The current talent landscape is complex and ever-changing, with growing skills shortages, evolving talent expectations, and a wealth of new technologies to learn. It’s a challenging environment. In order to thrive in today’s market, companies need to have a clear understanding of their employees, talent pipeline, existing skills and skills gaps, to make informed decisions about the future of their workforce.
Talent Analytics is an important part of Talent Lifecycle Management that shouldn’t be overlooked. Proper Talent Analytics practices involve using enriched data to gain insights into the capabilities and potential of existing employees, to help organizations identify the skills and competencies they need to acquire to be successful, and to determine what else is available in the market. With this information, business leaders are able to make confident, data-driven decisions about hiring, training, development and redeployment.
One of the key challenges around Talent Analytics is the lack of truly unified skills data. Bits and pieces of skills data are often scattered across various HR systems. This makes it difficult to get a comprehensive view of the skills that employees possess, and the skills that are needed for various roles.
You can find a solution to this problem by utilizing unified skills data in your talent workflows. When ‘skills’ are commonly defined, your job architecture is up to date, and skills data is automatically updated across HR systems, companies get the most consistent and accurate view of the skills that already exist within the organization, and can reveal the gaps that are left behind.
Unified skills data can enhance your Talent Analytics in several ways:
Better skills matching
Skills matching is the process of aligning the skills of individuals with the requirements of a particular job, project or task. It involves comparing the abilities, knowledge, and expertise possessed by a person to the specific skills and competencies needed for a given role.
One of the most challenging parts of Talent Analytics is that people’s skills change over time as they continue to learn and develop. By having a comprehensive view of the skills that employees and candidates in your talent pipeline possess, and the ability to keep track of their development in an automated way, organizations can more easily match the skills of individuals to open opportunities – on an ongoing basis.
Some examples might be the ability to restructure jobs so that certain elements are automated and the more human-focused skills are carried out by a human. Skills matching can also help you align and prioritize learning and development investments, or help people visualize career paths across the organization to make the most of the skills those employees already have.
When skills are at the center and you have the proper Talent Analytics insights, it becomes simple to make decisions around skills matching.
Improved hiring decisions
Talent Analytics, backed by unified skills data, gives recruiters and Hiring Managers the tools they need to make better hiring decisions. As mentioned, once skills are commonly defined, it becomes much easier to match people to (short-term or long-term) roles or projects. This applies to candidates and potential new hires, just as it does to existing employees.
With Talent Analytics insights, and the knowledge of the skills each role requires, businesses can be confident that they are making the best possible hiring decisions for their organization. This leads to not only faster and more efficient hiring, but also better quality hires.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, each bad hire can cost a company up to 30% of that employee’s salary, meaning if the employee makes $90,000 per year, if they turn out to be a “bad hire”, it could cost the company $27,000. Understanding talent at the level of skills, and using that to drive hiring decisions, can help you avoid those expensive errors.
Developing and engaging your workforce
With enhanced Talent Analytics, organizations can also improve employee engagement – through development programs that align with the skills people most need to move into a new role, or do their own role better.
When leaders are given a holistic view of each employee’s skills, career goals, and their development over time, it becomes much easier to identify areas where employees have room (and potential) to grow. This also creates an excellent opportunity to recommend mentorship or other learning and development opportunities to those who could benefit from them most.
Better Workforce Planning
According to our research study, Navigating The Changing Talent Landscape, workforce planning is considered one of the biggest talent challenges organizations face. 50% of the business leaders we spoke to said workforce planning is difficult because of the uncertainty around business direction in the changing market, and 30% said it’s because they don’t know the skills they have and the skills they need.
It’s almost impossible to anticipate and predict your future talent needs without truly unified skills data to lean on. By having a clear and contextual understanding of the skills that are needed for different roles, the skills they already have, and external labor market data, joined together in one place, organizations can not only quickly identify skills gaps and develop efficient strategies to fill them, but they can more easily tackle larger workforce decisions, such as moving into new markets or restructuring the organization.
If your Talent Analytics process isn’t giving you the insights you need to make smarter and more efficient decisions around hiring, talent mobility, development or workforce planning, you need to invest in your skills data.
By developing a common skills language that communicates across disparate HR systems, talent leaders have the ability to reach a whole new level of efficiency in their own workflows, but also throughout the company, by ensuring the right people with the right skills are in the right roles.