Leveraging AI to foster skill-based growth and succession planning

Learn valuable insights and strategies for building a strong leadership pipeline that can adapt to changing circumstances.

Leveraging AI to foster skill-based growth and succession planning

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Organizations must be prepared to quickly adapt to new challenges and opportunities. Leaders who are agile and able to navigate complex and uncertain situations with confidence are key to success. To develop agile leaders, organizations must also have an agile approach to skills development and succession planning.

In today’s fast-paced environment, the traditional approach where succession planning is an annual event for companies to review the leadership pipelines and identify successors for key roles is no longer sufficient. To keep up with the changing needs of the business, succession planning needs to become a real-time initiative. AI is becoming increasingly popular among organizations looking to identify potential leaders based on objective data such as assessments, work history, and performance evaluations.

In this webinar, we explore:

  • How a skills-focused approach based on talent insights increases agility, improves employee engagement, and reduces risk.
  • How real-time succession planning enables organizations to identify and develop emerging leaders continuously, ensuring they are ready to step into key roles when needed.
  • The benefits of deploying AI-powered talent intelligence to help HR and business leaders keep pace with today’s business and talent challenges with real-time data.

I appreciate everyone joining us. As we talk about leveraging AI to foster skills based growth and succession planning, it’s a topic near and dear to my heart. And as the world changes at an ever faster rate, you know, this is one of the many talent processes and organizational processes that needs to change as well. So very pleased to be joined by Keith, from Heidrick and struggles as we talk about, you know, this topic of succession planning and applying AI and a skills based approach. And also to explain a little bit about how our organizations partner together to achieve this. So first, let’s just give a little background on what we’re going to talk about today. So today, we’re going to talk about, you know, shifting to a skills focused approach, using talent insights and market insights to make more strategic talent decisions. We’re going to talk about the importance of real time succession planning, and just the changing nature of the way in which this activity is being done. And then deploying AI powered talent intelligence for today’s evolving world. Over the course of the hour. We do plan to engage with you and be interactive. We’re going to ask some polls. Just to get a feel for the audience and help level set the conversation will provide you a little bit of background and introduction to eat fold as well as Heidrick and struggles, and then talk about how the two companies are coming together to take this challenge on. First a little bit about me as mentioned, a senior director with eight fold on the product marketing team. I’ve been with eight fold now for two years. Prior to joining an eight fold I was a Gartner analyst covering talent acquisition technology and onboarding solutions and the HCM market. So I’ve been an industry analyst covering this space for some time. And in a former life, I was a former talent leader, leading talent acquisition function for a large fortune 50. So happy to talk about this topic today is it’s one that I’ve been responsible for undertaken, help guide and advise and now you know, work on the product team offering a solution. Now, I’d like to introduce Keith McCook, from Heidrick and struggles and how he comes to the topic today. Welcome, Keith.

Thank you, Jason, I really appreciate it. So I work with hydric digital, we’re focused on how to drive the digital transformation of leadership. And we do this by blending technology with hydrates leadership expertise, and assessment science. My work focuses in particular on how to how to have this blend of assessment and technology brought to life for all types of talent applications. And we do this from selection and succession planning to development, and coaching and retention. I’m excited to have the opportunity to present with Jason today. And I really appreciate the invitation to be here. Prior to hydric, I’ve been here for a little over two years, my background and entire career has really been spent, and assessment science and psychometric expertise all oriented around how to measure as much information about people to predict meaningful work outcomes. I also teach in a nationally recognized business school in Dallas, Texas, so nice to be with you.

Wow, looking looking forward to the conversation. So that’s a little bit about us. Now, to help get the conversation started, we want to learn a little bit about the audience. So we’re going to start out with one of those polls. So I’m going to queue up the poll and ask for the webinar team to help us deliver this. But the first poll question is, How frequently does your organization engage in succession planning processes to prepare for leadership transitions. So if we can cue that up to allow the audience to participate? Let’s learn a little bit about the audience. Give it a give it a few seconds here to collect a.

