Skills intelligence is an HR-tech architecture that makes the best out of an organization’s skills inventory, skills taxonomies, and market skills intelligence. Leveraging a skills intelligence platform can be a pathway for your organization to attain talent transformation.
A skills intelligence platform—making the best out of artificial intelligence—can facilitate you with ample information on scaling up your HR functionalities, including recruitment, employee engagement, learning, and development. The different use cases of skills intelligence, including skills matrix, skills matching, skills gap analysis, and benchmarking, also play a pivotal role in this process.
This article will explain why we require skills intelligence, and how it benefits your employees, HR business partners, team leaders, managers, and executives.
So, let’s get right into the details!
Form self-directed career trajectories of employees
A career trajectory refers to a career pathway or roadmap your employees can follow in their work life. This will help them achieve the professional growth they aspire for. It is essential because each employee envisions career goals for themselves, and if their organization doesn't provide them with any career progress, they would consider switching jobs.
However, by creating a career trajectory and developing career advancement strategies for your employees, you can improve their retention, productivity, and job satisfaction.
A career trajectory can be a bell curve, a staircase, or a plateau. It would vary from employee to employee as this depends on the skills acquired, performance, expertise, field, and so forth.
There can be a horizontal or a vertical career trajectory for an individual's career. But before we move any further, we want to point out that a career and career trajectory are two different things.
A career maps out your professional journey so far. But a career trajectory brings the future of your career to the spotlight.
Since we have differentiated these often-confused terms, let's look at horizontal and vertical career trajectories. Remember that both these trajectories have their pros and cons.
A vertical career trajectory will have an upward slope, depicting an employee's career progression. It can even have a downward curve if the employee takes a step back in their career due to decreased pay, lack of proper skills, and upskilling.
A horizontal career trajectory is like a plateau. It is so because, in this case, the employee performs the same role for an extended duration. In this scenario, the employee would garner new skills throughout their journey and upgrade themselves.
So, now we move to the question of how to create self-directed career trajectories for your employees.
Gone are the days when an HR professional could manually create career trajectories for their employees. It is next to impossible because of the dynamic nature of skills and jobs, the increased number of employees, and job roles.
Hence, the best solution is to rely on a skills intelligence platform that can aid you in benchmarking the skills proficiency of your employees. By doing so, you can form self-directed career trajectories for each employee.
Benchmarking is one of the use cases of skills intelligence. It helps analyze the skills proficiency based on your company's average and people from the top companies in your industry. Based on this skills data, you can plan out career trajectories for your employees.
Let's analyze the concept of career trajectory with an example.
Jack Savior and Mary Johnson are two junior developers in an organization. Based on their skills¹, competencies, and proficiencies, we can form career trajectories for each (data collected from Zippia). As junior developers, both these employees exhibit proficiency in these technical skills:
- PHP, and
But, based on his projects, interests, and training completed, Jack acquired skills relevant to a developer. Now, let's look at a feasible career trajectory for Jack:
On the other hand, Mary developed relevant skills for a web developer, including web forms, jQuery, and front-end development. Based on this, a possible career trajectory for Mary is as follows:
Nonetheless, these career trajectories will evolve based on an organization's growth goals, the creation of new skills, and upskilling/cross-skilling initiatives taken up by your employees. But your organization can be on top of this by making the best out of a skills intelligence platform.
Optimize roles and create delivery plans
In any organization, role optimization and creating delivery plans are as integral as making career trajectories for their employees. Your team leaders and managers can perform these tasks seamlessly with the assistance of an HR tech architecture like skills intelligence.
Optimization of job roles
As part of this, you must facilitate your employees with details of their duties, responsibilities, goals, progression, etc.
We can understand the significance of role optimization from recent research published in the RAUSP Managerial Journal. In this study, 613 employees from 196 organizations participated. According to its findings, having clarity on one's job role does the following:
- Develops a positive attitude,
- Helps exhibit innovative behavior at work,
- Improves job satisfaction,
- Enhances organizational commitment,
- Builds employee engagement,
- Creates psychological empowerment of employees
But, when there is a lack of role clarity, it results in the following:
- Develops stress and anxiety,
- Affects creativity detrimentally,
- Builds uncertainty,
- Reduces employee satisfaction
Apart from this, it can impact the effectiveness of a team and also can become the depiction of ineffective leadership. Therefore, team leaders and managers have to optimize roles, and they can do it efficiently by making the best out of a skills matrix.
A skills matrix is a grid-like visual representation of each employee's skills and proficiency levels. It would analyze skills data from social data, internal systems data, user input, and validated skills data.
You can create a skills matrix for all the team members collaborating on a project. Based on this, you can gain clarity on their performance and capabilities to handle specific roles. You can also make a skills matrix for a project with desired skills. You can match employees with the same skills and assign them to these roles.
