People are the focal point for all successful organisations and skills are looking to be the new currency as we navigate into the new world of work. How do we understand skills at the same basic level that we would understand our emails? How can you understand the current state of your talent infrastructure and comprehend where we need to get to?
Skills must become part of the talent landscape, whereby when you are hiring, the skills are known, when promoting, the skills should be understood. Across the entire HR ecosystem, whether that be learning or talent or succession or the process, we must be aspiring for everything to be talking to each other.
We should be trying to get the basics right when it comes to skills and then using advancements in technology such as AI to understand skills and roles. We can then use the skills as it becomes part of our HR technology to start understanding how to reskill, upskill, unskill and beyond.
The BTN was recently delighted to partner with eightfold, for an Interactive conversation which touched on some key themes around upskilling and upskilling in a culture of learning and how we can bring our employees on the journey too. The session was hosted by Frank Thies (Director of Strategic Accounts EMEA at Eightfold) and Hüseyin Dahlhausen (Sales Executive at Eightfold) which brought about the following takeaways:
Where a company's journey starts goes way beyond data
Many organisations struggle to understand what their current organisational situation is. So if as an organisation your data is poor, where do you start on your journey? How are organisations building career paths and growing their employees at the moment? And what particular challenges are you facing and where are you at from a technology infrastructure perspective?
One of the attendees highlighted that the real challenge is maintaining the dataset that an organisation gets. This is simply because data gets outdated pretty quickly. For 6 months it could be great, but after a year you wonder what colleagues have learned in between. If after three or four years, the data is not continuously updated, then you can forget the skill state of your people. The best tool or technology will not give you proper results if your core and basic data are not maintained at the same time. The employers themselves must keep track of which projects they worked on and what they learned. As new technologies arise, new skills and a new version of your programming language are needed.
Culture comes first before having any technology in place
For others, it goes way beyond data. It is all about the insights that a company can gather from the data. This is what is going to serve a purpose depending on the problem that needs to be solved. Discussing talent retention, is an extremely complex topic, especially given what many companies have gone through with the pandemic. This is particularly because of the different experiences companies face, for example, some organisations may struggle to persuade their employees to return back to the office. A recent study by McKinsey touched upon aspects like leadership and leadership expectations, whereby we must be thinking like a modern leader rather than a leader of the past. What are the expectations that our leaders find to manage the workforce and lead the workforce? What is it that the employees are looking for to be retained in the organisation to their comment earlier? Organisations may not understand this right now because they don't have the correct data and insights at this moment. Companies are therefore unaware of what it means to retain talent, post-pandemic or through the pandemic. However, people are looking for flexibility in terms of how to go about doing their work.
Flexibility is essential, but not only in terms of location, flexibility in the real sense of the word. Some people are more productive in the morning than they are in the afternoon, and vice versa. Leadership development and leadership expectations are crucial to be clear about what the expectations are from all employees. What is it that they expect? How do they want to go about doing their work learning? Work has to be about future proof. It’s about supporting the employees through learning and making them more employable. Making them more employable means an understanding of the future-proofing skills that are required to execute what we need to execute group analysis.
When it comes to employee retention, companies are failing in doing this right. So, how can they get it right? One of the attendees mentioned that organisations need to create a culture where it is ok for people to internally change their careers and ensure they will not have to fear that the current managers are resenting them. Companies must have an open and transparent culture so that people always feel motivated by the management to go and apply for the next steps. Culture comes first before having any technology in place. Skills that are developed purely internally have to have an aspect of future orientation. This is vital. Companies need to develop a skills library and motivate employees to update their skills. We need to prove internally that there is value, but also that they are futureproofing their careers. Organisations need to bring in market-relevant data which is helping them steer this library in going in the right direction. This is all possible if companies are using the correct data and working with the right external support to facilitate the change.
The trigger for our technology is simply the skills
The conversation was initiated by one of the people around the table that the trigger for our technology comes down to skills. If an employee would like to follow a specific career path, they would need to acquire additional skills. The linkage of training content comes from internal as well as from external training providers which are all linked to skills and a company's database. By that, you are providing a set of training that aids in upskilling, which is supported by an organisation's training and project.
Companies are constantly getting challenged with existing people, profiles and related skills because the discipline to keep those profiles up to date is low. To keep a public profile on LinkedIn or whichever other platform you use is very high. So every new role or skill needs to be agreed upon by each and every employee.
Therefore, the culture and skills in an organisation are essential and must come first before having any technology put in place.
Eightfold’s deep-learning talent intelligence platform is powered by the largest global talent data set to unleash the full potential of the total workforce – employees, candidates, contractors, and citizens. Grounded in Equal Opportunity Algorithms, the Eightfold® Talent Intelligence Platform uses deep-learning AI to help: attract the best talent for the job, understand how your workforce stacks up against the competition, identify and develop skills to unlock workforce potential, deliver bias-free talent recruitment, and much more.