The 2023/2024 Skills Snapshot Survey report 

Friends running a boardwalk near the Pacific Ocean
Friends running a boardwalk near the Pacific Ocean    

Skills-Powered Practices: Accelerating the future of Talent and Rewards

The report highlights the benefits of skills-based talent and reward practices, including improved employee retention, enhanced workforce agility and greater flexibility for evolving market demands. It provides recommendations for implementing skills-based talent approaches, such as building a skills foundation, aligning key performance indicators and defining success metrics. We also share the challenges, including data silos, differing skill lists and classifications across different groups. The report concludes with a call to action for companies to move toward becoming a skills-powered organization and provides steps to get started.

Key points we address in the research

  • Bridging the skills gap
  • Building a skills foundation 
  • Unraveling the skills mapping dilemma
  • Determining the frequency of skill assessment
  • Embracing transparency
  • Navigating skill proficiency dispersions 
  • Skills-based rewards: a nascent trend with promise
  • Overcoming barriers to progress
  • Making the move toward a skills-based talent strategy
The limited but growing use of skills in workforce planning; projects and gigs; and work design suggests companies start with use cases that are simpler and less disruptive. For instance, increasing projects and gigs requires changing how talent flows to work; work design changes what, whom and how work is performed; and workforce planning has far-reaching downstream impacts on talent assessment, development and flexible talent pools. Accordingly, skills-based practices related to employee attraction, development and retention are already the norm. 

Benefits of skills-based practices

Skills-based talent practices has 6 benefits. These are: 1. Attracting and retaining critical skills 2. Workforce productivity 3. Workforce agility/flexibility 4. Employee development opportunity. 5. Other 6. Career/learning culture
It is clearer than ever that organizations are well on their way to making skills the currency of work. This study provides compelling evidence of how legacy mindsets, skillsets and toolsets are transforming to embrace this new reality.
Ravin Jesuthasan

CFA, FRSA, Senior Partner Global Leader, Transformation Services

Are you looking to take a skills-first approach to talent management, but not sure where to start? Mercer has you covered. Our experts have outlined five key steps to help you get started on your journey towards a more agile and flexible workforce. 
  • Build the business case
  • Align the key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Design with end in mind
  • Prioritize change management and communications
  • Drive and sustain

Start now!

Mercer guides your skills-powered transformation journey.
About the author(s)
Brian Fisher

Global Solutions Lead for Skills & Careers

Melba Gant

Skills-Edge Product Manager 

Vasilis Hatzopoulos

Skills-Edge Lead Data Scientist 

Katie Jenkins
Heather M. Ryan

Compensation & Rewards Product Category Leader

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