How Demand-Driven Is Your Organization?

Understanding demand is key to success in any line of business. In the context of workforce development, being demand-driven means using the hiring needs of employers as the starting point.

While there are many definitions, Skills for Chicagoland’s Future defines demand-driven work as one or more business intermediaries working with employers to find the right talent for their hiring needs to grow their local economy, reduce unemployment and increase the competitiveness of their local workforce. Demand-driven work is 100% employer-driven, meaning, the business – and its workforce needs and challenges – is the focus.

The outcome is that employers are able to fill their short-and long-term hiring needs while reducing unemployment through flexible and customized solutions.

What is a business intermediary?

A business (or workforce) intermediary is an entity that serves businesses by developing a deep understanding of their hiring needs and challenges and liaising between these employers’ demand and the supply of job seekers. A business intermediary could take the form of a workforce development service provider, community college, or independent nonprofit entity.

How is demand-driven work different?

A demand-driven partnership is proactive and immediate in nature. It is not relying purely on labor market data to make training decisions, hiring one worker as the result of a business relationship, or even pushing a supply of available workers. It is a paradigm shift away from the single focus of serving job seekers toward understanding and meeting the needs of businesses to create and retain jobs with the ultimate goal of strengthening the overall quality and value of the local workforce and economy. With a demand-driven workforce, there is a shift of funding towards employer-focused programs that train candidates for specific positions and obtaining commitments to hire successful completers of those training programs.

What are the benefits of a demand-driven approach?

For employers, these business intermediaries help employers find qualified workers and fill the precise hiring needs of employers in real-time.

For job seekers, desirable positions, and enhanced skills that businesses need translate into economic mobility and opportunity.

Governments and municipalities benefit from: a reduction in unemployment benefits and other social services, increased tax revenue and attraction as a top city for both business and talent.