Why Talent DNA Matters for a Future-Ready Workforce

February 13, 2020 John McLaughlin

First Published on LinkedIn

Employers know they are facing a talent crisis. The top internal concern facing CEOs in 2020 is how to attract and retain the people they need, according to a Conference Board survey,  Today’s labor market is the tightest it’s been in decades, and employers are suffering from a lack of readily available external talent.

Fortunately, an organization doesn’t have to hire externally to become future-ready. Your current employees are already primed to make that leap with you. They understand your organization and its purpose, mission and values. Tapping into that internal talent pipeline will support evolving business models and processes in a way that sourcing externally simply can’t.

Here’s how you can use reskilling and job neighborhoods to tap into your existing workforce’s talent DNA.

Refine Existing Talent Through Reskilling

If you can isolate and identify the most valuable skill sets, you can replicate them.

In our rapidly evolving workplace, investing in training and reskilling is the only way to deliver continued success for your organization and your employees while minimizing major disruptions to your business model. Workforce data shows the importance of investing in reskilling and cross-training your existing workforce rather than focusing on outside talent.

The skills your organization needs to become future-ready are likely already in practice at key points throughout your organization. These are the skills that create the most value, and standardizing them is an important step in preparing your workforce for the future. If you can isolate and identify the most valuable skill sets, you can replicate them.

By layering the digital competencies of curiosity, learnability and adaptability over your existing framework, you can identify where your organization needs to become more digitally competent and how you can reskill your existing workforce to become future-ready.

Give Employees Agency Through Job Neighborhoods

Reskilling is most successful when employees have agency. You know which skill families employees need to pursue, but employees should have the opportunity to make their own choices. After all, while competencies such as curiosity and agility are important, the talent DNA for your particular company needs to be specific to your industry, your organization and your workforce. Creating a future-ready workforce is not one size fits all. So how can employers identify and activate the talent DNA their organization needs?

The answer is job neighborhoods. Certain competencies and behaviors are needed for success in different parts of the organization, and these can be grouped together. This helps you to determine which competencies are most critical in supporting digital readiness and your organization’s success. Then you can map the intersection of these competencies and skill-specific job groupings.

These specific skill groupings, after being aligned with job pathways, can be used to determine transparent reskilling paths for your employees so they take ownership over their growth and development. After those potential career moves are laid out, employees can match their skill sets to a series of interconnected job pathways. Employees receive multiple options regarding their mobility, and your organization is strengthened by the distinct, individual career paths woven through it.

Read our white paper, Does Your Workforce Have the Talent DNA for the Digital Future to learn more about how to identify and develop internal talent for a future-ready workforce.

About the Author

John McLaughlin

John has worked for Aon’s Assessment Solutions for 10 years in a variety of roles and geographies across Europe, South America, and North America. This in-market experience combined with his current role as the global commercial director for the group leads to an in-depth knowledge of global trends impacting talent strategies across all organizations.

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