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The Key To Better Talent Lifecycle Management? Skills Intelligence.

Business leaders are increasingly looking to HR to meet the growing challenge of skills shortages, while navigating difficult or uncertain economic conditions. The labor market is tight, unemployment is low, and CHROs are being asked to do more with less. 

Talent is the “asset” under the spotlight. Smart businesses know they need a more agile, and holistic, approach to talent management in order to turn their workforce into a true competitive advantage. 

Enter Talent Lifecycle Management 🚀

Talent Lifecycle Management is about taking a far more connected approach to your talent strategy. Rather than working in silos, you look at talent across the entire lifecycle – from attracting potential candidates at the top of the funnel, to developing and redeploying employees, offering internal mobility opportunities (through a Talent Marketplace), and staying engaged with your alumni. 

For Talent Lifecycle Management to be most effective, you need a common language for roles, candidates and employees. We strongly believe that the language of “skills” helps you better understand talent, better connect people to roles that they are suited for, and better join the silos in your talent function (and beyond). 

The timing is crucial. We are now seeing the emergence of the Skills Economy, in which “skills” are fast becoming the atomic unit of measurement for every aspect of working life. Without a shared understanding of “skills”, which many companies lack, the benefits of a holistic Talent Lifecycle Management strategy are incredibly hard to realize. 

Putting skills first ✅

The last few years have seen workforce dynamics change in lots of ways, quickly. Employers are responding to numerous shifts: the rise of hybrid and flexible working, technological advancements such as generative AI, expectations of candidates and employees (who expect a more personalized experience at work, as the consumer experience evolves) – all while people re-evaluate whether a fixed, full-time, permanent job is the right approach to work. 

As jobs are deconstructed into tasks or projects, as new short-term but urgent needs emerge, and as skills go ‘out of date’ quicker than ever, organizations are looking to a skills-centric approach. It’s becoming increasingly important to focus on learning and honing skills, as an employee, and – for employers – to consider skills and learning agility when it comes to sourcing, assessing, developing and engaging talent. 

Achieving Skills Intelligence 💡

Embracing the Skills Economy, looking at all talent through the lens of skills, and connecting your talent data to create true Skills Intelligence, is the necessary basis of a good Talent Lifecycle Management strategy. So what does this look like? 

The starting point is a clear taxonomy around skills. How are you defining “skills”, from soft skills and behaviors to “harder” technical skills, within your organization? What roles require what skills? A dynamic Job Architecture can help here, to map the connections between people, skills, roles and other elements of work. 

Of course, for most organizations, data about jobs and talent changes frequently, and lives in various systems. New generative AI-powered tools can help you ingest and connect many data points from various sources, and then integrate with (and expand on) existing skills ontologies. 

You can build a picture that shows how people connect to skills, which connect to roles and tasks, which connect to the wider business goals and so on. The picture dynamically updates when anything changes internally.

With this, you get a single source of truth, with standardized and enriched data, and data that stays up to date as people’s skills evolve.  A skills-first approach also brings together insights about supply (the skills you have, or could have) with insights related to demand (the work to be done). 

True Skills Intelligence means insights that work for your specific organization, applied to the people and roles within it, but you’ll also want to assess the evolution of skills availability on the wider job market, as well as with competitors. Bringing all this together will help you make better, faster decisions around talent – across the lifecycle.

Skills Intelligence throughout the talent lifecycle 🔁

With this dynamic, agile, deep and contextual Skills Intelligence, your Talent Lifecycle Management approach starts to fall into place. 

You can now: 

Recruit smarter 

Look at previously untapped talent pools – and uncover talent you may have missed, with the ideal skills for a role or range of roles. This could include people who have previously applied for roles at your company, employees, silver medallists, members of your broader Talent Community, or alumni. 

You can also adopt new recruitment approaches, where potential is analyzed alongside current skills, and roles can be quickly iterated to ensure the best-fit candidate is found.   

Engage & retain talent 

With Skills Intelligence powering your Talent Lifecycle Management, you can find numerous ways to connect the skills inside your organization with the needs of the business. You can also build talent as opposed to buying it, with tailored approaches to L&D. 

Consider a gig economy platform, or implementing a Talent Marketplace for employees to find their own short-term or full-time moves. Set up self-directed reskilling and upskilling programs, to unlock the potential of existing employees. 

Plan better 

By understanding employee skills and competencies, at any given moment, organizations can promptly identify how, when and where to seize new opportunities or address emerging challenges. They can enjoy real-time Workforce Planning, ensuring the right people occupy the right roles, and are being developed for the most likely future scenario. 

With the right people in the right roles, equipped with the appropriate skills, teams can perform at their best, fostering efficiency and effectiveness across the organization.

To engage talent both inside and outside your organization, in a time of skills shortages and constant change, you need to take a holistic and agile approach, considering and managing the whole talent lifecycle. The businesses that embrace Talent Lifecycle Management, powered by dynamic Skills Intelligence, will find they are best able to compete for top talent – and future-proof their organizations. 

Watch our webinar on demand to learn how to build a business case for Skills-Based Transformation.