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AI Skills Revolution: Navigating Tech Change Through Upskilling and Staff Augmentation

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Is your company struggling to keep pace with technological change? Are complicated issues surrounding AI adoption and integration continually arising?

Your organization is certainly not alone.

Thankfully, 24 Seven’s new AI, Upskilling and Staff Augmentation report presents compelling insights about how organizations can use a multipronged approach to evolve alongside rapid advancements in AI and other machine learning technologies. The report advocates for a balanced strategy of internal upskilling and strategic staff augmentation to meet immediate and long-term business needs.

We surveyed more than 2,100 professionals across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, who work in the marketing, creative, technology­, beauty, fashion or retail sectors. Here’s an overview of some of the report’s key findings on how to traverse today’s transformative tech landscape:

Cultivating AI Skills Internally

As technology evolves, so too must our workforce. Upskilling represents not just an investment in new technologies but in people. Despite the widespread use of AI tools — reported by 84% of respondents — the knowledge gap about how to actually leverage those tools effectively remains wide. A majority (55%) of respondents said employees at their company have only basic, very limited or no understanding of AI. This disconnect underscores the urgency for creating highly targeted training programs to boost AI skills.


Viewing Upskilling as a Mutually Beneficial Retention Strategy

With marketing, creative and tech leading the way in terms of demand for AI-related expertise, look at upskilling initiatives as a win-win proposition. Employees gain in-demand AI skills that they can use to make the organization more efficient and innovative. But there’s another bonus for companies. A whopping 90% of employees said that offering more perks related to professional development and upskilling would incentivize them to stay with their current company longer. Again, a customized approach is best as it helps ensure that learning is relevant, impactful, and will directly contribute to both personal and organizational growth.

Thinking Strategically About Staff Augmentation

Sixty-one percent of survey respondents said their organization has brought in external consultants or freelancers with specialized AI skills.

Securing top marketing, creative and tech talent with AI expertise is crucial for businesses of all sizes. Upskilling existing staff is essential, but it takes time. Immediate needs demand expertise. Bringing in marketing, IT, and creative freelancers and consultants with advanced AI skills lets businesses swiftly seize opportunities and spur tech transformation. These professionals not only possess the necessary technical know-how for solving complex problems and unlocking efficiencies, but they can also provide new insights and mentorship to staff.

A common problem, however, is that many organizations fail to effectively anticipate staffing needs or find themselves scrambling when an AI-related opportunity presents itself. Nearly half (49%) of respondents said their organization’s approach to staff augmentation is reactive based on project needs.

A Call to Action for Future-Ready Organizations

Our AI, Upskilling and Staff Augmentation report serves as a prompt for businesses to proactively invest in their workforce. As generative AI and machine learning tools continue reshaping the future of work, the time to act is now. Organizations that embrace this transformative journey through upskilling and staff augmentation will not only stay ahead of the curve but will also set new standards for productivity and innovation.

Related post: Embracing AI in staffing: The path forward for industry leaders