Upskill, Reskill, or Hire: The Dilemma in a Rapidly Changing Job Market

As a business owner, you constantly seek ways to improve your operations and stay competitive in a rapidly changing market. This means keeping up with the latest technology and trends and ensuring you have the right talent to drive innovation and growth. In this blog post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of upskilling, reskilling, and hiring new employees to help you make informed decisions about your talent strategy.


Upskilling refers to learning new skills to enhance one’s existing skillset. This approach is often taken by individuals looking to improve their job prospects or advance their careers and businesses who want to ensure their employees remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field.

Pros of upskilling:

  1. Cost-effective: Upskilling can be cost-effective for businesses, as it typically requires less time and resources than hiring new employees or completely restructuring the workforce.
  2. Boost morale: Providing employees with opportunities to improve their skills can boost morale and job satisfaction, as it shows that their employer values their professional development and is invested in their future with the company.
  3. Retain talent: Upskilling can help businesses retain top talent by providing employees with the skills they need to take on new roles and responsibilities within the organization.

Cons of upskilling:

  1. Time-consuming: Upskilling can be a time-consuming process, especially if you are providing training to multiple employees. It can also be difficult to balance learning new skills with the demands of one’s current job.
  2. Limited scope: Upskilling may not always be the best approach if the skills required for a particular role differ vastly from the employee’s current skillset. In such cases, reskilling or hiring new employees may be more appropriate.


Reskilling refers to learning new skills to transition into a new career or field. This approach is often taken by individuals looking to switch careers or businesses undergoing workforce restructuring.

Pros of reskilling:

  1. Opens up new opportunities: Reskilling can open up new career opportunities for employees looking to switch careers or transition into a new field.
  2. Future-proofing: Reskilling can help your business future-proof your talent strategy by ensuring your employees have the skills needed in an ever-changing economic landscape.
  3. Cost-effective: Reskilling can be a cost-effective approach for businesses looking to restructure their workforce, as it allows them to retain existing employees who may have the potential to succeed in new roles.

Cons of reskilling:

  1. Time-consuming: Like upskilling, reskilling can be time-consuming and requires significant time and resources.
  2. Uncertain outcomes: Reskilling may not always result in a successful transition to a new career field. The employee’s previous work experience and skillset may not always translate into success in a new role or industry.

Hiring New Employees

Hiring new employees is often the default approach when businesses need to fill a skills gap or expand their workforce. This approach can be effective, but it also has its own pros and cons.

Pros of hiring new employees:

  1. Fresh perspective: Hiring new employees can bring fresh ideas and perspectives to your organization, which can help drive innovation and growth.
  2. Specialized skills: Hiring new employees can bring specialized skills and expertise to your organization that may be outside your existing workforce.
  3. Scalability: Hiring new employees can help scale up your operations quickly to meet the demands of a growing market.

Cons of hiring new employees:

  1. Costly: Hiring new employees can be costly, requiring significant investment in recruitment, training, and onboarding.
  2. Cultural fit: Hiring new employees who do not fit in with your company culture can lead to low morale and decreased productivity among existing employees.
  3. Time-consuming: Hiring new employees can be a time-consuming process, as it often involves reviewing resumes, conducting interviews, and negotiating salary and benefits packages.

Which Approach Is Best for Your Business?

The answer depends on your business’s specific circumstances. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Skills gap: If you have identified a specific skills gap, upskilling or reskilling may be the best approach to fill that gap. It can be more cost-effective and more efficient than hiring new employees.
  • Scalability: If you want to scale up your operations quickly, hiring new employees is best.
  • Retention: If you want to retain existing talent and avoid the cost of turnovers, it is best to choose upskilling or reskilling.
  • Innovation: If you want to drive innovation and bring fresh ideas to your organization, hiring new employees with specialized skills and expertise may be the best option.

Regardless of which talent strategy you choose, it is essential to have high-quality training in place to ensure that your employees have the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Hiring specialists to write training materials ensures your training program is effective, engaging, and tailored to your business’s needs. With the right training, you can empower your employees to take on new challenges, drive innovation, and achieve long-term success.