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How To Unify Your Skills Data

Human capital has taken center stage in today’s companies across nearly every industry. In the current market, there are several ‘future of work’ trends (or “shocks” as Katy Tynan, Senior Analyst at Forrester calls them), that employers are faced with. One of these trends is the importance of employee and candidate data — skills data in particular. Companies know more about their hires now than they ever have before — everything from their personal interests, to their career goals and skills.

But skills data can be complex to manage and often lives in many different HR systems, which makes it even more difficult to track accurately.

With the help of AI, many employers now have the ability to infer whether a candidate or current employee will be a good fit for an open role based on their skills and potential. As skills are becoming the most sought after currency in talent management (and education and experience are carrying less weight than they used to), organizations must consider how to make the shift to a skills-first talent strategy.

What is wrong with your current skills data management?

The traditional design of an enterprise organization often relies on ‘jobs’ — meaning you hire a particular individual to fill an open role, and become responsible for a defined group of tasks. And that’s part of the problem. Placing candidates or employees into these silos is not the most efficient way to hire or manage talent.

This siloed skills data is often spread across several different systems (i.e. your CRM, ATS, or training and development systems) making it nearly impossible to get accurate, thorough insights. Skills data can also become outdated fairly quickly, as employees and candidates in your talent community upskill and reskill. If the HR tools in your tech stack don’t communicate with each other, the data is likely outdated and inconsistent. And as a result, you could lose valuable talent or be focused on the wrong talent altogether.

Even if you’ve already invested in developing a skills taxonomy, the data is complicated to manage. And, as your organization grows and becomes more agile, every new system in your stack makes this skills taxonomy even more complex.

It’s critical for organizations to move towards a more nimble and dynamic approach with skills at the center — free of manual skills data updates across each of your HR systems.

Why your skills data needs to be dynamic

Weak integrations and poor data could be holding you back. Static skills data and HR systems that don’t communicate are a recipe for confusion and inefficiencies in recruiting and internal mobility programs.

Companies that invest in technology to support skills can keep their skills data actionable and accurate. When skills data is dynamic, it empowers both employers and individual employees and candidates. A skills-first approach can provide a much needed bridge between talent acquisition and talent management, which historically has been lacking in traditional enterprise organizations.

For example, does your training system understand ‘skills’ in the same way as your ATS? If not, there’s a real opportunity to integrate and unify your skills data — not only to improve the overall quality and accuracy of your skills data, but to also help your HR team become much more efficient when managing it.

Skills change over time — your data needs to change with them

Quality talent data has a positive impact on the entire organization, not just those who work in HR or talent management. And not having quality talent data often results in losing top talent. When a hiring manager has a role to fill, they should be able to view the skills that are already available within their team (or within other teams in the organization), or they can work with a recruiter to look at candidate profiles in your CRM for potential external hires.

However, if the skills data you have is static, it can become quickly outdated. Today’s candidates and employees are broadening their skill sets and developing themselves to work towards their career goals. Does your skills data reflect that? If you have to update your skills data manually in each of your HR systems, it’s (probably) not being updated as often as it should, and you might lose employees if you’ve failed to acknowledge and address their true skills.

Inaccurate, outdated skills data could be one of the reasons why you’re not hiring (or retaining) top talent — simply because you aren’t able to make the most informed decisions without accurate data to pull from.

Investing in an AI-driven tool can help

Skills gaps are often what stands between organizations and the ‘future of work’. It’s challenging for business leaders to break away from the classic ‘jobs-first’ model that has traditionally been used in large enterprises. But AI has proven to be an effective tool to help break that cycle of inefficient manual updates and outdated skills data, and can help companies become skills-first organizations that allow top talent to thrive.

AI-driven Universal Skills Platforms can be extremely useful resources for HR teams who are tasked with managing the entire talent lifecycle, from sourcing and recruiting to internal mobility and alumni programs. The right AI solution allows talent teams to look at employees and candidates as unique people with living, breathing skill sets and dynamic levels of proficiency, instead of static groups of qualifications that fit an open role.

Establishing a dynamic, single source of truth for your skills data is an essential part of the talent lifecycle, and it’s a good next-step for organizations who are looking to take their Talent Lifecycle Management process to the next level by moving to a skills-first strategy.

Beamery’s Universal Skills Platform — a new way to think about skills

We believe talent should be assessed based on skills, rather than experience, title or tenure. A skills-based approach helps talent teams make fair comparisons, uncover overlooked talent, and enables greater inclusion and mobility than ever before.

With Beamery’s Universal Skills Platform, for the first time, you can see a holistic view of all skills across disparate systems and connect skills to each other and all your talent data. It allows you to get real-time updates on the skills, talent and expertise you have in your business, across your unique set of HCM systems.

This tool allows you to use up-to-date data and accurate skills insights when evaluating internal and external talent to make better hiring and talent mobility decisions. It also helps retain and empower your employees by showing them a personalized career path based on their skills and career goals.

“Organizations are desperate for intelligent skills management platforms to improve recruiting, training, and internal mobility,” said Josh Bersin, global industry analyst and CEO of The Josh Bersin Company. “Beamery’s Universal Skills Platform has the vision and potential to play this role in many large organizations.”

Learn how the Beamery Universal Skills Platform can help your organization uncover higher quality insights to make better talent decisions and see the full picture around your candidates’ skills, including seniority, proficiency, and industry context. Read more about becoming a skills-first organization.