Couple more seconds. Anyone else still trying to get into the poll? Okay, we’re having some late changes. CC. Good. We gave a couple of us a couple of seconds, some late shifts. Alright, perfect. So if we could stop there. Let’s look at the results here. The leader of the pack is an annual process. We have a growing number surprisingly, an ongoing process. That’s great to see. We’re going to talk about the importance of real time today. But we also have an audience here that says we do not currently have a formal process. Not necessarily a surprise, but welcome and we’re looking forward to having you listen and learn from the session. The numbers are still moving here, but I think they’re staying pretty consistent. Keith, any thoughts on what you’re seeing here,

I would say, for one, I’m encouraged by the number that are looking at this as an ongoing process. That’s some of the content that we’ll talk about today, I really see advantages to doing that. And I think that that probably reflects the advent of technology. And some of the solutions like we’re going to talk about right. Tools like eight fold really have enabled people to do this on more of an ongoing basis by providing rich robust tools to do that, something that’s been a real challenge in the past, I’m interested to hear more from people as we go through the session on what’s prevented them from doing it more often than annually, or if that’s just the cadence that’s been established, and what some of the limitations are, in terms of not currently having a process.

Perfect, thank you so much. If we can get back into the presentation, we will start moving. So a little bit about the background for this conversation, and maybe a way to introduce a fault. You know, skills are increasingly a hot topic in the world of HR organizations are dipping their toe in the water or jumping in to becoming skills based organizations and various degrees. And the reason why is because of the availability of data, the importance of understanding your skills inventory, whether it’s your existing employees or your talent pipeline, as well as just the rapidly changing nature of work, you know, job descriptions, job titles, are not as reliable as they’ve been in the past because of just the fast pace of change with innovation and technology and digital transformation. So skills are inherently linked with the talent lifecycle, and people develop them as they move through your organizations from, you know, hire to retire. But the hard part about this is, our tools haven’t always allowed us to get at the granular level of skills at the pace of change at the depth of understanding. And if you think about it, a lot of our data that’s been collected is often focused on the job someone does for the organization, or maybe their history of jobs they’ve done for the organization. And it’s not necessarily a complete profile of their skills. So when you think about it, talent, intelligence gives you the power to value skills beyond the job and get that more complete profile of what that person may have done before they join your organization, or what that person may have gained, you know, through extracurricular activities in your organization, or through ERG activities or volunteering. So the point, a lot of the movement towards taking a skills based approach is because now we have this abundance of data, but also the ability to mine it and make sense from it at a much faster pace. I see you nodding, keep any immediate reactions to that,

for sure. So one comment I would add here is that there there are bottom, I think you can simply simplify it down to bottom up and top down approaches to talent. And I really think both have unique value. So the skills approach that you’re talking about really captures that bottom up sort of inductive data approach where you’re bringing together as much information as possible to make sense of it. But I think you can blend that with more of a top down role oriented approach, things like competency frameworks, and potential measures and the more traditional sounding components, and they really complement each other. So I think considering that broader a broad range of inputs, really helps to engage in a more in depth conversation around development and career directions and get you to a better place.

And one of the one of the comparisons or analogies that I’ve come to kind of grasp onto is, when I was leading talent acquisition, I was working in a manufacturing environment. And this was, you know, in the early 2000s, and 2010s. And that was during the rise of the Internet of Things. And we were talking about every piece of equipment and machinery and products having their own IP address, and the ability to send and receive data in real time through the lifecycle of a product. I think if you kind of take a leap with me, we’re getting to a point where we’re doing something very similar with the lifecycle of talent, and being able to anticipate needs and understand context and look at development opportunities and kind of steer talent in an organization maybe before it even knows, it needs to be steered. So, you know, in my mind, the way I come to this is kind of using that similar comparison. And part of that is because of the same way we were collecting data, you’re looking at that product lifecycle, we’re now collecting data, looking at that talent lifecycle. And a lot of organizations may have skills taxonomies, where they’re doing this and collecting kind of a skills environment for their organization. But one of the things that’s now happening in this space is the ability to take a more dynamic approach with this and have a dynamic skills framework, where using AI and using machine learning, you can take a skills taxonomy and a skills inventory but also apply some AI and machine learning to get to a more real time understanding of what’s happening. Within the context of that skills analysis, and this starts to become self learning and automatic, and it incorporates things like skill adjacencies, and learn ability, the context with which this individual exists or where this decision is being made. And it helps power the connection between all those various elements of, of the talent lifecycle. So this really becomes this ability to kind of read and react and understand the environment, while also organizing and administering talent processes in a very stable way. Any thoughts on that, Keith?

