From skills to success: Leveraging technology and innovation to transform employee experience

In this on-demand webinar, Eightfold AI and PwC will explore how talent intelligence can help you power a skills-based employee experience.

From skills to success: Leveraging technology and innovation to transform employee experience

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It has become increasingly challenging for companies to identify and nurture the necessary skills required to stay ahead. Simultaneously, employees seek more engaging work experiences and personalized development opportunities to advance their careers.

Join Eightfold AI for an insightful webinar on how talent intelligence is key to powering a skills-based employee experience that is transformative for both the workforce and your organization.

You will learn:

  • The key trends and best practices in skills development and employee experience
  • How organizations can create a culture of continuous learning to provide personalized and engaging experiences to their employees
  • The role of skills development in driving employee engagement, retention, and performance
  • Practical tips on how to align your talent strategy with your business objectives
  • Creating a cohesive talent ecosystem that enables your organization to stay ahead of the competition

Whether you’re an HR professional, a learning and development leader, or a business executive, this webcast is designed to provide you with valuable insights and practical guidance on how to build a high-performing workforce that is equipped to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

Andrea Shiah 0:00
Welcome to From skills to success. We’ve got an action-packed hour to spend with you filled with lots of great research and insights. So we’re going to go ahead and get started. Our topic today is brought to you by PwC and Eightfold. And we’re going to talk to you about technology and innovation, and how that really comes into play, not just to help you reach your objectives but also to transform the employee experience. So really excited, and we’re gonna go ahead and jump in. So my name is Andrea Shiah; I’m the head of talent, strategy and transformation at Eightfold. I joined Eightfold about two years ago. Prior to that I had a 25-year career at American Express, where I launched a lot of transformations, including Eightfold. So I’m excited today to talk to you more about Eightfold and a lot of what I’ve learned. And with that, also hand it over to Anthony to introduce yourself.

Anthony Abbatiello 1:01
Thanks, Andrew. Good morning. Good afternoon to everyone joining us today. My name is Anthony Abbatiello. I am a partner at PWC. And I have the fortunate responsibility of leading our human capital consulting business, we affectionately call it workforce transformation. I have spent all of my career about three decades all in consulting around talent, leadership, and human resources. And that’s been in a myriad of serving clients, and also researching and developing innovative solutions to solve our client’s most pressing issues around the workforce. And I’m excited to be here with you all today sharing a topic that is extremely important, but also one that I am very passionate about and have enjoyed working with our friends at Eightfold AI to really dive into the data and see how skills are impacting the employee experience, and ultimately, the success of the workforce in today’s post COVID environment.

Andrea Shiah 2:04
Yeah, that’s great. So our objectives today, we’ve got a lot we’re going to cover. But starting with just helping you see and understand the expectations employees have, I think Anthony will share some really great insights from PwC research to to help you understand what employees are expecting, we’re going to talk about how organizations can create this culture of continuous learning for their employees, and how to make it really personalized and employee driven. We’ll talk about the role of talent, intelligence. I’ll give you a 101 on how intelligence comes into play. And then you will also walk away with some great insights on really how you kind of create that high performing workforce that’s ready for the future and why it’s so critical. So with that, we’ll go ahead and get started. I’ll hand it over to you, Anthony. Great.

Anthony Abbatiello 2:57
Thanks, Andrew. So you know, I mean, really, what we’re seeing now is that this focus on employee experience and skills is really driving overall productivity and performance of client organizations. When you look at the rapid pace of change in business models that are impacting the overall employee experience and the fact that a poor experience leads to poor business performance and productivity, you can see that this is a tremendous opportunity for organizations to really change and focus on the experience. So a couple points here to note that we’ve seen in our research, 40% of CEOs recently responded that they don’t believe that their companies are economically viable in a decade from now, which is really a sobering fact. And if, if continued on the same course, you know, the US is expected to lose about 8.5 trillion and unrealized revenue due to skills and talent shortage by 2030. And, you know, our survey showed that half of employees in the workforce would leave their job, just to learn new skills. This idea of the haves and the have nots when it comes to skills, that skills are the new currency. And really what we’re seeing, as you know, the main driver of productivity and performance for our client organizations. I guess, Andrew, when you’re thinking about from your perspective, where you sit, what are you hearing from the fold customers on why the employee experience is critical to the success of their organization?

Andrea Shiah 4:30
Yeah, I mean, I think a big part of what they’re trying to drive, you know, when you have intelligence is really the transparency and empowerment of employees. I think when you empower your employees to really understand their skills, understand their future opportunities, or even their next move, right, when you empower them to really drive that that’s how you drive their engagement, and that includes their upskilling. And so I think that’s a lot of what we’re hearing. They really want to kind of find a way to To give transparency and empower their employees, and that’s what employers are looking for.

Anthony Abbatiello 5:07
That’s, you know, when you think about it, it’s, you know, this point on our next page here is really about, you know, they’re seeking it. And it’s driving retention and attraction of the organization. So what we’ve seen is, you know, the skills based organizations are increasingly sought out by top talent. So those that have those skills, but also those that want to continue to hone the craft and their skills. So this focus of moving away from traditional career paths and more into transferable skills, and how we can develop those transferable skills that can provide mobility across the organization, is what’s key. Our recent hopes and fears, research found that 25% of employees are likely to leave their organization in 12 months, a third of Gen Z’s and millennials. So when you think about that fact, as well, right, this whole idea of the great resignation is not over upskilling and rescaling are the best paths to have employees develop new skills, and organizational agility. And so, you know, if you marry that desire and that need for business performance with the investment that organizations are making, there’s a huge gap between that desire and what will drive the performance, and the level of investment that, you know, organizations are really making today.

