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How AI Can Help HR Build a Skills-Based Workforce

Traditional hiring methods may miss individuals' potential, skills, and adaptability.

  • Skills-based roles emphasize hiring and promoting based on skills and adaptability.
  • Benefits include keeping employees relevant, fostering innovation, and remaining competitive.

  • AI plays a crucial role in identifying, nurturing, and retaining talent with the right skills.

  • Initiating with a skills-focused approach enhances talent development and career navigation.
  • Shifting to a skills-based approach empowers organizations, fostering adaptability and skill enhancement for future success.
  • Skills-based roles emphasize hiring and promoting employees based on their specific skills, competencies, and ability to adapt to changing job requirements. They also encourage employees to acquire new skills. 

    This approach has these benefits: 

    • It helps employees stay relevant in their careers. 
    • It strengthens the organization’s ability to innovate and remain competitive. 

    Skills-based organizations will dominate the Future of Work. Skills-based approach enable organizations to acquire and retain top talent and upskill the workforce to meet demands. 

    Consider these: 

    • 58% of US workers believe their talents have become outdated since 2020. 
    • 45% quit their positions because they were worried about their chances for promotion. 
    • Nearly 80% of workers are worried, they lack the skills required for the Future of Work. 

    Attributes of Skills-Based Organizations 

    This shift in perspective reflects the dynamic nature of today’s business environment, where adaptability and versatility are paramount. Key attributes include: 

    • Flexibility: Employees in skills-based roles are expected to adapt to changing job requirements, making them well-suited for a rapidly evolving marketplace. 
    • Cross-functional expertise: These roles often require individuals to possess a mix of skills from various disciplines, promoting collaboration and multidisciplinary problem-solving. 
    • Continuous learning: Skills-based roles encourage employees to engage in ongoing skill development and education, ensuring they remain valuable assets to the organization. 

    AI’s Role in Preparing Organizations for Skills-Based Roles 

    AI, ML, and NLP have revolutionized various aspects of talent management. From recruitment and skills assessment to workforce planning and employee development, AI helps organizations identify, nurture, and retain talent with the right skills. 

    AI-powered algorithms can analyze data to identify individuals with the specific skills needed for a given role. These algorithms can also predict an individual’s potential for acquiring new skills or adapting to changing job requirements. 

    Additionally, AI-driven tools can assist in crafting personalized learning and development plans for employees, ensuring that they continuously acquire the skills necessary to succeed in skills-based roles. 

    Let us see how organizations can use AI to build a workforce for the future. 

    1. Initiate with the goal in sight 

    Starting with the end goal in mind is valuable. A leading biotech company aimed to bridge the gap between employees and developmental opportunities with the language of skills. 

    Their approach to employee development was rooted in the concept of learning through practical experience. Therefore, they implemented a project marketplace, powered by AI, designed to democratize access to crucial projects. 

    Skills played a pivotal role in making the connection between employees and the developmental opportunities they sought. 

    This innovative approach was first piloted among 1,500 individuals spanning the globe, with a focus on three core areas: information systems, HR, and internal consulting. 

    While the primary objective was to connect employees with projects that would enhance their skill sets, the company discovered unexpected aspects of the platform’s value. 

    For instance, employees found immense value in receiving guidance on navigating their careers, with views on this aspect matching those for project opportunities. 

    With this new perspective, the company’s talent management strategy evolved to encompass skills development for projects, career navigation support, and fostering skill connections across the organization. 

    2. Create a skills taxonomy and inventory 

    What if employee skills are a key component of your services? 

    Talent management teams must grasp the demands within professional services and ensure these demands are met based on the skills of their employees. This involves strategically addressing upskilling, cross-skilling, and reskilling efforts to align with future skill demands. 

    The creation of skill taxonomies and inventories is vital. They aid talent management teams in comprehending current demands and matching projects with the right individuals possessing the required skills. 

    Furthermore, they must anticipate future workload changes and the corresponding skill requirements. In the progression toward skills-based role readiness, another critical component is skills ontology, which defines skill sets and their interrelationships. 

    AI-driven talent intelligence platforms offer the advantage of sourcing candidates in regions where premium salaries aren’t necessary to secure the required skills. These platforms can also identify candidates with adjacent skills or slightly less experience but matching skill sets. 

    However, finding the right employees with the requisite skills is just the beginning. Retaining them is equally imperative. 

    Providing an exceptional employee experience is key, and conducting quarterly surveys on skill-building programs helps talent management teams ensure they meet high expectations.

    3. Facilitate large-scale workforce planning 

    Talent management teams must first assess and address the existing silos that span the entire organization. Establishing a comprehensive skills taxonomy and associated governance structures is paramount. 

    The creation of a unified skill taxonomy serves as the foundation for identifying the skillsets within the workforce. Gaining buy-in from stakeholders to break down these silos is a critical initial step. 

    Subsequently, a governance framework is essential, one that involves accountable leaders representing various functions. 

    This approach should be viewed as a skill-centric journey encompassing recruitment, skill development, performance management, and large-scale workforce planning. 

    A Fortune 500 organization devised a well-defined plan comprising four phases for implementation. They successfully executed the initial phase and then explored how to leverage skills data for tailored reporting. 

    The talent management team is actively collecting comprehensive skills data from employees across the organization. This dataset will underpin the organization’s readiness for skills-based roles, enabling more effective hiring and large-scale workforce planning. 


    Regardless of economic shifts, your organization will be more resilient and poised for success by adopting a strategy that fosters and enhances skills. Basing talent decisions on precise skill data stands as the most effective approach to ensure sound and strategic talent choices. 

    Draup for Talent, an AI-powered talent management platform provides in-depth insights into workforce trends and talent strategies. It offers businesses valuable, up-to-date insights that can significantly enhance their overall success and talent management choices. 

    This data serves as a valuable resource for identifying skill gaps within the organization, tailoring training programs to address these gaps, and making well-informed decisions when it comes to hiring and talent development.