A Skill-Based Organization: Where to start?

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As we wrap up this year, a skill-based organization is top priority I hear in client conversations. CHROs and HR Leaders want to leverage the power of AI and skill data to shift from job-based talent practices to a new operating model with skills at the center of the design.


A skill-based organization (SBO) requires a shared-vision and a new approach around skills and talent. Companies started off this journey driving upskilling/reskilling initiatives to address talent skill gaps (especially when it comes to technology skills) to support AI transformation and using skill technology partners for enablement.


However, SBO efforts goes far beyond upskilling/reskilling and/or building a skill taxonomy/redesigning jobs. Skills are connected across the entire talent value chain (from hiring all the way to mobility and careers) so there are a couple aspects that need to be discussed:


  • Skill strategy: what is your skill-based talent vision? align on guiding principles and be clear on the use case (s) to focus on.
  • Talent: depending on the talent gaps, some decisions need to me made around Build, Buy and Borrow skills.
  • Culture: new cultural skills-driven mindset shift that will require to embed new ways of working and collaboration.
  • HR: changes around operating model, technology stack, and new talent practices and services.
  • Leadership: align leaders and equip managers. Role-modeling is key for success.
  • Change Management: enable change journeys, communicate and facilitate adoption.


Skill Technology Ecosystem


With AI breakthroughs, now we have a variety of technology capabilities and vendors in the ecosystem that are able to provide labor market analysis, identify and attract talent, analyze and assess skills, recommend jobs and develop learning pathways, provide real-time analytics as well as facilitate internal mobility etc. However, designing, building and integrating a skill technology architecture becomes a nightmare.


Companies have legacy systems, multiple skill data repositories, often decentralized, fragmented, and inefficient. Streamline and centralize your technology stack is something that needs to be well-defined and integrated with your data strategy. Start with your future technology blue-print and leverage enterprise technology architecture.


SBO Considerations


  1. Skill Intelligence Hub. A CoE to analyze, and manage, govern skills to unlock talent insights and facilitate decision-making.
  2. Start with a function and/or use case (i.e., learning experience) gather feedback and adapt.
  3. Define clearly the SBO operating model. This is NOT an HR effort and involves participation from business functions.
  4. Skill Cloud. As technology evolves is critical to centralize and store different type of skills (sitting in different repositories) in one skill engine. This will take time to achieve.
  5. Technology as enabler. Problem is not solved bringing a skill technology vendor.


What Lies Ahead?

With Gen AI evolving every day (Gemini was released by Google last week), we will see that many of the analysis around jobs, work and skills simplify making the process of implementing skill-based organizations more smoothly and help to address current and future skills gaps.

The one pager below describes where to start.

Did I miss anything? Let me know your thoughts.

Note: All views expressed in this article do not represent the opinions of any entity whatsoever with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated. My opinions are my own.

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Albert Loyola

Artificial Intelligence | Employee Experience| HR Transformation| Advisor| Speaker

Albert brings global market research experience  to help executives harness intelligent technologies, reinvent HR, re-skilling and employee experience across NAR, APAC, LATAM and EMEA regions.

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