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Achieve “Talent Resilience” Through A Better Understanding Of Skills

Now more than ever, businesses need to make fast decisions when it comes to talent. The business landscape is changing rapidly, and the pace of change is accelerating. Companies need to plan for more scenarios (and more variations on those scenarios) than ever before.

Organizations with a complete understanding of the skills they have and those they need are better able to make the right choices quickly: from hiring to redeploying to downsizing, and planning workforce needs for the future. At Beamery, we believe that deeper, more usable insights into the skills and experience of your workforce will allow your organization to do more with less, develop an agile talent strategy, and be better prepared for uncertainty.

Gaining a clear understanding of which skills you have access to in your talent pool today, which skills you may need in the future, and where there are opportunities to develop and grow, is the key to building a talent strategy that will take your business from reactive to resilient.

What is talent resilience?

Talent resilience in hiring is the ability to get talent to where you need it, when you need to, and being able to ‘bounce back’ – or rather, bounce forward – when things go awry. There are several elements to resilience in this regard:

  • Agility: We’ve talked about how crucial it is for talent teams to make good decisions quickly, and building a workforce that can adapt during economic uncertainty. To be resilient, you need the right structure and mindset to adapt and respond to new and changing scenarios.
  • Empowerment: Relatedly, an organization will be more resilient when teams are self-sufficient and able to make decisions – taking ownership of outcomes. Again, this relies on the right information being made available to relevant people.
  • Good leadership: According to McKinsey, adaptable leaders build resilient teams, as they take the time to coach team members through changes and help them develop important new behaviors. “They develop capabilities that can help set the conditions for both a short-term response and long-term resiliency.”

Talent resilience means new ways of working, and new capabilities to address current management challenges. This requires some investment of time, money and effort, to ensure there is better data, analytics and insights for those involved in Talent Management (so they can hire, develop, and retain talent more effectively).

“The companies that focus on building resilient operations, teams, and leaders may gain a two-way talent advantage: such adaptable environments are more likely to attract top talent who will have a greater chance of success and, in turn, be more likely to perpetuate a cycle of resilience.” – McKinsey

All of this is powered by a new approach to understanding talent: the skills-first approach, whereby potential candidates, applicants, employees, alumni – your organization’s whole talent ‘universe’ – is considered through the lens of the things they can do and can learn. This may include hard and soft skills, potential skills, and (the inference of) adjacent skills.

How skills data can help

The skills-first approach to talent management (and sourcing) – looking at people through the lens of skills, and matching talent to opportunities based on a shared understanding (taxonomy) of the skills needed – lets organizations understand the full picture of their talent, know the skills they have and those they need, and develop agile workforce plans, ultimately making them more resilient in the face of change and uncertainty.

Empower managers with better insights.

To make good decisions in the face of change, managers need to understand their teams more deeply. The right skills data gives them deep insights into what their team can do, and where they have skills deficits. As they are asked to “do more with less”, team managers need better data about people’s interests and abilities, in order to design or recommend development opportunities, ensure they can harness interests to retain talented team members, and have better conversations with teams that lead to greater productivity.

Jobs v Skills

With this shared language around skills, you can also bring hiring managers into the recruitment process in a way that aids collaboration and efficiency. Managers should be able to understand the decision making behind shortlisting recommendations, and also be able to work with recruiters on ‘calibrating’ vacancies directly.

Find the perfect person, faster.

Being able to pivot quickly – agility – is a key part of building resilience, but this doesn’t just mean moving at speed. You need to know that you are bringing in the right person for each role, so that filling the vacancy actually means closing a skills gap; improved outcomes and not just cost.

Today, technology allows you to fine-tune searches with the skills you need to identify quality candidates, faster – you can look at title, location, and seniority in the context of a dynamic skills taxonomy. You may also find, with better joined up skills data, that your ideal hire is an internal candidate.

Build better talent experiences.

A skills-first approach means you can offer a more personalized experience to employees, by showcasing the skills an individual needs for a given career path in their organization – and helping them build relationships to get there. This may include matching people to mentors, or offering them short-term projects and gigs to gain hands-on experience – another great way to embrace agility in the organization.

With an improved, more personalized experience for all talent, the virtuous circle is created, whereby people are not only more likely to choose to join, but more likely to stay.

The language of “skills” creates a common currency in your organization, so that everyone understands what they have and what they need in order to deliver high performing teams with confidence in their career paths, engaging learning experiences, and the right plan for the future.

Get started with skills

The key to all of this is having a clear, shared, dynamic ‘understanding’ of what you mean by ‘skills’ inside your organization. Beamery can help you develop that common language. If you don’t know where to get started, have fragmented skills data, or want to improve your investment in an existing skills taxonomy – we can help you.

Learn more about our recent product innovations that help companies drive talent resilience. 

About the Author

Sultan Murad Saidov is Co-Founder and President of Beamery. Sultan is a frequent speaker on AI, the Future of Work, and Talent Transformation, was listed in the Forbes 30 under 30 list, and is the host of the Talent Blueprint podcast.

Profile Photo of Sultan Saidov