Andrea Shiah 6:29
I completely agree with you, Anthony, I think one of the things I’ll share a little bit is how fast things are changing in the world right now. And in particular, with skills, how fast things are evolving with skills that are really needed. And so employers are looking for their employee employers to help them, you know, become ready for the future and become relevant for the future. And so I think that becomes really vital.

Anthony Abbatiello 6:57
Absolutely, is a perfect segue into our next our first poll for the day, which we can move to. So, the poll here is, where is your organization on its journey to becoming more skills focused? So while we wait for you all to respond, Andrew, um, and you know, what’s your thoughts on? You know, how organizations get the insights they need to move to a skills-focused organization?

Andrea Shiah 7:31
Yeah, well, I think there are a lot of resources available, right? Obviously, this research you just shared with us is very valuable for, I think, organizations to understand what their employees are expecting. But there’s just a lot of information that’s available. Now. You know, I think if you look at all the different forums that are available, like HR tech, there’s a lot of conversations that are happening now around transformation, I think it’s, I think the question is no longer if you know, a company is going to lead transformation in their organization and their capabilities with their human resources. It’s more how, right that’s more of the questions that people are asking. And I think there’s just a lot of resources available from research like PWC, or even other kinds of trade forums to attend. So definitely, it is a very important time now to learn as much as you can, and ask those questions.

Anthony Abbatiello 8:34
And I just as a point of logistics, you can actually click on your screen to select your answer. I know some people were using in the chat their answer, but if you want to just click on the screen, and then we’ll give it another second here to compile. And Enter. You know, I agree, you know, I think getting that insight, you know, really starts with an understanding of, you know, the talent that you have within your organization, just, you know, what are the skills that people have. And most business leaders today know the outcomes they’re looking to achieve and just understand, you know, knowing what the key skills will be for them. Yeah.

Andrea Shiah 9:17
Yeah, no, I think that’s a lot of questions. Unfortunately, I don’t think a lot of leaders have that transparency into their organization. So that is just a very big question. As you said, that is a great first step, like what skills do I have and then followed by you know, what skills do I need? You know, that thinking becomes really important and understanding what’s happening, you know, in the market is really important. So, I totally agree. That’s a really important first step. Okay.

Andrea Shiah 9:53
Okay, so let’s see, should we take a look? I think I need to drop the poll.l Thank you, Anthony. Another skill you have there. Okay, so it looks like really interesting results. Not surprising, the biggest group is organizations, we’re starting to explore the opportunity. And then followed by, they’re actually starting to plan and transition to being more skill based, which is exciting. And then I think there’s a good, there’s a good percentage here, even in the first category of not really understanding the value prop. And so I know we’re having a lot of discussions on just kind of very basic explanations. And I think we actually spent some time today to kind of hopefully take the screws from the limb for 11.4%, to hopefully start to explore. Exactly. Great, this is really interesting to see. Okay, so I’m gonna just jump in really quickly, because I’m going to share with you a little bit more about, you know, intelligence and how it works. With your employee experience. Before I do that, I think it’s really important for me to share a little bit about where intelligence comes from and how it works. And in particular, obviously with a full because I will also share with you some of the data that you’ll be able to get some insights on. We’re starting with this page, three things to walk away with on how intelligence works with a fold is number one, we have a gigantic data set that we get from all publicly available sources, we have about the equivalent of half the world’s workforce with the data. And that’s data on jobs, skills required for those jobs and how individuals acquire their skills as they move through jobs, a really deep dataset. Some of it comes from job boards, some of it is census data, there’s just a lot of different data sources and some of the data we might purchase. So publicly available data. The second point here is we take that publicly available data and all the information that we have on skills, and skills related to jobs, and we integrate that intelligence into our customers, enterprise HR systems, right. And what we end up doing is bringing to life the skills that employees have, or bringing to life skills that candidates have, right. So in your existing database, any information that you have on employees, and their roles over time and their skills, or any information you have on candidates and your ATS platform, all of a sudden, you’re able to understand what skills they have using the intelligence that eightfold brings. And then the key point here, the third point is really, you know, the magic happens when you’re able to understand their skills, and match them to the skills you need for jobs in the organization.

When you have that matching capability, it kind of really unlocks all of your talent priorities. So that’s a 101 on intelligence. Hopefully, that’s pretty straightforward. Going on to the next page, I want to just quickly jump to the overview, and how does this affect the employee experience when you have this intelligence, you know, there’s four columns here, one around, you know, getting at the current date on your employee skills. And through to your point, understanding what skills your employees have is just one of the very first steps that you want to take. There’s another column around your ability to match to new roles. So employees, and even candidates externally able to understand what roles they match to is really important. The third column is really around building skills for future roles. So your ability to learn and understand what you need to learn to move into future roles and having that ecosystem support you. And the fourth column is being able to monitor how your organization is doing in terms of growing their skills. And so when you can have each one of these areas of activities enabled, your experience really improves. So from the perspective of employees, you know, being able to update their skills.

