Did you just Google the word ‘preskill’ and get woefully unhelpful results? Well, believe it or not - that’s because it’s new. And, trust us, it’s not just another talent buzzword. It’s a solution that lets everybody win.
So, what exactly does ‘preskill’ or, to turn it into a verb, ‘preskilling’ mean? Preskilling enables emerging talent to gain awareness of the skills required for a specific workplace and to practice those skills in a safe-space environment - before they’ve even started applying for jobs. It does this through what is effectively job simulation. That is, distilling a particular role within a company into a virtual environment where participants can experience a ‘day-in-the-life’ (also known as ‘virtual job simulations').
Here are the 5 reasons why you need to start preskilling.
1. It demystifies the workplace for candidates
There’s a reason for the saying “show, don’t tell”. Previously job-seekers have had to make assumptions about an industry, role or career through information made available online to them by employers. Preskilling enables job-seekers to experience a workplace and the day-to-day of a role before applying. Even in a virtual setting, candidates are better aware of what they’re walking into.
2. It creates more confident and work-ready candidates
Candidates know they’re not as prepared as they should be for the workplace. One Forage study found that 98% wanted more practical training and only 59% felt ready for professional work. Preskilling enables candidates to enhance their skill set and career awareness, and to hit the ground running from day one. The same Forage study found that, of those that took part in preskilling, 99% felt more confident to apply for jobs and 97% felt better prepared for the workplace.
3. It removes the guesswork for employers
Through preskilling, employers are able to use enhanced hiring signals to surface candidates that are high-intent, the right cultural fit and have the potential to be a success in the role. By using virtual experiences that draw out particular situational responses or skills, employers can determine a candidate’s fit and potential in the role. Further, what better way to gage intent than having a candidate spend 6-8 hours immersing themselves in an employer’s virtual experience, then apply for the role?
4. It generates brand affinity for employers
There’s one thing that’s right about the current education-to-career path: it's the employers that do the training. Who’s better placed than them to know the nuances of their workplace? The issue is when and how this training is provided, which is after the hire is made and only for those hired. The beauty of preskilling is that it’s open-access. There are no barriers to enabling anyone anywhere to gain key skills and career awareness. What better way to create brand affinity for candidates than to be the employer that inspired their pursuit of a career path or enabled them to feel confident to apply for a role?
5. It’s virtual, scalable and always on
The days of relying on campus events or painfully long virtual career fairs are over. By creating an open-access virtual job simulation that preskills anyone interested in a particular career path, employers have 24/7/365 access to talent. Virtual training isn’t the perfect solution, but in the world of preskilling, which is centred on open-access skilling opportunities, it’s the right solution.
If you want to learn more about how companies like JPMorgan Chase & Co, Electronic Arts, SAP and BCG are using preskilling to redefine the education-to-career pathway, you can learn more about virtual job simulations here.