• Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

Banca Ifis, 83% of SMEs are looking for technical profiles and 4.0 but more than half do not find them


Nov 26, 2021

People remain at the center of the growth and development plans of Italian small and medium-sized enterprises. Even in the midst of the pandemic, SMEs have tried to attract people and develop skills to manage the digital transformation that is redefining production techniques and customer relationships. A dynamic confirmed by Banca Ifis’s latest Market Watch SMEs, carried out in collaboration with Format Research on a representative sample of 500 companies, according to which 83% of companies declare that they need to hire personnel with new skills. A trend manifested throughout the three-year period 2019-2021 which is also confirmed for the next two years. Alongside the technical profiles, there are digital ones and, in particular, specialized in 4.0 technologies. However, candidates are required transversal soft skills such as: knowing how to work in a team, being flexible, solving problems. Unfortunately, the gap between supply and demand remains wide and for technical profiles over half of SMEs today cannot find staff. The positive fact is that the climate of pandemic uncertainty has discouraged only 10% of SMEs from scouting who admit, among other things, that among the brakes there is above all the difficulty of finding the required skills on the market. In general, today 59% of SMEs declare that they need new skills related to specific production techniques for their sector; 28% of collaborators able to manage digital solutions; 26% of administrative profiles and 24% of subjects specialized in industry 4.0. Finally, for 8%, expert resources are needed in the Smac area (social, mobile, analytics, cloud). The demand for specific knowledge is not destined to run out in the short term. Over the next three years, experts in production techniques will remain the most sought after (42%), followed by those who can count on digital and 4.0 skills (both at 39%). The so-called soft skills are also highly sought after by SMEs, i.e. those interpersonal or communication skills that can often make a difference within a group, and which weigh on average for almost half (45%) in the typical profile sought by companies. . In the first places: team working (63%), problem solving (52%), flexibility (40%) and communication skills (38%). For all companies, internal training is essential to counter the rapid obsolescence of skills due to technological progress. The areas considered priority for updating are confirmed as production techniques (52%), digital skills (51%) and 4.0 technologies (40%). Agility and innovation are part of the DNA of Banca Ifis which has always invested in skills and young talents, encouraging continuous training both for business growth and for cultivating and retaining its professional skills. The Group, which has over 1,800 people throughout Italy, boasts an average age of employees of 40 and only 19% of the company population is over 50 years of age. In 2020, the Bank provided over 37,000 hours of technical and soft skill training (+ 16.4% compared to 2019) on digital channels and on the Ifis Talent web platform, which coordinates the development processes of people, also thanks to the logic of ” continuous feedback ”, and integrates the onboarding process for new hires, guiding them in the first three months in the company. In 2019 Banca Ifis was awarded the HR Innovation Award by the HR Innovation Practice Observatory of the Politecnico di Milano for its commitment to the digitization of many processes relating to Human Resources. In 2020, the Group’s case studies were presented and shared as Best Practices at the Edizioni Este annual “Development & Organization Forum” event. The Banca Ifis Market Watch SME report identifies a mismatch between demand and supply of skills that emerges strongly on the technical-digital knowledge front: 58% of companies that deem new skills necessary in the production sector do not find the required personnel, so also for 37% of companies who consider the ability to manage 4.0 technologies to be fundamental. Even “soft” skills are difficult to cross, in particular flexibility (40%), problem solving and decision-making skills (both 37%), stress management (35%). Almost half of companies (48%) rely on word of mouth and territorial relationships to find the right people, 41% on personnel selection companies. Only 14% activates collaborations with Universities and Higher Technical Institutes and 6% goes to employment centers.

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