Yeah, the one other comment I’d make here is, I think it’s also helpful to think about this through a general versus a local lens. So when you think about all of the all of the skills data that you’re capturing, one of the real advantages of it is that ability to learn across all of the organizations and all of the different roles, you know that there’s millions of data points out there that you can take into account and really start to understand that through an AI driven approach, and that’s something that previously would have been limited by sort of within the walls of the organization, that knowledge that you have there. And so I think there’s real power and broadening your understanding with all of those identified relationships and how that makes sense together. And I think that also sets up people with within the walls of the organization, the talent management professionals to do their jobs even more effectively, because then they can focus more on being the talent expert and thinking about the local considerations, right? What’s the situation? What are the specific work objectives, the org strategy, the culture of the team, all of those other factors that are a little more nuanced, and bring that into play as well.

Now, one of the questions that I often receive when I’m speaking with ch arrows and talent leaders, is just where do you start on this journey? And how perfect does your understanding of skills have to be? And just what does that methodology look like? Because the way we’ve done this in the past, it was, again, very manual, a lot of spreadsheet heroism using Excel. And just it was such a Herculean effort, it was something that couldn’t be maintained and kept up to date just because of the amount of time it took. So now with some of this capability, there’s kind of a little bit of a different approach, a lot less heavy lifting, and the ability to mine the data in real time. But let’s see how many organizations have kind of started this or where they are on their journey. So we’re going to shift to our next poll. And we want to ask you you know, does your organization have a clear and comprehensive understanding of the skills within your workforce today

here we go people are already on it, we’re getting results in fast this is great.

Some changes in the data.

Alright, let’s start to look at this, it looks like the the clubhouse leader is to some extent, we have partial insights, but room for improvement exists. I think the others a lot of people in that category. A second runner up, our understanding varies as we lack a consistent method for assessing skills. I’m sure you hear this a lot.

I think a lot for me, a lot of this goes back to what approach is used for measurement of these types of data. And a lot of times what we see is organizations doing the more traditional approach where they’re asking about specific skills and sort of cataloging it based on a predefined predefined set of requirements. And what I like about the skills approach we’re talking about is it sort of turns that on its head and allows people to put forward all of their skills in you sort of glean all of that data in a more abstract form. And that allows you to start to discover some of those unanticipated relationships and you learn some things that you may not have even thought to ask beforehand. And that’s what comes to light for me when you think about understanding, you know, by not having a consistent method, at least having multiple methods will help you get to more consistency at the end of the day.

I think another element of this is how do you scale this? Right? So you know, we have partial insights, but improvement exists, or we have the ability but not a consistent method. I think some of that also speaks to the underlying challenge around scaling this. So our previous poll question asked, How often do you do this? A question we could have asked is how deep in the organization do you go? Right? Do you look at this as the C suite mine To levels? Or do you do this for the top 100 or top 200, depending on the size of your organization, I think one of the things that we’re now getting at the ability to do with, you know, AI and machine learning and the ability to take a skills based approach, we’re getting deeper into the organization to get a more comprehensive look at data and look at and look at skills, but also potentially better leading indicators. Okay, perfect. So, you know, what we’re dealing with is succession planning in this new skills, reality, you know, everyone is going after emerging skills, we’re all competing for the same talent. There was a research study that looked at all of the job postings over the s&p 1000, over a number of years, both in North America and in Europe. And what they found was half of the job postings, we’re all recruiting for the same 37 roles, right, we’re all going after the same talent, we’re all looking for these emerging skills. They’re in high demand. So part of this weighs in on this, this decision of do you develop these people internally, do you continually go outside to try to recruit them, even though we’re facing increasing competition, and this just continues this battle for supply and demand? I think we also started to allude to this some of the evaluation methods we have today blocks certain talent. So if you don’t have a comprehensive skill profile, if you have limited data, if you’re only tracking data to a certain element of the individuals existence in your organization, you may have hidden talent already walking around your organization among you that just may not be getting considered or looked at. And one of the things that I’m interested in, in the work that I do is the increasing need and requirement for new tools to address this, especially in remote and hybrid work scenarios where people aren’t dealing with proximity and what’s in front of them, it’s dealing with a lot of things that are happening, you know, invisible around the organization, but not right in front of you. And then I think another opportunity here is, with skills based approaches, you have the ability to create transparency, and maybe democratize some opportunity, but at the very least, democratize understanding of opportunity, and what it would take to potentially grow my career in this organization. And part of this can be assisted and supported with AI recommendations and calibration, and other things that exist in some of the tools and products that we have addressing, you know, this, this process today. I think, you know, the world around us is changing extremely rapidly. You know, in addition to the data point I shared around everyone recruiting for the same roles, you know, there’s also data that comes out every year around like the most in demand roles that are the hardest to recruit for positions. And whenever they show those Top Lists, Top 20, top 25, usually 10 to 15 of them didn’t exist, you know, five to 10 years ago. And that window is getting shorter and shorter. I think the same, the same goes for executive roles. Right? The as we talk about succession planning, a lot of this is building towards the executive bench and executive pipeline. But leadership roles are changing faster than ever, right, they have an increasing number of responsibilities with a broader mix of skills and experience. I like these charts from Gartner being a former Gartner alumni that just speak to both the recognition and the challenge of trying to do this in today’s world. And also, you know, the second chart at the bottom there talks about how roles will be very different, faster and faster. So they’re changing. And I think this show is something like 40 46% or 47% thought that the jobs would be faster and in less than five years would be very different in less than five years. So this agility and need to plan develop and adjust in real time is an increasing requirement. Because if you’re only doing this once a year or twice a year, you only have a few chances to get it right. And the target keeps moving and keep shifting. Right. Keith, are you seeing this in some of the engagements that you’re working on? Or some of the data that you’re seeing?

