iMocha recently hosted a gathering of industry experts to explore the concept of a 'Skills-First' approach and its potential advantages in navigating the evolving landscape of workforce management amidst ongoing technological and market disruptions. The webinar, titled "People Go Beyond Job Titles: Leveraging 'Skills-First' to Unlock Employee Potential," offered insights into talent management and how to address the challenges posed by changes and talent shortages.
The esteemed panel of speakers included:
- Steven T. Hunt, Chief Expert, Technology & Work at SAP
- Estelle Maione, Head of Capgemini Global Learning & Capgemini University
- Jonathan Kestenbaum, Managing Director of Technology Strategy & Partners at AMS
- Prabakaran Murugaiah, Moderator of the discussion & Global Head of Strategic Alliances at iMocha
- Vishwanadh Raju, Head of Talent Acquisition Operations at ANSR
Here is what went down!
Table Of Content
The webinar initiated a profound discussion on skills-based hiring, continuous learning, and the challenges and opportunities presented by today's dynamic job market. The speakers underscored the pivotal role of understanding skills and skill adjacencies as the cornerstone for optimizing the workforce, promoting internal mobility, and shaping precise learning and development strategies.
The central message conveyed by the speakers emphasized that skills-based hiring surpasses conventional job titles, focusing instead on an individual's capacity for growth and adaptability. This paradigm shift necessitates a change in mindset, where recruitment centers on an individual's abilities and potential to acquire new skills.
Furthermore, the speakers highlighted the significance of soft skills such as learning agility and adaptability, as these attributes play a crucial role in fostering individuals' readiness to embrace new roles and acquire fresh skills.
The discussion also delved into the critical role of transparency in internal mobility and recruitment strategies. Establishing a toolbox or system that empowers employees to express their career aspirations and enables organizations to share opportunities can effectively align the workforce with evolving needs.
Why organizations are adopting the 'Skills-First' model?
The discussion explored why an increasing number of major companies are embracing the 'Skills-First' approach.
Steve Hunt emphasized that this shift represents a direct response to the profound transformation that has completely reshaped our work landscape. Skills are evolving rapidly, resulting in significant skills gaps. He exemplified this by discussing the role of a computer programmer, highlighting how the skills needed for this position have undergone a complete overhaul in the past 15 years, despite the job title remaining unchanged. It's essentially the same role, but at a technical level, it has experienced a complete transformation.
Vishwanadh Raju added to this example by citing the role of a Full Stack Developer, a title that didn't exist 15 years ago but now plays a pivotal role in any technology organization. This further emphasizes that skills are not only evolving rapidly but also that new skills are being incorporated into the mix at a similar pace.
Estelle Maione then elaborated on Capgemini's strategic utilization of technology to identify and bridge these skill gaps within their organization. She explained how their approach involves assessing critical skills even before the recruitment process commences. They have also introduced automated skill assessments to reduce bias, shifted the focus of performance reviews from job titles to skills, and implemented skills-based upskilling programs.
Jonathan Kestenbaum also reinforced the pivotal role of technology in addressing skills gaps and explained how AMS utilizes skills-based hiring methodologies and skills cloud to continuously provide skills intelligence information, all without requiring input from candidates.
What did we learn?
The hour-long webinar also provided valuable takeaways for organizations looking to thrive in today's challenging conditions. Some of them were:
- Continuous Learning Algorithms: Innovative companies are adopting a flexible learning approach, centered on individuals, and using comprehensive skill assessments to identify and address skill gaps.
- The Changing Skill Landscape: Organizations need to monitor the dynamic job market and adapt their strategies accordingly, recognizing the emergence of new roles and skill requirements.
- Understanding the Current Scenario: Companies must gain a deep understanding of their present skills and their impact on overall growth strategies.
- Starting with Skill Inventory: A comprehensive skill inventory is the foundation of an effective strategy, focusing on relevant skills while disregarding irrelevant ones.
- Proper Skill Assessment Methodology: Accurate skill assessment is crucial, with AI-based solutions facilitating efficient skill acquisition for employees.
- Bridging Skill Gaps: Organizations should craft skills tailored to their specific needs and bridge gaps through learning and development initiatives.
- The Role of Technology Partners: Leveraging technology partners is essential to staying competitive by monitoring skill requirements and technology trends.
- Balancing Skill Gaps and Skill Awareness: Organizations need to understand the skills employees possess, even if they don't fit into a fixed skill ontology.
- Defining Skill Needs: Identifying the skills required for specific roles or activities is essential, articulating these capabilities clearly.
- Skill Gap Analysis: A clear understanding of current skills and future needs is necessary for effective skills gap analysis, aided by tools that enable employees to declare their skills accurately.
- Continuous Learning and Development: Emphasis should be placed on continuous learning and developing soft skills required for change, adaptability, and learning agility.