The 6 Steps of Digital Talent Evolution for a Future-Ready Workforce

October 7, 2020 Aon's Assessment Solutions

Digital is changing the way we work. It is also changing HR leaders’ agendas. There is a very real shift in how we think about work - where it is carried out and what our people need to do.  HR leaders must evaluate workers and their future-proof skills to hire and develop confidently.

The challenge is how to transition people today’s organization to tomorrow’s.

Digital leadership will be fundamental. However, only 64% of participants in our 2020 Digital Readiness Report say they have leaders in a critical role who will drive digital change. Furthermore, while 75% of HR executives say they can pinpoint the critical roles in their organizations to navigate disruption, only 50% have talent assessments in place to identify and develop digital talent. Worryingly, only 15% say that identifying and developing internal talent forms a vital part of their digital strategy.

Working with clients, we have identified six stages of digital talent evolution to secure a future-ready workforce.

Data-led, it gives our clients an understanding of their current workforce and how they might move towards a more future-proofed organization. They get to know what drives and motivates their people, where the skill and competency pinch points are and how career path mapping will flag lateral and upward routes for employees. 

  1. Define a model of potential and organizational fit.

As a starting point, you need to know and understand your workforce in order to help them find the right career path and role within the organization.

Talent assessments can be valuable to profile your current workforce. You can profile their skills and behaviors, looking closely at the future readiness competencies of agility, flexibility and curiosity. However, you also need to understand the gaps in current competencies and those needed to deliver your business strategy.

  1. Design or select future-proof skills and job architecture.

Career progression is important to both organizations and employees. Retention of strong talent who can develop and grow with your organization as it shifts and grows is a better strategy than to be involved in a constant hiring program.

However, to enable talent mobility, you need to understand what roles or career steps are a good fit for your employees.

It seems that this is not yet in place for many organizations. 50% of participants in our 2020 Digital Readiness Report have told us that they do not have talent assessments to identify and develop digital talent or the technology platforms to support career path and progression planning guided by individual employees.

  1. Assess for competencies, behaviors and skills that match the architecture.

Assessments, such as our digital readiness solution or a skills inventory, provide great insights and help with understanding what everyone brings to the table, what interests people have and where to start preparing for the future.

For some individuals, such tools can be a revelation. They gain new insights into their capabilities and strengths and how these can be transferred across job roles to positions they may never have considered. Such tools can be invaluable for organizations. They provide an audit the current talent and feed information into longer-term talent mobility and succession planning.  

  1. Define individual transitions, career pathways and development plans.

Your employees will now understand their own strengths, skills and abilities. This can help them to make better-informed decisions about their future and give them the power to invest in their own development.

The challenge to organizations is to provide a line of sight and path options from current role to future role and also to highlight the competency gaps between the two. Development plans, which are owned by the individual and not the L&D team, can then be built.

  1. Provide business insights and show talent gaps.

Employee communication and education will be key when it comes to supporting these efforts. Invest in systems to share and track progress.

  1. Enable employees to own and grow their careers.

After identifying gaps, you need to help close them. This includes training, retraining and upskilling. You need to prepare them for new challenges and help them master new tasks.

Such development is not simply a matter of attending a program or obtaining an additional qualification arranged by the talent team. Individuals must take responsibility for their own development, seizing opportunities as they arise and learning from others. Show your employees the journey they can take to drive their own career.

Leveraging what technological advancements can offer to accelerate embedded change is essential for all organizations. The key is to enable your people not just to keep up, but to embrace, take ownership of their professional development and be ready for what the future brings.

Contact us to find out how we can help you get your people ready.



About the Author

Aon creates smart measurement solutions with valid and innovative online assessment products. Aon is globally the preferred partner for organisations who demand the best.

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