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What is a ‘Skills Architect’?

Many companies are clamoring to become ‘skills-based organizations’ – as skills gaps widen, technology advances at pace, and businesses look to become more agile, it is clear that a new approach to organizing people and work is needed. 

Companies are increasingly focused on the discrete tasks that need to be carried out, and the skills needed to do those tasks. They are starting to use skills data as a powerful unit of measurement in every part of the talent lifecycle; a way to match individuals to opportunities.  

skills and qualities

This has led some companies to employ ‘Skills Architects’ to help them in their skills-based transformation. 

What is a Skills Architect? 🤔

A Skills Architect most likely describes someone responsible for designing, implementing, and overseeing an organization’s skills development strategy. They will help in aligning HR and talent management with the organization’s broader goals, and ensuring that skills are effectively leveraged and integrated into various aspects of the business.

Some things they might work on could include: 

Skills Strategy Development

A Skills Architect may facilitate the development of a comprehensive skills strategy for the entire organization. This strategy should align with the overall business objectives, meaning the HR Leadership Team and overall Leadership Team would be key stakeholders. How do you ensure you have the right skills to do the work required today, and tomorrow, to meet your goals? 

Skill Taxonomy Management

Collaborating with HR and other stakeholders, the Skills Architect would likely be tasked with establishing and maintaining a consistent skills taxonomy across the organization. This taxonomy would help in categorizing and defining the skills required for different roles, and would ideally stay up to date as things changed. What does a skill MEAN inside your organization, and is it consistently applied? 

Job-Skill Alignment 

The Skills Architect may own the company’s Job Architecture, or collaborate with the Job Architecture owner, to ensure job roles and required skills are consistently matched. They will make sure the Leadership can properly consider the impact on both job roles and skills when making significant changes in the organization.

Skills Governance 

The Skills Architect would likely establish and lead a “Skills Governance Forum” for the organization, which would manage any change requests related to the skills framework and its use cases. This forum would ensure that skills-related decisions align with organizational goals.

Vendor Management 

This person may also oversee vendor relationships related to skills intelligence tools. This could involve selecting, managing, and optimizing the external resources that are used to support skill development initiatives.

Building A Long-Term Skills Roadmap

Your Skills Architect would likely develop and deliver a long-term roadmap to transform the organization into a skills-centric one. This will likely touch every talent and people process, from talent attraction and recruitment, to training, mobility, performance management and career development. How do you use skills intelligence to make better decisions across the whole lifecycle? 

Skill Data Quality Assurance

A skills-based strategy is nothing without good data, and the data associated with talent is generally fast-changing, fragmented and hard to manage. A Skills Architect would monitor and drive improvements in the quality and use of skill data across the organization, making sure that skills data is accurate, up-to-date, and actionable for better talent management.

A Skills Architect could be a smart hire for a business looking to skills-based transformation. As they support on designing and implementing a holistic skills development strategy, and driving the integration of skills intelligence across the organization, the business is likely to see the efficiency and effectiveness of talent-related processes improve. 

Learn more about Skills-Based Transformation, and what’s needed to succeed in the Skills Economy, here.