I mean, one of the age long challenges of HR is having employees keep their skills updated. And one of the things that’s enabled when you have intelligence, skills, intelligence, it’s really easy to do. It’s actually interesting to do because you can, a fool will recommend from the roles you’ve had, these are skills that we see that you are likely to have that you don’t have on your list, you want to update it. So it’s really interesting for them to see that. And if they can take that information and match it to jobs, they’re more likely to complete it. Right because there’s an end outcome for them, which is really a great way to really engage your employees and have them complete their profiles. We’re seeing really high completion integrations with our employees, with our customers. The second category of matching is really about employees being able to identify what roles they can move to next, and then even understand what kind of roles they can move to in the future. And then when they look at the third column in terms of building their skills for those future roles, they can understand what skills are needed. And then I think, also have the ability to connect that with the learning courses, connect that with mentors, right?

Who in the organization has similar skills? And who’s willing to be a mentor? And that’s great, because you break out of the mold of who do you know, who can you tap into that, you know, you’re able to look across the organization, and even projects are there projects that I can sign up for, that helped me also build these skills. So that’s how you create this amazing experience to really support your employees in both their movement immediately, and they’re moving in the future and what learning they need to build. And then you can monitor it, of course, as leaders, they have great experiences also in being able to support their employees and their mobility, but also understanding skills across the organizations that can help them fill roles. Any thoughts on this? Experience? You Anthony?

Anthony Abbatiello 16:17
Yeah, no, I mean, you know, it’s, it is, it really is at the core, what I see is, you know, the skills piece get at the core of, you know, transforming the employee experience overall. Going through this, and really using this, you know, having a skills ontology, mapping, that architecture, then into jobs, and then, you know, the downstream into compensation, salary, placement, development, just all get enabled from this as the core kernel. And oftentimes is, you know, the heaviest part for clients to really start on this process. The part I know, some, some people were asking, like, you know, what is a? What does a typical skills transformation look like? You know, it does vary, but I think all of them start with this at the beginning at the core. There, you know, we always say, defining what is the work that people are doing, and the skills that are needed, that’s what really is there, that’s what then can get us to, you know, how are we looking at the culture? How are we looking at rewards? Right, what is the type of workspace workplace that then we put around them, but having skills and understanding the work? Is it the critical part of that journey? Yeah,

Andrea Shiah 17:38
I think I’m just seeing this other question. Here is a question on what is your average completion rate, and I believe that’s talking about profile completion rates, we’re seeing really strong completion rates, I think, on average, we’re seeing north of 70% completion rates; we just had one customer that launched Eightfold and had this great messaging around, we heard you, you want, you know, you want really support on your mobility and your development. And so we’re, you know, we’re providing you with this great new tool; please complete your profiles, and we’re seeing for them, they achieved 72% completion rate after a month. So really enviable numbers, right to see. And again, it all has to do with when you complete your profile, you have the ability to understand what jobs you match to, and what jobs you can move to in the future. So there has to be some really strong outcome from that. I think that gets that to that type of completion rate. Okay, let’s keep going. Because we got great information. On to our next question here that we love to hear from you about, how confident are you that your workforce has the skills, has the skills needed to meet the needs of your business in the next five years? This is a great one. I love to chat with you a little bit about this, Anthony, because I think in terms of skills, and how fast skills are changing, I think one of the things we’re seeing, and I’m going to go into this in a second is there’s this amazing trend around digital skills that are crossed into industry. A lot of demand is happening in that arena. I don’t know if you’re seeing any other areas of just really high skill demand that are coming up or big changes happening around skills.

Anthony Abbatiello 19:26
Yeah, I’m you know, I mean, I think for the most part, I would say probably, you know, 80% of organizations that we work with are saying, you know, they don’t even have an understanding of what the needs of their skills are for the next five years. You go back to that CEO point of 40%, of CEOs saying, you know, their business model is not economically viable. So I think everybody’s starting in a place where their level of confidence is quite low. I think many are. And, you know, the codifying of those skills are, it’s clear, I think, for the most part and drag completely agree with you the digital skill set, you know that that role skills continues to be a concern for, you know, every, every company that is trying to be a tech company today. You know, and that’s going to be things like data analysis, data science, right? You know, engineering skills and programming languages, I think all of those are still very, you know, skills that are continued to, to, that are needed and, and are critical, but just things like, even even on just customer empathy, you know, problem solving, decision making all of those that are around, you know, the hard technical skills are there, but the softer skills are ones that, you know, companies are really needing to invest in, to actually enable the business models that they’re trying to reinvent today.

Andrea Shiah 20:52
Yeah, that’s a great point, I think there’s just a lot of appetite for softer skills, and companies are trying to create cultures across their organization. So definitely, really important. So let’s go ahead and take a look at what our results look like. So the confidence is good.

Anthony Abbatiello 21:14
Okay, well, that’s actually not bad, you’re seeing a more or more positive picture than the grim one that I was starting.

