Why future-thinking organisations are using skills-based talent management to hire, deploy and develop talent 

Technology changes, market volatility and evolving employee expectations mean it’s time for organisations to change the way they think about talent – and move from job to skills.

As some jobs disappear and new ones emerge amid the post-pandemic economic upheaval and recent technology disruptions, many industries are scrambling to reskill their workforce and hire new talent to fill the gaps. At the same time, millions of workers in declining industries face long-term unemployment, unless they can find a way to deploy their skills elsewhere.

With the transferable nature of skills gaining greater recognition among organisations and workers, we’re seeing the rise of a new approach to talent management and career development. One that prioritises skills over jobs.

A skill-based organisation uses a new work operating system that decouples work from jobs and jobholders. As opposed to defining people by their jobs or relying on job hierarchies and linear career ladders, skill-powered organisations look at their employees’ experience, skills and interests to find people to do the tasks needed. This approach not only gives organisations access to a broader talent pool, it helps them close skill gaps, identify talent with hard-to-find skills, and redeploy, reskill and upskill existing talent.

Skills-based organisations – video collection

What’s driving demand for skills-powered organisations (1 minute)

“What we are seeing are companies being much more deliberate in looking at skills adjacencies and the opportunity to transition talent from what some of our clients call, the sunset skills to the sunrise skills.”

Three tips for organisations to transition to a skills-based talent model (2 minutes)

“Start where is right for your business, solve for your current pain points and start to build the journey from there.”

Talent marketplace: The enabler of skills-powered organisations (1 minute)

“I think that talent marketplaces are really going to reshape the world of work and the world of how people are connected to work.”

Finding the right partners for your skills journey (1 minute)

“We decided very early on we wanted two partners. Both the technology partner which is needed to scale and globalise our approach to becoming a skills-powered organisation, but also connecting that in an ecosystem with a transformation partner and an integration partner.”

More than technology: a people-led approach to change

AI, big data and talent marketplace technology are the cornerstone of a successful skills-based talent management program. Technology helps connect opportunities with employees by matching their skills, interests and experience. Talent marketplace systems can also integrate with learning and hiring systems to highlight where training is needed. But despite the benefits of the technology, it’s just the start.

To fully realise the potential of this model, organisations have to go beyond tech deployment to transcend the legacy of jobs. It requires a full organisational transformation, with people at the centre. You will need buy-in from the whole business, not just HR, it’s a process of fundamental cultural change throughout an organisation.

To learn more about how you can get started on the journey to becoming a skill-powered organisation, talk to us or listen to our podcast episodes:

  • Definition: Skills-powered organisation
    A skills-powered organisation is an organisation that prioritises the development and utilisation of the skills of its employees. It is an organisation that recognises the value of having a highly skilled workforce and invests in the training and development of its employees to enhance their skills and career opportunities. The benefits of a skills-powered organisation include increased productivity, higher employee engagement and retention, and improved innovation and adaptability. You may hear terms like skills-based organisations or skills-focused enterprises or new ways for Talent Management, but at Mercer Workforce Solutions we use the term skills-powered to describe a skills-based talent management approach.

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