Additionally, you can form a skills matrix at an organizational level, which can be beneficial in identifying the different skills required for your company to stay relevant. Based on this, you can optimize roles, aligning with your business requirements. You can perform all these tasks hassle-free by relying on a skills intelligence platform.
Creation of delivery plans
Like optimizing job roles, your team leaders must form employee delivery plans. They help in sequencing work and clarify when an assignment will start and complete and how it will progress. With this, tracking becomes simple.
You can create delivery plans for all four quarters. However, for that purpose, you must understand the availability of resources, their skills, their bandwidth, the time required to complete the project, etc.
Analyzing your skills inventory, you can acquire all this information from a skills intelligence platform.
You can then form delivery plans with descriptions, resources, dependencies, scope, schedules, budget, and other relevant details. Based on this, your team leaders and members can have clarity on each project.
Have an accurate demand-supply match
According to Korn Ferry's² report, there will be a shortage of 85 million talent, causing an $8.5 trillion loss by 2030. There are different reasons for this change, including digital transformation, existing skills becoming irrelevant/outdated, the creation of new roles, retiring baby boomers, and so forth.
Therefore, organizations can gain sustainable growth if they have a demand-supply match with a skilled workforce. For that purpose, your organization has to lay an impetus on workforce management.
What is workforce management?
Workforce management is a top-down approach, where the leadership forms strategic goals, aligning with business requirements. It helps direct employees in the correct pathways, which enhances employee efficiency.
You can identify the number of employees and talent to achieve your business's short-term and long-term goals. In short, with workforce management, your organization can better understand the demand-supply match and do the needful if there are any mismatches.
How to solve the demand-supply mismatch?
A skills intelligence platform can analyze the skills proficiency of your current employees and benchmark them by considering the average from your company and people from top companies. Based on this, you can identify if your organization has a skill shortage and find ways to overcome them, including:
- Employees with adjacent skills who can bridge the skills gap with upskilling or reskilling, or internal mobility
- Hiring new employees or contracting freelancers
Thus, your organization can efficiently reduce talent demand-supply concerns by relying on skills intelligence.
Create a career advancement strategy
There has been a spike in attrition rates, with employees resigning from their current jobs and searching for better opportunities. There are different reasons leading to the increase in employee resignation in organizations.
Among them, as per a study by Glassdoor³, setting unrealistic goals, lack of clarity on career advancements, and lack of support from managers were some of the top reasons for employees resigning from their jobs.
During the Great Resignation4, 63% of employees in the US considered a lack of advancement opportunities a significant reason for quitting their jobs. Along with this, lack of respect at work, low pay, lack of flexibility, and scarcity of benefits were other factors. This further substantiates why organizations should consider building career advancement plans and strategies for their existing workforce.
Therefore, HR business partners and L&D teams must invest time creating career advancement plans for their employees. This adds convenience in providing adequate compensations, appraisals, career growth, benefits, and other perks to your employees, based on the changing work culture and economic climates.
With the help of a skills intelligence platform, HR business partners can acquire qualitative insights about employees, including their skills proficiency, performance, commitment, efficiency, growth, L&D activities, skills cultivated, skills possessed, and other achievements. Based on this, HR business partners can strategize or re-strategize career advancement plans for all employees. As part of that, you can do the following:
- Offer promotions and opportunities for talent mobility for qualified candidates
- Assign mentors to employees to achieve the proper career guidance
- Conduct workshops, and upskilling programs, launch internal newsletters for improving your employees' skills
- Focus on goal-setting, including short-term and long-term goals
Thus, creating career advancement strategies for employees based on their career trajectories can bring transparency and accountability. It can benefit your employees in many ways, including employee satisfaction, engagement, retention, and performance.
A skills intelligence platform isn't just beneficial for your HR department. Every member of your organization can gain different benefits while using this platform, where business advancement and growth will remain core principles. Therefore, a skills intelligence platform can be integral in attaining talent transformation and progression for your organization, employers, and employees.
1(n.d.). What is a Junior Developer? Zippia. https://www.zippia.com/junior-developer-jobs/
2 Kundu, S. C., Kumar, S., & Lata, K. (2020). Effects of perceived role clarity on innovative work behavior: a multiple mediation model. Emerald. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/RAUSP-04-2019-0056/full/html#sec002
3 Franzino, M., Guarino, A., & Binvel, Y. (n.d.). The $8.5 Trillion Talent Shortage. Korn Ferry. https://www.kornferry.com/insights/this-week-in-leadership/talent-crunch-future-of-work
4 Flynn, J. (2022). 20 STUNNING GREAT RESIGNATION STATISTICS : WHY ARE AMERICANS LEAVING THEIR JOBS? Zippia. https://www.zippia.com/advice/great-resignation-statistics/