Andrea Shiah 21:23
Yeah, no, that’s, that’s really great to see that there’s sounds like there’s good confidence in the summit confidence is the biggest category was really the majority 52.2% of the respondents. And then 12, and a half percent of us are very confident. And then in the middle is the next category, 22.5%. So really great confidence out there. I think there’s a lot of awareness on skills and a lot of activity around trying to build the critical skills. My guess is, and probably what’s coming up is the business is really pushing for these vital skills that they need into the future. I think we’ll be great. Well, we’ll talk about how, you know, that can be accelerated?

Anthony Abbatiello 22:15
Yeah, I know, I noticed a question in the chat about do organizations often update their job architectures as part of this? Because I think it’s here like if you if you have an understanding of the skills that are needed, yeah, what we see is this movement away from job architecture on an island and what what we’ve termed talent architecture, which is the blend of a skills architecture, to map with the job architecture, so that you’re embedding skills as part of the entire job architecture within enables us to look at, you know, market analysis and competitive rates for compensation salary, but also for learning for development for promotion, for mobility. So if you’re looking at job architecture alone, as one of my fellow partners often reminds me, you know, we get called in to fix clients that are doing job architecture alone and having to embed the skills piece. And it takes them longer to do it from that angle. So you know, if you take one thing away from this discussion today, job architecture, skill architecture together, starting that journey together is critical to success.

Andrea Shiah 23:24
Absolutely. One adds to that. That’s exactly right, that I think is really interesting is we’re talking to many organizations. I probably talked to 10 or 15 leaders a week, and we were talking about AI and how that enables skills, AI, and how that enables our talent priorities. I’d say 90% of them, interestingly, are talking about job architecture, and wanting to build skills into their architecture. So it is very fundamental. And I think it is fascinating to me that this is coming up so frequently in conversation. So to answer that question, when you think about architecture, it should be part of the overall skill strategy. And I’m seeing it coming up as such a hot topic right now. Okay, so let’s continue to go. This is really helpful, insightful to hear these responses from the audience. I think what I wanted to do now is set a little bit of, you know, I talked about kind of digital skills and the trends. Digital is one example that I’m seeing as like a big skill trend, and it’s happening across all industries. But each industry on top of that has their own trend, right. If you think about the energy industry, they’ve got renewable energy, you’ve got 5g and telecom, you’ve got so many different trends that are happening out there.

Biotech and pharmaceuticals, like each vertical, have their own transformational trends with regards to skills. But then digital is happening across all industries. So I want to just take a lens on digital for a second and share a little bit of context on why this impacts every aspect of your business. And your ability to compete effectively affects every aspect of your performance, your cost, your efficiency, your customer experience, and your revenue growth is all impacted by digitization. And so skills required to enable digitization are really vital. And there’s a lot of competition out there for the same skills. And so that’s why you want to kind of really build kind of the skills focused into your organization and really help your employees build those skills. Because it’s so competitive out there right now, I’m sure many of you know this, and in terms of acquiring digital skills. So here’s an example. I’ve got four categories here, AI and big data, cloud computing, Internet of all things, and cybersecurity. So let’s just take a look at one of them, AI and big data. The use cases of this in terms of what it enables are very large, everything from Intelligent Automation, fraud, analytics, lead generation optimization, so revenue, growth, cost, efficiency, all of these things, doing everything bigger and better. You know, you can see the internet of all things, it’s demand based pricing, digital customer experience, very important these days, digital products that you’re creating. So you can see the extent of what digital skills drive across your organization is quite critical. And then what you see beneath that, for each of these categories are what are the key skills that are we’re seeing come up as kind of these rising skills for each of these categories.

So for AI and big data, obviously, machine learning, deep learning algorithms, neural networks, Python, is rising as a skill for big data, TensorFlow, internet of all things you can see similarly to embedded systems. I’m not a technical expert, but you can see these and obviously read for yourself, these are all the skills that we’re seeing that are rising. And what we’ve done is we took a look across industries, and what is the prevalence of these skills in the industries. And what you can see is that the readiness across industries, to be able to compete and have sufficient skill sets, sufficient of these skills, each of these categories is mostly in the red. I think, you know, it’s really fascinating. And I think you’ll see this, you know, as obviously out in the marketplace, as you’re competing for these types of skills. Does that sound familiar to you? Yeah, certainly

Anthony Abbatiello 27:45
Ok, you know, the those, you know, those tech skills where, you know, where, like, as we were saying before, which, you know, tend to be there, there is not a tremendous amount of maturity across organizations, unless they were sort of, you know, digital native, or, you know, big tech. So, certainly, this and I know, you’re gonna get to but you know, the chip, that was a staggering growth in the demand for these over time. And you know, how that’s changed is really unbelievable. So it says, you know, we’re starting in a place of, you know, not a weakness, and that’s going to continue to grow over time.

Andrea Shiah 28:25
Yeah. And that’s why upskilling is really important. upskilling your employees is really crucial. Plus, you’ve got in front of us this economic uncertainty. And I’m sure leaders are like, Okay, you have limited ability to grow your workforce right now in this environment. So the upskilling becomes crucial, especially when you take a look at these use cases. It’s pretty incredible. I have a question here, I would just answer really quickly: is there a standard set of skills defined somewhere for us to use? What I’d say is one of the things about a full that really, I think differentiates us is that you don’t have to use the right word, we are not about word matching, we understand the relationship between different skills. And so we have the ability to say, Okay, this skill is very closely related to this skill. And to make sure you kind of capture the matches of different candidates, whether internally or externally, I think that’s really important because of the fact that everybody’s using different language, for skills, and sometimes their skills, sometimes their capabilities, sometimes their leadership skills, as you were talking about earlier, Anthony, and so you want to have something that understands the relationship between all of that, because if you’re looking at an external candidate, they’re probably using very different language if you establish a standard language for skills. Yeah.