Yeah, I think your comments around the rapid change of work are really something I take to heart and that we see a lot of, you know, I think one of the historical approaches was always to look at people’s past track record of success. And that’s valuable, and it’s meaningful, and it is one indication of likelihood of future success. But when you get into this situation where you have very few people that actually have that track record because the job is so new or the industry is evolving so rapidly, you have to start to look at other factors and that’s where you take a deeper dive and start to look at skills. You’re looking at their capabilities, their potential for success into the future. What are the other measurables where we can gather input that will give us an indication of their likelihood for success. There may not be a single person that that’s a rock star that takes all of the boxes and so you have to start to ask different questions. How can we identify somebody that has the highest likelihood of success going forward?

And one of the things that we’ve talked about working with Heidrick and struggles in the past and taking a skills based approach is this concept of increasing T shaped careers, right non traditional career paths or leaders coming from different areas. So, you know, these T shaped careers are creating T shaped leaders. Right, I was I was reading some Heidrick and struggles content recently, and it talked about how you know, the path to CHRO is increasingly coming from outside of HR, or is increasingly requiring rotations into and out of other parts of the business. Right. So all of this creates a different mix of skills, a different need for skills, a different way of tracking and valuing skills, especially as you know, the nature of these roles change or as new roles keep popping up. And this doesn’t just happen, you know, in the organization, it’s happening at the C suite. I always, I always keep a lookout for these new roles that pop up that never existed before. And I kind of have a little notepad where I scratch them out, you know, these roles like Chief Experience Officer, Chief Sustainability Officer, Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Privacy Officer, Chief wellness officer, right, these are roles that haven’t existed in the past. And they’re also roles that even if you just look at what we’re given those simple titles, seem to have a hybrid nature, in the skills that would be required and where those people would come from. So increasingly, this is why it’s important to start with a good skills framework to start to build that audience for consideration.

I mentioned I teach a class in the business school and with MBA students, I had my first class last night and a roomful of 30 students, Professional MBA students, mostly, I think at least six of them use the word pivot when they were talking about their their decision to go back to school, and that they were at these transition points where they’re shifting, you know, making that lateral transformation go into a different type of work, pivoting in some way. And I think that that happens for a number of reasons, one, jobs change and sort of, you know, either evaporate over time, or new ones emerge, and people are interested in it. And I think also, there’s just a general interest in doing something different. And I think more and more people are open to that. And this this type of approach opens up those opportunities where you can start to see the intersections of how skills translate into other work. And that’s relevant for a lot of people

