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Connected Insights: Elevate Your Skills Intelligence

Most businesses are struggling when it comes to talent. There are shortages of skilled talent, and the types of skills companies need are evolving more rapidly than ever. Relatedly, most industries are seeing increased automation and AI integration — work and jobs can no longer be easily defined, and added to a static spreadsheet. Change is constant.  

The supply of skills is also being affected by new employee demands: they want more personalized experiences, more variety in what they do, more flexibility in when, where and how work is carried out. 

Many business and HR leaders know they need a skills-based or “skills-first” approach to talent management – from hiring to workforce development and planning – in order to mitigate risk, meet candidate expectations, and fill vital roles… today and in the future. 

But they are usually missing the key ingredient: connected skills intelligence. 

Why you need skills intelligence 💡

Skills Intelligence – a clear understanding of the skills within your organization, the skills available in the wider market, and the skills your company requires to do its critical tasks – is at the heart of a skills-based approach. 

And it’s not just about knowing what skills your team members have; it’s about understanding how those skills fit together, where there might be gaps, and how to make the most of what you’ve got.

“Skills intelligence is an evolution of core HR data. We see skills as the next layer of maturity in our talent acquisition function, driving the evolution of how we identify and attract talent.” – Art Lokerson, HR Product Management Director – Talent Acquisition, Wells Fargo

Connected insights are essential  🙏

We’ve written previously about the need for accurate, up-to-date information about people and work in order to fuel a skills-based approach. Of course, for enterprise companies to shift their talent strategies, they would need reliable data. 

This is particularly true for anyone hoping to realize the promise of AI in HR: you will only get high quality outputs if high quality inputs (that is, trustworthy data) are helping power the algorithms. How will an AI-driven tool learn how to match your skills needs to your skills supply, without good data (and plenty of it)? 

“In order for AI to be very successful, you got to think about how it can be really plugged into our system.” – Thanh Duong, Senior Manager, Talent Sourcing, Autodesk

Accurate data matters. But, if you want to truly understand the capabilities in your workforce, predict your future skills needs, and spot untapped talent pools, you need those insights to be connected. 

1. Connect your Talent CRM & ATS 

The first point about connection is about creating a holistic picture of the individuals in your talent pool. Integrating your Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) system with your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) enhances your skills intelligence by doing just that. 

This connection also lets you seamlessly transfer candidate information and recruitment data across different systems and functions, to ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of a candidate’s journey from the first point of contact, to hiring, to coming back as an alumni. 

With this integrated data, you can identify patterns and trends in successful hires, tailor your recruiting strategies more effectively, and improve the overall quality of your talent pipeline.

This enriched skills data helps you to make more informed hiring decisions… and better align talent acquisition with your organization’s strategic needs.

“Every employee and potential prospect that ever came to BBVA... within every country, will be in that database with the skills. So anywhere, a new recruiter in the world can find any person in the world to work with them.” – Fernando Bellon, Head of Talent Acquisition, BBVA

2. Connect your Job Architecture & workforce data

Connecting your descriptions of work and roles with data about your employees significantly improves your skills intelligence, by providing a detailed (and ideally dynamic) map of the skills within your organization. 

When job roles, responsibilities, and required skills are structured and updated in real time, you get a clearer picture of your current capabilities and gaps. Easily see which skills are abundant and which are lacking, allowing for more targeted upskilling and reskilling initiatives. 

Moreover, this facilitates better career pathing and succession planning, ensuring that employees are developed in ways that align with both their career aspirations and the organization’s strategic objectives. The result? A more agile and capable workforce that can adapt to changing business needs.

3. Connect Labor Market Insights with everything else… 

With connected Labor Market Insights, you can get deeper “skills intelligence” that goes beyond your own business. 

Benchmark your organization’s skills against industry standards, understand market demand for specific skills, and anticipate future trends. With up-to-date labor market information, you can make more strategic decisions about where to invest in talent development, how to adjust your hiring strategies, and how to remain competitive in the talent market… even which locations to open new offices in. 

This enriched perspective ensures that you can make proactive workforce plans, informed by live data, helping you stay ahead in the rapidly evolving business landscape.

“Job titles sometimes are really unique and obscure, right? So... if they don’t match sort of what the market expects, how do we adjust those? How do we make sure that we’re really honing in on the right skills to align to these critical roles that we have to fill?” – Mike Rizzi, Senior Recruitment Marketing Manager, DraftKings

4. Connect your teams! 

When teams across HR, IT, and other business units use the common language of “skills”, and integrated technologies, they can (of course) more effectively communicate and work towards the same objectives. 

With joined up data from different parts of the organization, you get a more comprehensive view of your workforce capabilities. And, with a connected strategy, you can use this collective intelligence to make better decisions, innovate faster, and respond more quickly to changes. 

This holistic approach ensures that every decision is informed by a complete and accurate understanding of your skills landscape, leading to a more resilient and forward-thinking organization. 

“The natural ecosystem that arises when you start investing in skills data, and when you start getting really curious about skills data and how it applies, not just to the one function that you may be started with... And it is, I think, such an interesting catalyst as well for change in culture across the organization.” – Betsy Summers, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research

Connected skills intelligence isn’t just a key component of skills-based transformation – it’s becoming table stakes for any large organization hoping to avoid talent risk in the coming years. 

Learn more about Skills Intelligence.