Anthony Abbatiello 29:47
Yeah, I think, you know, having the skill and the definition, I mean, obviously, you know, working with different organizations, you know, there are a lot we, we’ve developed a, you know, a skills framework because we wanted to be able to Pull all from different sources to be able to work with, you know, the different technologies, you know, and so having the right definition and knowing what those means, so that, you know, that, you know, data science, and you know, cloud engineering and those skills that are all mean the same thing to everybody. But the beauty of having the advancements of technology and talent intelligence is, you know, it’s not just the word that we use, it’s what they’re how they’re describing, and what the experience is. That really helps to get to the utilization of that skill.

Andrea Shiah 30:35
Yeah, absolutely. Okay, so I’m going to continue to hammer on this topic of changing quickly. Here’s an example of data scientists. And this is our data that we took a look at this role data science as a role over the past 10 years has grown dramatically in terms of its prevalence. So how prevalent is a data scientist, guess what? Today it’s highly, highly prevalent, as a role. And then taking a look on the right of that chart, you’ll see what are the top rising skills in 2010 for data scientists. And you can see in 2020, here’s the top pricing skills that we’re seeing currently. And there’s no overlap, completely different skill sets. And you can see it’s driven by, you know, new technology, new approaches, new tools, just a completely different world than 10 years ago, we’re seeing and then if you look at the slope of the lines, you can see it’s changing at a three to five year clip. So being very skill focused, and really focused on building skills and understanding what emerging skills are kind of coming up is really important as you think about your organization and upskilling. And so I want to show you kind of what if you’ve got that skill of intelligence. And so let’s say, we have two examples here in front of us. One is a declining role as a systems analyst, and then the future role is a cloud engineer, and no surprise cloud engineers now are in high demand. If you have skills, intelligence, you’re able to understand, you know, with the systems analyst role and a cloud engineer role, there’s actually really high overlap of skills, right, the green boxes are direct skill overlap, the yellow boxes are related skill overlaps.

So if I’m a systems analyst, and I want to kind of grow my career and move in the direction of greater, greater relevance, I guess, in terms of the prevalence of roles, I might want to move the direction of a cloud engineer. And this way, I know exactly what skills I need to develop. And I also know I have a lot of skills already that overlap with a cloud engineer. And so what from an employee experience is the same view, but looking at what skills need to be developed. So if I’m that systems administrator, I can see I have a high overlap, as I said, just now with a cloud engineer, and here are the skills I need to build to move down the pathway of becoming a cloud engineer. And then if I look at the other options, I actually have different pathways I can take, right. And I have overlap with a business systems consultant, I have a high overlap of skills with a DevOps engineer, and I can see these are the skills I need to build. And I can choose my pathway. I think that is one of the most important things here as you’re giving that transparency and therefore, kind of the empowerment of your employees. And one quick example is I’ve taken a programming class before. And I’ve learned that I have really bad skills at programming. If you told me that I had to be a cloud engineer or DevOps engineer, I might have to leave the organization. But if I look at the business systems consultant, the kind of new skills required process improvement, business analysis, and strategic planning, that happen to be real areas of interest for me, and I would happily choose that pathway for development. So that’s the power of empowering your employees. Great. So I’ll hand it back to you about the kind of employee perspective, which PwC is seeing in your research?

Anthony Abbatiello 34:19
Yeah. So if you if you look here on this slide, you know, I see, you know, this, certainly from our experience, and, you know, our recent hopes and fears, studies showed that employees view AI as an opportunity to learn new skills, like they’re not afraid of this taking over, they’re actually asking for it. And quite honestly, what I’ve seen is a lot of, you know, I’m a, I’m an older generation as a Gen X, or I see a lot of, you know, those of us that are in leadership are the ones that are actually have this fear of the unknown around this technology and what it might do, whereas, you know, the, the younger generations really are embracing and have embraced this, certainly the Gen Z’s and the digital natives, they are really, you know, looking at this as an opportunity. It’s clearly front and center right now. And it’s already disrupting the job market. I mean, you know, a fold has, you know, an entire business around this. And, you know, they’re ready to embrace it, right, they believe it will have a positive impact. And a third of our respondents, you know, believe that it will enable them to learn new skills or create job opportunities.

So, you know, that’s, that’s a great, you know, great point of view. I think the next piece here just shows that, sorry. The, the, you know, they that the, you know, employee base really recognize the need for upskilling. So there’s this employee base that have special skills, they’re more ready for reinvention, you know, then those, you know, without, and they recognize, you know, the need for upskilling. You know, this, this is the point of the haves and the have nots, you know, with specialized skills, they’re more prepared for the rapid change in business models. And they recognize the need for ongoing upskilling, it’s not something that happens one period of time, and then it’s over. So this is, you know, the time the call to action is for organizations, for learning organizations, for HR departments, to, you know, look at the opportunity to tie their upskilling efforts to prepare their workforce for the future, including identifying and developing the skills for tomorrow, so you know, when in the next three to five years. So I think that, you know, this is the, we recognize it as a need to enable the future growth of the business so that we are viable in the future. And now our workforce is telling us, we also see this opportunity to grow. And we needed to have the resiliency to continue to support that change and grow.