couldn’t agree more as someone who has pivoted. And just in terms of what we also used to do when we were trying to develop leaders was get them rotational programs and get them in and out of different areas of either the function or the business. But now increasingly, organizations are trying to do that at scale, and maybe broaden or democratize that opportunity. Just one more, one more reference to my former colleagues at Gartner. I really like this kind of summary, where succession is headed these days is shifting from this approach of more pipeline management to one of portfolio management. And when you think of that shift, what does that mean that word, pipeline to portfolio portfolio is based on work, types of work types of tasks, types of skills, rather than specific jobs or specific job titles. And it’s also looking broader than an individual bench, an individual bench for an individual role, it’s looking at a portfolio of skills aligned to a portfolio of talent, and maximizing the exposure of that audience to the potential matches and potential succession plans they could be could be matched to. So we’ve talked about the need to do this in more frequently, with skills and jobs and data changing in real time, as well as potentially changing your strategy taking a broader view, rather than looking at filling one specific role, kind of fostering and developing a portfolio for the potential to go in a variety of areas, especially as the future becomes less and less predictable.

Yeah, for me, that language is really important when you talk about it as portfolio management because I, I do think it’s important to treat leadership talent in organizations as an asset, right? And identifying top talent, especially the really high level leadership talent in organizations. It’s a critical business activity. It’s as important as anything else that you’ll spend time on from an organizational perspective. So I think that focus on objective data and rigor and analysis just like you would with any other businesses decision, it’s important that that comes through here.

I love that. So we have one more poll to get everyone engaged. You know, how would you classify your organization’s readiness to incorporate AI into HR processes? Let’s get a feel for where people are on their journey.

I like being able to watch the numbers in real time. But

there’s there has to be someone in the audience that’s well prepared with a clear strategy. The don’t be afraid to reach out

here we go. Thank you.

Great, no, and I thank you to whoever selected well prepared with a clear strategy to implement AI in HR processes. That’s great to hear. But it was also somewhat tongue in cheek, you know, don’t be afraid. All of this is new. All of this is transformative. All of this is happening as we speak. So one of the things that’s happening in HR and why it’s never been more exciting, but also potentially never more challenging to be in HR is all the rules that we’ve learned are getting thrown out. And a lot of our history is something we can’t rely on as we’re building kind of these processes in the HR function of the future. So I think we’re all on a similar journey. I think I, the results, here are what I expected to see. But what I appreciate there are some folks that are window shopping and some folks that are actually actively roadmapping. But what are your thoughts here? Keith?

I think a lot of it may depend on what the definition of AI is. There’s a lot of ideas that people have in their mind when they start to think about that, right. But for me, I really think that it does have power as a tool, but not as an automated decision maker. Right. And maybe that’s some of the difference. And I think that that may be where some of the apprehension comes from is people thinking that it automatically has to be something that’s going to give a thumbs up or a thumbs down and some type of selection application, I think there’s a ton of variance and ways that you can use it and incorporate it into decision processes as a voice or a piece of information, but not as the absolute decision maker. And for me that decisions really, that distinction is really key.

Perfect, thank you so much for everyone for participating. So next, I wanted to walk through a little bit about you know why we’re here together as as eight fold and Heidrick and struggles. The first part is just the way our technologies are being used to help organizations become skills based organizations. But then also the way our technology has been used for eight fold, and then for Heidrick and struggles around this specific topic of succession planning. So the first part is to just realize that we are in a very transformative time in place. And what’s happening is you have the world of work, mixing with the capability of AI and innovation and advanced technology. And now what’s happening is we’re learning to work together. And we’re creating these collaborative work relationships where people are using AI in a variety of different places, some may use it for automation, some may use it for, you know, talent, intelligence, or just or decision support in a variety of different capacities, whether it be chat GPT, or generative AI. But all of this is creating this human machine collaboration. And this is impacting our world and the world of HR and the way we address processes, but it’s also impacting every single role in the organization. So also, as HR practitioners, when we seek to support the organization, and we look to recruit talent, or develop talent or build succession plans, all of these roles are also being impacted by their work increasingly being done through human machine collaboration. So the nature of that role, the skills that are needed, the way the work gets done, is rapidly evolving. And like I said, we’re trying to hit a moving target. And we weren’t necessarily really good at hitting the target when it was relatively stationary. Even that work was very, very hard and very, very challenging. So all of this speaks to sit comes to say is that this is impacting the work that you’re doing. It’s impacting the way you do the work and it’s impacting the people that you’re supporting. And the goals we’re trying to you’re trying to accomplish. There’s this this middle ground between what individuals can do it with individual decision making and with technology and the availability of data and AI support. Right, Keith, especially as a researcher in this space.

