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  • Ricards Krizanovskis

A case for changing the way how you map skills

It seems that we generally agree on how important it is to learn. A recent CEDEF (2020) survey points out that in the EU we almost unanimously (96%) agree that learning throughout life is important. Nevertheless, we still see that the skills gap and challenges of finding the right talent remain a top challenge for executives across the world.

While there are many factors at play, part of the problem comes in the way how we look at and define jobs. To define a job, we are used to spending hours and days to discuss roles and responsibilities, compile them into lengthy job descriptions, build assessments and training around these roles - only to recognize that over the course of a year it has lost part of its relevance (and so we do the whole process all over again).

Not only it is a nightmare in terms of maintenance resources needed, but also it cuts off the potential for deconstructing jobs to a collection of critical skills, opening up a way for agile management of learning, career development, internal mobility, and recruiting.

What if we break down jobs into a set of critical skills and use it as a common “currency” across a range of HR processes? Here is a powerful example from World Economic Forum:

Just imagine how empowering it could be to detect such skill similarities for people? It takes just 5% of additional skills/knowledge for cashiers to become baristas and avoid (or at the very least delay) the risk of automation. And it t takes just 8% of additional skills to (almost) double their income.

Our team right now is working on solutions to define critical skills and similarities automatically. We see so many use cases there, but perhaps the most important one is this:

By detecting skills and making it easy for everyone to figure out alternative jobs, we also help these people turn the risks of automation into major opportunities. Opportunities to find a better paying, safer, more interesting, and meaningful job.

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