Tips for Companies and Employees to Develop Future Skills in Ireland

Published: April 2022


Originally published in the Irish Independent, Aon Managing Director Siobhan Kelly provides action tips for employers and employees to consider in order to develop and maximise their talent opportunities and skillsets.     

The skills needed for future business success are not necessarily the same as those required right now. Ireland’s National Skills Strategy 2025 recognises the importance of skills as organisations seek to develop a future-focused workforce.

It requires a rethink of what it means to be skilled. This means moving from specific skills for a specific job towards the agility to extend current skills for future roles. It is also a shift from focusing on academic achievement to identifying future potential.

We have the opportunity to build a more diverse workforce — to attract and hire individuals who may not have the experience yet possess the capability for job success. Here are some tips for advancing that goal.

Building a focused workforce

As an employer, consider the following actions to help build a more future-focused workforce:

  • Hire for potential and behaviour — not academic qualification. Use assessments to identify candidates with a growth mindset, defined as those who seek out new skills, embrace opportunities and are curious about change. Then, assess for these behaviours that lead to success rather than mandating academic achievement.
  • Remove bias and screen applicants fairly. Interviewer bias is well known, but hard to eliminate. Introduce candidate-recorded video responses to relevant interview questions and score them using artificial intelligence. Use assessments that are proven to be bias free.
  • Build reskilling and upskilling into your talent strategy. Developing future skills needed in the workplace is critical for closing the future skills gap, which cannot be closed by only hiring new talent. Talent mobility is also crucial to retain talent. Use tools such as Aon’s Pathfinder to help talent plan their careers.

Embracing change

As an employee or jobseeker, it is important to take into consideration the following actions when making your next career move:

  • Understand how your skills apply to different roles. Assessments help you understand your current skills and how these apply to other roles you have yet to consider. For example, Vodafone’s Digital Careers test, developed by Aon, helps to discover jobs and courses that are tailored to you.
  • Be curious and agile. Embrace change, be flexible and keep your mind open.
  • Be prepared to upskill and reskill throughout your career. Fewer careers now follow a linear path upwards. Seize opportunities to learn new skills that will help you move into new roles. There have never been more free online resources available to help you learn.

For more information about closing the future skills gap, see our guidebook, Closing the Future Skills Gap to Drive Business Success. To speak with one of our human capital experts about this topic and how we can help, please write to

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