Yeah, historically, I I’ve taken a pretty conservative approach to this. And I think this visual represents it nicely. The way that I’ve heard it talks about is you can use AI in the process, you know, as part of your your talent decisions, but with a steady hand on the rudder, and that’s a good way to think about it, you have a human involved in the mix, and you’re kind of monitoring how things go along the way. But it really does bring together the two strengths of both the AI approach and the human right, that AI approach takes advantage of systematization and objectivity and pattern recognition at scale, you know, millions and millions of data points. And then humans are allowed to do what they do best in addition to that, so you look at their ability to deal with interpretation and evaluation and nuance. And a lot of times, it’s really just facilitating the right conversations around talent within the organization. And then you’re spending your time on higher value higher quality activities, and letting the AI do some of the Drudge work that it can do even more effectively than humans ever could. So it sounds to me.

So what I want to walk through next relatively quickly, is what does this look like in action? How do you operationalize, you know, an AI tool to help become a skills based organization? And then we’ll go a little deeper to talk about, well, what does that mean for things like succession planning and talent management. So, so first, using AI and talent, intelligence allows organizations to gain the visibility to the talent they need, and better understand the talent they have. And this is through making sense of a variety of disparate data sources. You know, in HR, we have this history of a lot of data silos, or pocket projects or, you know, unique solutions to a division or to a location or to a department. And it isn’t always easy to get this data together, in a way to make sense of it. Well, now, these tools are helping gather and make sense of this unstructured disparate data. In addition, where we’re incorporating additional data points from market intelligence and talent insights, that just allows you to get at some trend analysis or some benchmarking capability. How does my organization compare to my industry? How does my industry compare to the overall market? What is my talent look like at various stages of my talent processes? How do I use this to track and map how talent and specifically skills are existing and moving in my organization? So all of this allows for the ability to analyze skill trends, and draw comparisons, and also just gather broader datasets and more complete talent profiles. So for example, if you’re doing this for the entire organization, you can start to apply elements of what are succession planning, but really what it becomes is what we refer to as skills based role readiness. And you start to look at what are the skills that are in my organization? Which are the what are the skills I need to develop? What are the talent that could potentially map to that strategy in that plan? And how do I start to execute on that. So when you put this together, you can really start to put your strategy to work. And you can use a tool to start to identify things like rising and declining skills, you can calibrate roles for current and future needs, you can start to standardize roles across the organization, but not in a static way in a way that still allows them to be dynamic and updated in real time and do things like build a roll library, when you as you put your strategy to work. This allows you to do this potentially, for your entire organization for all levels. So for those folks that are only doing C suite minus two or top 200. This allows you to do it for everyone. But it also allows you to go deeper in the organization to potentially identify those things like rising skills and emerging skills, because most likely they’re occurring in places you may not be measuring today, they’re usually occurring deeper into the organization where people are more recently receiving education or more frequently, using new tools or innovating, and not necessarily in some of the areas that were focused on with traditional succession planning. They need immediate reaction to that key.

But what I’d reinforce here is we talked about succession planning, and how a lot of times that happens on sort of an annual cadence. And in my experience, job descriptions and role requirements typically get updated even less frequently than that, right maybe every two or three years that those get touched. And again, this just becomes a tool to really equip talent leaders and organizations to do this on more of an ongoing basis that allows you to stay fresh and stay relevant. And it just makes that whole process of updating job descriptions for all requirements easier, because you’ve got the information at your fingertips, which just makes sense.