Andrea Shiah 37:00
Yeah, isn’t it great, it’s a coming together of the business objective and the human interest, objective, right employees need and also the company’s needs to be great. Okay, our next and last survey here is, how confident are you in your organization’s ability to assess an employee’s potential beyond what you see on your resume?

Anthony Abbatiello 37:26
Good one, I was thinking about, you know, Andrew, when you’re looking at it from, you know, the eightfold client perspective, you know, how our clients, you know, are digging beyond the surface of looking at resumes and job descriptions to understand the skills potential of their workforce?

Andrea Shiah 37:44
Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, if you’re looking at your workforce eightfold has the ability is, you know, based on publicly available data, but also based on employees completing their profiles to be able to provide a lens into what kind of skills do you have in your organization, you can take a look at that lens, broadly, you can take a look at it by your job families, or your different business organizations. It’s just a great, very dynamic way to understand what skills you have. And if you want to talk about looking beyond the resume, you know, that’s a great way to capture this and the ability to capture, I’ll share with you in a minute, like what is their potential to learn a new skill, and really consider that and consider them for different types of roles. So let’s take a quick look at the responses here.

Andrea Shiah 38:41
We have a confident group that’s fantastic. The largest grouping is around seven confident and assessing employees potential. The next group is in the middle, neither confident or doubtful. And then the third is doubtful. So I think that’s an interesting distribution of responses. I think there’s a good amount of confidence and a lot of kind of oftentimes in evaluating kind of your workforces capabilities or potential we’re seeing a lot of organizations is oftentimes done manually. And I think if you’ve got kind of the ability to be more agile in that and dynamic and that you know, within a platform, it really unlocks your ability to really see this and also drive the upscaling.

Anthony Abbatiello 39:43
Yeah, so I know, the question here is about, you know, tying into the get to, you know, development and learning. So we’re going to talk about that in a second here as well. But you know, finding and retaining talent is more and more difficult. You know, I love this idea. At this point I say it often to a client that talent is hiding in plain sight, over 1/3 of employees have skills that are not clear from their resumes. And, you know, I think that that untapped potential is hiding right inside the organization. Because, you know, listen, I’ve been in, I’ve been in my career for almost 30 years, you know, what I was doing 20 years ago, do I even, you know, well, first of all, don’t even remember.

But, you know, you know, there are things that I was doing it early on in my consulting career, which you know, have experienced that I could really gone or I could refresh, or they may be skills that, you know, are not understood by, you know, the employees or, or, you know, within the HR organization, you know, over 1/3 of employees have skills that are not clear on their resumes, they may not be clear from their profiles, and that may limit their exposure to additional development or mobility opportunities. And so, you know, we’re what we’re really seeing is this need for, you know, understanding, you know, the skill, and then, you know, and then that that ultimately provides, when we have that at the core that gives the areas to mobility to development, acquisition, to retirement and many ways to, so you know, that that piece, you know, I oftentimes telling clients, that we are, you know, we’re sitting on the skills that may be in the organization. And so instead of spending the money on acquisition and onboarding, which we all know, is a costly process, right, finding those skills that upskilling in internally, is often you know, better for the organization enhances the the development of the individual, and also the overall culture and behavior of the organization. I think, Andrew, it’d be good. You know, from your perspective, I know talent intelligence is extremely powerful, you know, for Eightfold, you know, how is Eightfold enabling organizations to widen the aperture of the talent pools?

Andrea Shiah 42:12
Yeah, so perfect segue. That wasn’t a planned segue either. But I want to show you kind of how intelligence kind of gives a lens into understanding a broader population that could be a good fit for a role, especially in this environment. As you and I were just talking about Anthony, where every company happens to be competing for the same skills right now. So here’s an example: let me just talk about this page for a second, because there’s a lot on this page. If you look at the box on the left, in the dark boxes, what you see are some of the high demand skills out there, right agile methodologies, financial analysis, Python, is a very common language skill that’s being sought after right now. And a full test with such a depth of data, we can understand what skills individuals have before they learn a new skill, right? So as I said, we have an equivalent half the world’s workforce worth of data. So we also see movement between roles and how skills are acquired. So we call these adjacent skills. So for example, if you look at Python, looking at our data or analysis, we see adjacent skills with C Plus Plus Java R is an example . If you know those programming languages, the chances are you can pick up Python pretty easily. If you don’t already have a foot in the door, right? And learning Python, that’s probably likely. But you can also take a look at agile methodologies, just a different skill. You can see if you’ve got experience with Scrum, user centered design, continuous integration, your ability to learn agile methodologies is very high. Right? So what eightfold has been able to do is talk about potential potential to learn a new skill. And we’ve made it scientific based on the data that we have. And so what happens with that, and a lot of this is intuitive, right? It’s intuitive.

