your business

Upskilling and reskilling are two terms that are increasingly common in today's business world, but what exactly do they mean and how do they differ from each other?

Upskilling refers to the process by which your employees enhance their existing skills or acquire new skills to improve their performance in their current role or prepare for future tasks and roles in the organization. This approach enables your employees to adapt to the changing demands of their roles and stay abreast of the latest technology and industry trends. 

On the other side is reskilling, which means providing employees with entirely new skills that enable them to take on a new role within the organization. This approach is often used when certain positions become obsolete, or when the company expands into new areas.

Upskilling and reskilling keep your employees current and bring their skills in line with the changing demands of the marketplace. Companies benefit from an agile and adaptable workforce that can respond to new challenges and successfully navigate ever-changing business environments. In addition, they are also effective strategies for reducing skilled labor shortages and lowering recruiting costs by maximizing the value of the human capital they already have.


Re- and Upskilling vs. Recruiting: A Comparison of Costs

Recruiting is expensive: on average, a new hire costs you as much as half a year's salary for the position you need to fill. It costs you at least as much if you don't fill the position. On average, an unfilled position costs €29,000. In companies with more than 250 employees, this figure can be as high as up to €73,000. In addition, the entire process of a new hire costs a lot of time that you and your team could invest in other projects.

In addition, there is no guarantee that a company will find the right person for the job, and even if it does, it can take several months for the new employee to become fully trained and productive.

By comparison, upskilling and reskilling programs are a real game-changer. By investing in existing employees, you expand and improve the skills and knowledge of your workforce without the cost and uncertainty of recruiting new employees.

The cost of your upskilling and reskilling programs is a real game changer.

The cost of your re-skilling and upskilling program is in your own hands. Use an intelligent mix of different teaching and learning methods to upskill individual employees, specific departments or even the entire company.


Your most powerful weapon against skilled labor shortage

In many industries, jobs remain unfilled despite intensive efforts. The reason: skilled labor shortage due to digitalization and demographic change. Companies are finding it increasingly difficult to find suitable talent who can also fulfill the requirements of the job. Sometimes hard skills are lacking, but sometimes soft skills such as leadership skills, communication or decision-making ability are also missing. 

It also becomes problematic when niche skills are in demand such as operating certain machines or using specific software. When there is no available talent, companies have to dig deep into their pockets and poach them from the competition with high salaries. 

The solution? Upskilling. Hire employees who are a good fit for your company, who are motivated and have a desire to learn something new, and train them internally. As Simon Sinek says:

"You don't hire for skills, you hire for attitude. You can always teach skills."


How else do companies benefit from re-skilling and upskilling programs?

6 benefits from successful re-skilling and upskilling.

Increased employee engagement

Employees who are given the opportunity for training and professional development are more satisfied and loyal to their employer. This leads to higher employee retention, lower turnover and lower personnel costs.

Improved productivity

Improve employee productivity with training and development opportunities. Well-trained employees are more efficient and deliver high-quality work.


The ability to adapt and learn quickly makes the difference between success and failure. With your upskilling and reskilling program, you'll be able to quickly adapt your workforce to new technologies, processes or business models.

Attractiveness to potential employees

By investing in the training and development of your employees, you will also make yourself attractive to new potential employees. You will find it easier to attract highly qualified talent.

Promoting Innovation

By continuously training and developing your employees, you foster a culture of innovation. Employees who are constantly learning new skills and improving existing ones develop innovative solutions and ideas faster.

Improving corporate culture

By offering upskilling and reskilling programs, you send a clear message to your employees, "We are investing in your future and value your skills and contributions." This fosters a climate of respect and appreciation, which strengthens your company culture. Employees feel more like part of a team and less like replaceable resources, leading to higher satisfaction, motivation and productivity.


7 steps to a successful upskilling program in your organization

In principle, it is possible and makes sense for every company to establish upskilling programs. Depending on the size and scope, there are different requirements that need to be met. Our training and development experts will support you in setting up an upskilling program that suits your company and your employees. Not only do we provide you with the right technology, but we're with you every step of the way on your training journey. The following 7 steps are a rough guide to successfully implementing re-skilling and upskilling in your organization.

Identify the capabilities your organization needs

Take a close look at your company. What skills are missing or insufficient? What capabilities will be needed in the future? Use these insights to get a clear picture of the capabilities your upskilling program should cover.

Evaluate your employees' existing skills

Find out what skills your employees already have and what skills they want to develop. You can do this through surveys, interviews, or performance appraisals.

Develop a learning plan

A good learning plan should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Define clear goals and milestones for your upskilling program and make sure your employees understand those goals and can achieve them. 

Select the right learning methods

There are many different types of learning methods, from traditional classroom training to online learning platforms to job shadowing or mentoring programs. Choose the learning methods that best fit your goals, your employees, and your company culture.

Provide support and resources

Make sure your employees have access to the resources they need to learn and develop successfully. This may include technical resources, time to learn, or management support.

Motivate your employees

People learn best when they are motivated. Find out what motivates your employees and use those insights to encourage them to participate in the upskilling program. This could be done through incentives, recognition, or simply giving them the opportunity to learn new skills and grow.

Measurement and adjustment

Finally, measure the success of your upskilling program and make adjustments as needed. Use performance evaluations, employee feedback and other metrics to determine if your program is effective and where improvements can be made.


The role of technology in re-skilling and upskilling

Upskilling programs do not schedule themselves. Despite the low cost compared to recruiting, you need to invest some upfront work. Fortunately, there are numerous technologies to help you do this. You can personalize learning, make it more interactive, and track employee progress. Below are some technologies that can help you re-skill and upskill.


Learning Experience Platforms (LXP)

LXPs provide personalized learning experiences for your employees through AI-driven recommendations. They focus on the learner and offer features such as social learning, content curation, and micro-learning. LXPs enable your employees to take control of their learning and discover content that is relevant to them. This requires a good and established learning culture.

[Translate to English:] Skillmanagement

Skill management tools help you identify and manage your employees' skills and competencies. They can be used to identify skills gaps and plan training. These tools can also help you track your employees' development over time and evaluate the effectiveness of upskilling programs.

Learning Management Systems (LMS)

An LMS is an learning platform that provides a central location for training materials and your employees' progress. Use it to plan, deliver and evaluate your upskilling programs. An LMS provides features such as course catalogs, progress tracking, and assessments to effectively manage the learning process.

Authoring Tools / LCMS

You have special requirements and want to create your own learning content? With authoring tools, organizations can create and customize their own learning materials. These tools enable the creation of interactive and multimedia content that encourages engagement and uptake.

Scenario-based learning

Scenario-based learning allows your employees to practice practical skills in a safe and controlled environment. It is particularly suitable for training conversational situations, such as in sales or customer support. 


The bottom line.

By using re-skilling and upskilling in your company, you save on recruiting and onboarding costs. In addition, you avoid unfilled positions and competence gaps in your teams. Design your upskilling according to your needs - depending on company size, requirements and budget. We are happy to support you in selecting the right technology and guide you from the initial idea to roll-out and controlling.

Nadine Pedro
[Translate to English:] Nadine Pedro, chemmedia AG
Nadine Pedro
Senior Marketing Manager

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