And to your point, I was speaking with a talent leader last week, and she talked about how one of the impacts of the way succession planning has been done traditionally, is by the time the role is open, they want to reevaluate the role. Right? So we’ve been planning for a very static specific role, maybe for a number of years. Now the role is open and it becomes a reality. Well, let’s reevaluate it. And when you reevaluate it at that point, it’s It’s different from what you were planning for all along. So hence the need for continuous kind of real time adjusting as you go. Once you start to do this, you can start to maximize your existing talent, you can uncover skill gaps and risks, you can identify adjacent skills, you can start to get out of very frequent hot topic these days in HR around upskilling, you know, aligning development with what the business needs for the future. And as a result, you start to retain and redeploy talent. And when you put all this together, all of this starts to feed on itself, you start to open up visibility to the talent in your organization, you start to review people, you know, through maybe an additional lens than how you may have viewed them. Historically, it’s not just performance, it’s also that skills portfolio. And then also, you can start to look at adjacencies and learnability, which broadens the audience for consideration. Right. So as a result, there’s other outcomes of that, such as creating additional career paths and opportunity for people, which helps with retention and understanding, as well as increasing the audience, which brings around additional opportunity for diversity, equity, and inclusion. And when you put this into play, you know, you start to get more directly at this topic of succession planning. And if you’re doing this at scale for the organization, you know, with a tool like eight fold, what that looks like is AI aided skills matching based on calibrated roles. And again, for every position deep into the organization, you start to look at identifying skill, criticality and skill rarity, and investing in the right talent and investing in the right skills. And we talked about, you know, the use and incorporation of talent insights with this, one of my favorite features is by doing this using talent, intelligence, the market data, the TA data comes along for the ride with the TM review the TM decision. So this is what it starts to look like when people are saying that they’re becoming a skills based organization. You know, it starts with at the role, and then at the employees career, and then add performance and skill development, and then eventually at skill base rolling readiness moving into succession planning. And when you start to do this, you start to unlock things for the organization, like internal mobility, and movement around the organization, which everyone is trying to do. So you can identify upskilling opportunities that may align with a succession plan or interactive element over time. Or you can also start to deploy things like skills based talent planning to say, you know, we’re trying to generate an audience that we want to track for roles that we may not know exist yet. But we know these skills are important to us, let’s start to plan for that talent, and focus around to the work we need, until the job description and the actual title start to become real and formulate. So I wanted to go through that really quickly to talk about what this looks like if you’re doing this for, you know, the entire organization. But most people today and where, you know, the big ROI and the rubber hits the road is when you’re doing this for the top of the house for your leaders. And I wanted to share kind of how taking some of this capability and some of this approach, you know, eight fold and heidrich are partnering together to apply this to that C suite minus two or that top of the house that are more traditionally thought of in this in this undertaking. So can you kind of explain to us, Keith, how AI is used with the offering that hydrogen has called hydrogen navigator?

Sure, thank you. So we’ve touched on this a little bit along the way. But I think this slide really sums it up the value of all these different inputs that we’ve talked about. So with the 100 navigator, we capture business impact, which helps really to understand the leaders past achievements in a structured format. And then we layer on to that leadership capability. So we’re measuring to understand the leaders current proficiency in their innate characteristics, plus leadership potential, looking at how to understand their future growth and runway for success in the future. So those are three really important components that we’d measure and align to the role requirements. And then on top of that, we blend in that the eightfold data inputs that we can gather by feeding into leaders resume and taking a look at all the all the measurables that additional data that we can get there to really better understand their skills and their role history. And some of those inferred skills adjacencies, which Jason talked about. And what that really does is increases the number of data points that we have right and more data, I think as long as it’s high quality and job related, in this case, it is really allows you to make better candidate decisions. It also sort of sets up that conversation around nonlinear paths for success. Or you can start to see where can we move people across the organization and sort of uncover some of those hidden gems that may not have an opportunity in their current pipeline, we can be moved somewhere else and have more opportunity based on what we’re seeing in terms of their capabilities, their potential and the skills that they bring to the table. So all of that’s useful and it’s been a real success for us.

Now, one of the question Things that we get is how do you start to incorporate things like impact and scale and capability to a skills based approach? And I think that’s the layer you’re adding here. Can you can you talk about just maybe some of the tools or some of the assessments that are part of this approach?