It’s just that we actually have the data so we can do this for all skills. And so the power of this, if you look on the right, right is if you take a look at Python, if you consider all these other adjacent skills, you’re able to increase your population of talent by three times. Right. So that means if you include someone who has Java, our C++ as a programming language, you’ll find a lot more candidates to bring in and they are very likely to be able to either learn Python or have already started to learn Python. And so that’s really powerful, right? Because it allows your recruiters to expand their pool. It allows HR to look at the employee base and see who has these adjacent skills. Where can we focus on upskilling within our organization? What is the potential to grow the skill within our organization? And you can see for example, if Look at risk management. If you consider all the adjacent skills, you can increase your pool of talent by 5.5 times. So really great intelligence to leverage if you really are competing for the same skills that everybody else is competing for, and you want to know where to upskill in your organization, or how to even broaden your external pool if you’re looking at candidates externally. So to answer your question, this is a great way to widen your aperture. But do it in a scientific way and find individuals that have a high likelihood of being able to learn that skill pretty easily, quickly, you’re probably on a path to do that, in any case. Okay.

Anthony Abbatiello 45:47
And I think just at that point, you know, the, the, I think a couple of you were asking this question about, so how does this then the linkage into culture, organization strategy, right, so when you look at this, skills based organizations require constant coordination of your learning strategy, culture organization, as each need to be in sync to deliver that employee experience. So once you’re, you have an understanding of the skills that are required, right, that’s what that can then be translated into, you know, using the information that Andrea was just talking about, that’s a, you know, a great way to enable, you know, the speed to skill. So you know, those adjacencies, someone that has a skill in a certain area can develop in another. So seeing that adjacency is one. So looking at the talent matching the skills matching, and then making recommendations around development. And doing that in a proactive way can be, you know, self guided development, so offering different types of upskilling programs, whether they through distance learning, distant learning, through, you know, other digital venues, through snackable bite sized content, or through accreditation, and certified learning content. So all of those together, you know, that we’ll then look at the prioritization of the adjacent skills, where I can develop other critical skills faster, looking at the skills that we’re, you know, that, you know, are a gap in the curricula that are critical skills within the organization to offer those proactively to those individuals. And then tying the culture so that leaders, right, we all know, culture is really it’s not about placards, or mugs and say, you know, our culture is great, it’s about the way in which work gets done around here, and how leaders are tying what they’re prioritizing their behaviors to those actions.

And so, you know, having a culture that supports learning, development, upskilling, and investing in that in individuals, it’s something that we see, you know, the, the rate of return is so high, because we’re increasing the engagement of the employee population, which we all know drives productivity, and thus creating a, you know, a better more seamless employee experience for, for the, for the workforce. So at that point, just sorry, go ahead. Oh, I didn’t think just here, the next piece just on that culture, you know, that’s the point I wanted to make as a, you know, a culture of continuous learning here. That’s a really important point.

You know, shaping the culture that supports learning begins with a pulse check, right of your learning goals and objectives by gathering your leaders, and you’re learning and development professionals. So really understand what’s happening. Looking at those, the data objectively, so no good or bad idea, you know, defining the future state of learning across the organization, so how you can drive learning, so not everything has to be, you know, go away for a week, accreditation, or a couple days, some things can be delivered in a digital content, you know, we’re all walking around with our own personal computers, you know, with our phones. Now, with people who are returning to offices, having commutes, again, vodcast, podcasts, snackable content, all are great, you know, options to offer upskilling opportunities.

And then, you know, identifying the key cultural traits, what do we need leaders to do to map to the behaviors that we want them to lead with that match what we’re hearing from the workforce. So, aligning those and determining who your changes influence our influences are, you know, within the organization and having a plan to use them, right citizen led activation, how they can really scale those behaviors. So, I think overall, you know, when when, I guess now we spent the last 52 minutes talking about the role that employee experience plays when making the shift to a skills based organization, but we can end on this last slide here about, you know, where can HR leaders really start? And so, you know, I’ll just call out a few points here that I know are important for me. You know, for the number one defining employee experience, we know that today employee experience is the new people strategy. And employee experience drives engagement, productivity and performance of the organization. So what do you know? What are the skills in the work? What’s the culture? What’s the, you know, the workspace workplace to support them? And what are the types of holistic rewards we can offer to the workforce to enable it, it’s not a one size fits all anymore. So really defining that employee experience, you know, that that’s one to start.

The second is about listening, pulsing, listening, doing active listening within the organization, we deploy many of our tools into client organizations to help them gather quickly insights as to what employees need, then that that point about fostering a culture of continuous learning, making sure that leaders really are prioritizing learning and upskilling, and that we’re putting our investment towards upskilling. Overall, and then, you know, really, I’d say, seven and nine to me always go together prioritize Well, being mental health and embracing diversity, equity and inclusion. You know, those are places where I think if you know, all of these are areas to start, these are, these are ones where I would say I double click into Andrew, what do you what would you add to that as well.

