The secret to skills success: Analytics, architecture and automation
Gather and harness data to provide big picture analytics that reveal the roles, skills and competencies your organization needs.
Create a learning technology ecosystem and architecture that works both now – and in the future.
Understand what can be automated to help you keep skills current in fast-moving times.
We are now hearing a lot about a shift to a skills-based workforce. But how do you actually get there in reality? UNLEASH was delighted to unpack this huge topic in a recent webinar with Akash Savdharia, VP of Talent Solutions at PeopleFluent alongside Caitlin Bigsby, Director of Product Marketing at Visier.
The traditional place to start with managing skills in the workplace has been competency frameworks, often complex in nature. And also sadly, often out of date by the time they are finished! These projects have usually included big teams of consultants and are costly in terms of both budget and time. So even before the pandemic really thrust skills and upskilling and reskilling into the spotlight, at research quoted by Akash from Brandon Hall finds that at least 60% of talent leaders were looking at technology to help them accelerate their skills agenda.
So where do we start to conquer what Caitlin refers to as ‘skills mountain’? Well, before you begin, there are two important aspects of skills to consider said Akash. The first is creating a job architecture of all the roles within a company, mapped to the appropriate functions. Having a clear picture of this is ‘very pivotal’ he insists. The second is having a universal skills taxonomy for your organization. Although that is easier said than done…
What happens in organizations is that they use multiple talent systems with different terms and definitions of skills. But having one view enables you to start understanding roles and skills better, as well as building a better picture of your internal talent vs what you might need to hire in.
Be under no illusion though, this is no mean feat. The disparity between skills taxonomies and talent processes between different organizations is significant. Caitlin revealed how surprisingly little crossover there is in job titles between organizations in the data Visier collects every day. There is a real need for more standardization here that could help advance the skills agenda worldwide.
This also gives your people more purpose explained Akash. As employees seek to develop themselves and move to new roles within their existing organization, this visibility and transparency around the jobs available and the skills required can really help motivate, engage and retain their talent. Having one common language of a job architecture across learning, recruiting and internal talent mobility really unlocks skills potential within an organization.
The sense of there being very tangible reward for skills development in the form of new roles or new projects is also incredibly powerful in an age where we know that the employee value proposition has to be about so much more than just a paycheck.
The extra transparency also fundamentally makes it much easier to search for new roles and experiences. All too often in the past, it has actually been easier to look for jobs outside the current organization rather than find gigs internally.
The power of analytics
If the architecture is the ‘what’ organizations need when it comes to tackling their skills strategy, then analytics is the ‘how’. As Caitlin explained, “if you’re starting with a blank sheet of paper to map out your architecture it’s intimidating”. But analytics technology can harness its built-in AI and machine learning to extrapolate i.e. ‘if you do this job then you probably have these skills’ which really helps “shorten the journey” and speed this whole skills process up.
The analytics tools available now are constantly scraping data from the Internet to help build a picture of what’s most likely when it comes to the skills required for certain jobs said Caitlin. And they do it at speed so that organizations can move quickly – and at scale. If the last 18 months have taught us anything it’s that agility is key in every business. So when it comes to potentially redeploying people and skills at speed and scale, it’s impossible to do this outside a technology-driven environment.
Internal talent mobility is a huge driver for skills
All too often, people only update their skills records e.g. on LinkedIn when they’re looking for a new job outside their existing company. But with the move towards more internal talent marketplaces and easier routes to switch roles internally, there is a real motivator for people to maintain their skills and build new ones on a more consistent basis.
Up is not the only way to go! Career development and advancement and reward is now about so much more than just climbing the ladder.
It’s a win-win for both individuals and organizations alike. With the ‘Great Resignation’ seemingly in full swing, companies cannot hire the skills and talent they need in fast enough. In order to keep up, organizations need the infrastructure to develop skills and nurture talent – or your competitors will do that for you!
Caitlin believes the future of organizational design is flatter. Moving away from traditional hierarchies and managers/teams towards different structures based around skills and projects. Deploying the right people, to the right roles, at the right time. It’s an exciting vision for the future that feels more agile and resilient and rewarding, which is a place we would probably all like to be going forwards.
Make sure to check out the on-demand video to find out more skills-based insights from our expert panelists and their key takeaways at the end of the session.
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