The Elements That Will Shape The Skills-Based Organization

Originally published by Ardent Partners at

Here’s a phrase that’ll be mentioned many times throughout 2023: the skills-based organization will be the one that thrives during what could be an uneven and uncertain year ahead. Skills is akin to currency in today’s volatile market in such a way that it seemingly creates a have/have not business society. Those with top-tier skills will flourish, and, those who don’t, well…

The latest United States jobs report was rosy from a certain perspective (adding 517,000 jobs in January alone), one that reflects not only the lowest unemployment figures in nearly 55 years, but also an awkward juxtaposition of the discussions around an economic downturn and the continued fight against inflation.

For all the talk about a blooming-yet-complicated job market, there’s another side to this positive news. Ardent Partners and Future of Work Exchange research finds that 73% of businesses currently face a critical challenge in the months ahead: a lack of candidates with the required skillsets for open positions. This is yet another representation of why the skills-based organization (SBO) is a true opportunity to, essentially, reimagine the ways they think about talent acquisition and the role of talent in getting work done.

The most progressive way of thinking here is to apply agility-led principles to the realm of talent acquisition and talent engagement by 1) harnessing the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning to revamp the candidate-matching process, 2) expanding “known” skills taxonomy in an automated manner to account for innovative and future roles, 3) developing a central, on-demand database of skillsets across talent communities (talent pools, talent networks, current employees, etc.), and, 4) leveraging a multi-dimensional nexus of skillsets and expertise from which to address new and evolving requirements based on the trajectory of the greater organization.

The foundational elements of the skills-based organization revolve around the concepts of rethinking the parallels between talent and work; thus, the very future of the skills-based organization depends on forward-thinking strategies, ideas, and, of course technology. Here are the crucial elements that will shape the SBO in the months ahead:

  • Digital credentialing will emerge as a powerful disruptor in the skills validation market. Even in the technologically-advanced days in which we live, validating skillsets and expertise is largely a manual game. Talent acquisition execs and hiring managers (as well as other core HR leaders) must review portfolios, speak to references, confirm education and backgrounds, etc. to ensure that a candidate holds the proper skillsets for the role in which it is applying. Digital credentialing platforms remove nearly all of the guesswork and the tactical elements of skills validation and provide a veritable gateway into verified skillsets, strengths, certifications, etc. that candidates can maintain throughout the duration of their career. Solutions like CredlySertifierAccredible, and Certifier are revolutionizing both the candidate-facing and hiring-led aspects of digital credentialing.
  • Blockchain realizes its potential and becomes a gateway for talent. Across the business spectrum, blockchain has so many potential paths: augmenting data warehousing, tightening legal and financial intelligence, and, yes, reinventing the ways enterprises find and connect with talent. In a hyper-competitive and globalized talent marketplace, the power of blockchain truly shines through; by defragmenting traditional barriers to talent acquisition, blockchain-fueled candidate networks enable hiring managers (and similar leaders) with the ability, in real-time, to view candidate profiles, validate expertise, and confirm career data and portfolios. Candidates own their information, and, subsequently, their career pathways, an important factor in today’s labor market from the worker perspective. The speed in which blockchain presents a match and a connection can dwarf that of traditional hiring. Platforms like the non-profit Velocity Network and innovative solution Braintrust are helping businesses reboot their talent strategies.
  • AI moves firmly into the talent acquisition arena. Artificial intelligence has become, particularly over the past several years, a formidable means of visualizing workforce data through dynamic analytics. Predictive analytics and scenario-building capabilities within workforce management suites and VMS platforms have changed the way HR, procurement, and talent acquisition leaders access total talent intelligence and supercharge their talent-decision making with that data. However, 2023 is the year of AI in talent acquisition; it is imperative that businesses drive real workforce scalability and boost their skills-oriented approach by leveraging artificial intelligence to better validate candidate profiles, enhance skillset-to-job matching, and improve the overall hiring process. Talent acquisition is entering a new, AI-charged era in part because of the advanced technology that can seamlessly streamline the ways businesses not only engage candidates, but also the ways they catalyze the skills-matching experience. Platforms like Opptly represent this exciting new generation of technology, along with solutions like PhenomGem, and Gloat, as well as Magnit and both its ENGAGE Talent tool and total talent intelligence offering. Too, solutions such as (robust skills verification and candidate assessment), Fuel50 (recalibrating workforce intelligence), and HiredScore (next-generation, proactive talent-fueled AI) will also disrupt the concept of AI in talent acquisition.

One other factor that could play a pivotal role in the evolution of the skills-based organization is direct sourcing and its impact on digital recruitment, an arena that is founded on the ability to better match open positions with top-tier skillsets. Today’s direct sourcing platforms are a key cog in developing a skills-oriented approach towards talent acquisition, with solutions such as WorkLLama, whose AI-fueled recruitment tools revolutionize candidate collaboration and boost talent acquisition strategies, and LiveHire, whose end-to-end recruitment and direct sourcing technology facilitates a dynamic and holistic approach towards total talent management.

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