Andrea Shiah 51:37
I love this, this is a great list. I think that I would talk about a theme that I think runs throughout all this is empowering your employees, right to, to make decisions for themselves. Along the lines of many of these things, you know, around, you know, shaping their goals around kind of their needs for well being, mental health, obviously, and learning is really important to kind of really be shaped as my example earlier, is really important. And even kind of diversity, equity inclusion, just making sure there is kind of that transparency, and empowerment at the employee level. So I feel like it’s a theme that runs through all of these that’s really important. And to empower them requires transparency, visibility, and giving them the tools that allow them to drive kind of in shape, you know, how they consume what they need? Yeah, this is a great summary. So

Anthony Abbatiello 52:47
okay, so the other questions that we haven’t answered, I think we’ve soaked so far, some of them we have.

Andrea Shiah 52:53
So here we are in q&a. So let’s see, if I take a look, I’m gonna just go back and look at questions. So I have a question here about how Eightfold partners with companies to identify critical skills for business priorities. And so a lot of the work that we’re doing with our customers now is taking look at the critical job families, right? In their organization, a lot of companies are looking across all their job families, actually. And what I think is important intelligence that you should want and look for is marketplace trends. So if you look at your competitors, or your benchmark companies, you want to look at understanding what’s happening with similar roles or job families, in in kind of this group of competitors, gives you great insights to understand like, Am I on track? Am I behind? And is it okay for me to behind because I’ve got different set of strategies, but just understanding that intelligence helps you really make sure like, am I am I comparing versus my competitors and what steps you know, should I be taking if I’m behind and it really matters for my business strategy or if I’m behind, it doesn’t matter for our business strategy. It’s just good to be aware of that. So I think that’s one of the important things to bring to the table to really shape your priorities is understand the marketplace and the trends let’s continue to look

Anthony Abbatiello 54:26
okay, so I know there was another one about just looking at sorry, I went down to the bottom. I didn’t want to miss any of the ones. Yep, you know, I will say there was a question here about employees more likely to leave an organization after the organization has provided transferable skills. I don’t have a crystal ball into the future, but I will tell you for organizations that are offering upskilling particularly around critical skills, and that’s that’s moving into the culture, we’re seeing retention rates and attraction rates much higher in those organizations than we were previously.

Andrea Shiah 55:07
Yeah, I think I was just adding to that, Anthony to that. Yeah, that’s great to see that outcome, obviously, that’s kind of where you’re measuring exactly the outcomes, which is important. But I also think that learning is connected with mobility. And so mobility, if you help your employees move within your company, is going to more likely get them to stay. Because they can’t move internally, they will look externally, I think we all witnessed that of the past few years, with so many resignations. So having that mobility internally is really important. And upskilling, as part of that.

Anthony Abbatiello 55:49
There was a question about hiring managers to train their new hires to enhance their new skills. I mean, you know, the hiring manager or the supervisor is critical to this process. I think there has to be a learning culture and, you know, connection with broader learning and development. Certainly hiring managers have the opportunity to influence the experience, the lived experience that people have, and the experiences of how they’re applying those skills. There, there may be some on the job and technical skills that hiring managers can also be a part of. So I think that that is a critical part.

Andrea Shiah 56:25
And say, here’s a question for you. How much time a day or in a month, would you say should be devoted to upskilling? Your current employee base?

Anthony Abbatiello 56:40
You know, it’s a question I get asked this question all the time I do, I do think, you know, there should be at least one day per month that the employee base has to have dedicated towards upskilling and development. That said, there are areas where that changes and goes up to, you know, a day to half a day to a day a week, depending on the criticality where we’re transitioning the workforce. So that can be in places, the technical skills, the digital skills that Andrea was talking about before, certainly around leadership, where I’ve spent a lot of my time is around executive leaders and developing accelerating their development, that oftentimes, you know, that takes more pointed immersion to build out the expertise and the exposure of those leaders which can come at, again, it can still average out to, you know, 12 days out of the years. But that made me be more contiguous and focused around immersion to accelerate their development to take on future jobs in the C suite or, you know, ultimately,

Andrea Shiah 57:47
Great. I think we’re running out of time. I do want to answer one question in one minute, this last question that was raised about, this seems to be more directed towards more senior professional roles, what about inside sales, customer success, and other non exempt job families. And I just want to address that, because, you know, I was sharing earlier that I want to show digital, because there’s so much competition for digital. But we actually have a lot of customers that are in the manufacturing industry, or have the majority of their workforce and non exempt roles. Also very important, right, the upskilling. There’s even transformation happening in those roles in terms of new methods of manufacturing. And so upskilling. And mobility remains an important factor there. We’re working with a lot of companies in retail, and manufacturing and healthcare, that are not these senior, you know, professional roles, that this plays equally an important role in actually there’s been a lot of pain with hourly workers and non exempt job families, most recently, so definitely a lot of activity in that space, too. I just wanted to use the example of digital because that was very relatable, I think, across all industries. I, unfortunately, have so many questions, great questions, too. We’re out of time. So I just want to thank you, Kathy, I really enjoyed this conversation. We’d love to have future conversations with you, because I think this was really a rich discussion, seeing the research.

Anthony Abbatiello 59:19
Yeah, no, it was great. Thank you, you know, for sharing the data. I think, you know, what Eightfold has is really unique. And the data and the access that your team has really helps bring together the you know, the insight and the advice that we’re giving to our clients as they navigate this unchartered territory. It’s great. But thank you all for joining us today. Hopefully, this was useful. Thank you to our SHRM hosts for having us and I look forward to seeing you in future sessions. Great. Thanks.

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