May 12, 2022

A New Approach to Skills, Hiring, and Organization Success: 5 key takeaways

Planning for your organization’s future workforce used to be more straightforward: how many data scientists do we need, by when, and how will we find them?

Now, the perfect storm of a tight job market, high quit rates, and rapidly changing business models has complicated workforce planning. At the same time, though the challenges are greater, advances in AI have given corporations insights into skills their companies need to be future-ready that they never had before. 

That was the upshot of our recent webinar, A New Approach to Skills, Hiring, and Organization Success, featuring Josh Bersin and Kathi Enderes of The Josh Bersin Company; Humana’s former SVP Roger Cude; BNY Mellon’s Stuart Logan; and Vodafone’s Marc Starfield

Did you miss the live event? Watch the replay for insight into these five key takeaways and so much more:

    1. Digital transformation is just the tip of the iceberg: Industries are converging. For example, CVS merged with Aetna, making the new entity not a retailer or a managed healthcare company, but all of the above. Banking companies are becoming more like technology companies that offer financial services. “Most industries are turning into something new,” Bersin says. “We used to call this a digital transformation, but it’s much more than that. It’s learning how to be something that you weren’t sure you really needed to be.”
    2. Organizations must rethink open roles in the face of talent scarcity. Millions of nurses will be needed over the next few years, but only 160-190,000 graduate annually, and a third to a half of those will leave the profession in the first two years. “It’s probably because the job was not what they thought it would be,” Enderes notes. “Only 30 percent of nurses’ time is actually spent practicing at what we call ‘top of license’ – doing nurse stuff.” Nursing jobs need to be redesigned so that other people (not nurses) or automation handle some of that 70 percent, and nurses spend more time doing what only they can do. Data science is another area that may require rethinking the scope of roles. Many data scientists spend much of their time on data cleanup, which in turn leads to low job satisfaction and higher turnover.
    3. Skills needs are changing faster than ever. Many healthcare companies have made the shift to remote work, nurses and doctors often interacting with patients through video conferencing. But, Cude notes, “it’s very different for a nurse to be working in a telephonic environment versus a hospital.” While in-person care and telehealth jobs may both require a nursing degree, the necessary skills grow more complicated from there. One type of nurse may need more time-management skills than the other, for example.
    4. Career pathways can be much more flexible than you think. Interestingly, some companies are not just upskilling employees for internal roles, but preparing workers for future jobs outside of their own organization—or even their industry. Enderes gives the example of Amazon, which in addition to offering new pathways within its organization, has paid to educate some of its warehouse workers for nursing jobs, preparing them for future employment with a large healthcare system on the West Coast. What Amazon loses in its workforce, it hopes to gain in its base of loyal customers.
    5. Infrequent maintenance of your job architecture/skills architecture is no longer going to work. “There was this idea in a lot of companies to do a new job architecture—a big skills project—and then they’re done. And then they’d look at it again in another 10 years,” Bersin notes. But this will no longer suffice. Organizations are addressing this through a comprehensive job-architecture initiative.

Job architecture, Bersin said in the webinar, “is an ongoing muscle.” Adds Bersin: “You need a technology like Eightfold to do this.” 

Indeed, this is a unique opportunity for HR leaders to rethink their organizational design, skills, and jobs and prepare themselves for what’s ahead. Hear more about that opportunity in the recording featuring Bersin and others.

Photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash