skills-based talents

Study: Companies See Tremendous Benefit in Hiring Skills-Based Talents

A study by Deloitte states that work has become unbound as a “job.” It said companies that rely on skills-based talents (those who are able and flexible) stand to gain more, along with workers with a portfolio of skills that can make meaningful contributions to their work.

Twenty-four percent of surveyed workers report that their organizations are already beginning to do this. They are also likely to place talent effectively and retain high performers, as well as have a reputation as a great place to grow and develop. 

Citing one example, Cleveland Clinic moved from being organized by medical specialties and specific job titles such as “doctor” or “nurse” to broadly defining all staff as “caregivers” responsible for treating not just physical ailments but also patients’ spirit and emotions. 

Instead of organizing departments based on the medical specializations, 85% of HR executives say they are planning or considering redesigning the way work is organized so that skills can be flexibly ported across departments. 

Although there will always be a place for the traditional job, organizations are increasingly looking to create a portfolio of different ways to organize work, using different options for different workforces or businesses. 

Develop the workforce of one 

By breaking out of the confines of the job, workers can more easily try new things to continuously learn, build on their adjacent skills to solidify new ones, and leverage their foundational capabilities such as emotional intelligence or problem-solving in whole new ways. 

This can be the flow of work — experiential, and applied to real problems at hand.

Whether or not the expert has a college degree may be irrelevant now, if someone has a solid set of skills to finish the job. Deloitte defines skills in this study as hard skills (coding, data analysis, and accounting), human abilities (critical thinking and emotional intelligence), and potential (adjacent skills, latent qualities).

At no other time has workers been exposed to be either skillful or not, no thanks to the pandemic. It doesn’t help that rapid developments in technology are making a skills-based work experience an urgent option for many companies who want to compete in a globalized world.

What is everyone’s excuse? In the past, professionals could only rely on past knowledge or education. Now people have become lifelong learners. Many have opted to join coding bootcamps, online classes, and certification courses with the aim of providing out-of-the-box solutions for the unprecedented problems that their companies are facing.

Again in this new kind of learning, skills have been emphasized—and have become the foundation of any professional who wants to outsmart and outshine their colleague at the next cubicle who is still stuck at fulfilling their job description.

More connection

The World Economic Forum sees the human aspect of skills-based work, even in professional clusters under sales, marketing, and content; data and AI;  engineering and cloud computing; people and culture, and product development. 

The WEF report indicates that though vital to organizational success and professional advancement, trailblazing tech is not just the most sought-after skill in town. Paradoxically, the more technology and gadgetry become part of people’s lives, the more people want to become connected with each other. 

Customers will always want to know that there is a fellow human being at the other end of the phone or chat group who genuinely cares for them, and does not just want to talk them into buying a product.

The WEF identifies other non-technical skills that employers have been seeking—and will continue to seek—from their employees: “an eye for detail, creative problem-solving skills, a collaborative mindset, and an ability to deal with ambiguity and complexity.”

Employers who understand the need to shift to a skills-based strategy should also prepare for investing in the upgrading and upskilling of their talents.

They simply cannot stop at skills-based hiring—as the knowledge and talent of that particular hire can lose their relevance in just a few years. Every valued, productive, performing, and even loyal employee should upgrade their skill level in their area of expertise and be up-to-date on the current trends and changes happening in their industry. Management investment in workforce education or training also has an upside: Forbes says that about 94% of their entry-level staff said they will stay for a long time if that kind of program is present.

With employees more open to becoming more flexible at work, what are the next steps? Organizations will need a clear understanding of skills “ownership” across the enterprise, along with the structures and processes to enable adoption and drive change management efforts. 

Sixty-four percent of organizations say the HR function currently owns the transformation. 

In a changing world, global mobility professionals will need to learn how they can make their talents think in terms of upskilling their work experience for companies to keep them.