Sure. So what we’re talking about specifically, when you’re talking about business impact, we’re looking at the role requirements, and what are the critical past achievements and areas of expertise that we found to be associated with success in that role, and making sure that we ask leaders about those and capture inputs capturing information and insights from leaders on how they’ve performed in the past around those specific areas. So that gives us a really consistent rubric to evaluate every leader against, then we layer on top of that leadership capabilities that’s looking at personal characteristics and, and people’s ability to engage in these different competencies that are important for success for that role. And then leadership potential, that’s also a measure of innate capabilities, potentially also abilities. Or we’re looking at their potential for future success, things like learning, agility, social agility, curiosity, and tenacity, what is it that’s going to help them to be successful into the future, and then layer on on top of that the skills data that we get through eight fold, that just creates an overall more complete picture of the leader. It’s not that any one of those voices is going to be a decision maker, but you have a better picture of the overall individual. And you can surface all of those insights in a single platform so that talent leaders can make decisions based on that it just puts information at people’s fingertips, so that they can digest it more easily and really understand what they’re looking at.

So you’re using that navigator match score as a way to look at skills first to potentially identify the audience and set you know, maybe that portfolio of talent, and then layer on some of these, you know, impact and scale type of assessments.

Exactly. And it goes back to just gathering consistent inputs. And bringing it all together we were you have access to all of these different types of information, you have different voices, each of which contributes some unique explanation of what’s going to make someone successful. And you’re able to consider all of those in a more consistent way in a more scalable way than you could previously

to two stories come to mind of eightfold customers that have gone down this road of starting with this skills based approach to then do succession planning. And one of them was amazed at once you moved beyond their immediate team. And you started to use this skills based approach and this match score to examine the rest of the organization that could potentially be considered how many people how many people were brought to their attention that would not have been brought to their attention during traditional methods, because the job title didn’t match the function was different. But the skills and the work were very, very similar.

Absolutely, it creates a different set of conversations. It’s not just that narrow group of people that you’ve identified for a particular purpose. But you’re able to cast a much wider net and look at a wider range of people and start to talk about the fundamental bits that make up their their potential for success, capabilities and potential and skills. Those are more foundational. And even if they don’t have the previous experience to that says that they’d be successful, do they have something that would that might be developed. But more than that, if given the opportunity, and might they might really accelerate and take off and be able to thrive in that role. And it’s just the conversation more focused on that.

And then the second story was, we were working with a very large retailer who started to apply this approach to their succession planning. And when they expanded it out, using that organizational view and identifying kind of that skills portfolio of consideration. They, they were pleasantly surprised at what the the that audience look like, compared to their traditional bench, right. So the type of worker, the diversity of the worker, the location of the worker, was much different than if they were going based off of traditional methods of typical audiences matters of proximity, right? So when we get at the DNI component of this, it helps increase opportunity and open up career paths, because you’re starting with a deeper kind of understanding of how someone is applicable to this role. For sure, there’s always talent

in unexpected places. And that sets you up to have those conversations and to dig into that. So

as we kind of take that step, and you start to put that into play, can you walk us through this hydric leadership framework?

Sure. So this is kind of a continuation of what I was talking about on the previous slide. But the hydric leadership framework, this is really our comprehensive framework for evaluating leaders to ensure their understanding of their past experience and results. And then to look at what they’re capable of that’s the top right quadrant, their leadership capability to assess for their potential for the future. And then to round that out and also think about their culture impacts. So we look at a measure of motives and values and how those align with the context at hand. How are they going to show up as a leader what impact will that have on their success. So just making sure that you have this comprehensive view, and you’re capturing data on all the different aspects that lead to leader success, when you bring all of these factors together, you’re going to make a better higher quality decision. And this whole process sets us up to do that.

I think this is increasingly important, especially since one of the other hot topics in the HR space these days is around organizational design. Right? It’s, it’s not that easy to change your business model, it’s not that easy to change your operating model. But it is somewhat easier to start to shift your work design and your job design and your org structure. And once you start doing that, like the nature of teams changes, what leaders need to be good at to lead changes, and how they lead changes. So as a result, like all of these elements, on top of the skills to be able to hold that roll become increasingly important, especially when if we think about where we are now with this talk around, you know, the type of leader and becoming a human Corporation and, you know, empathy and trust and resilience and growth. I think this allowed us to add some of that color and context and layer on top of a skills based approach.

Agree. And that’s an important comment. And something I didn’t reference down at the bottom, which is organizational context, I think that’s critical. And that’s really where we start the conversation is what is the organizational context? What’s the overall strategy? And then what are the specific requirements of the role? What’s the work environment like and sort of leading down the path and asking those questions, sets sets you up to make sure you have a clear job definition that you can then start to evaluate people against and surfaces insights.

So this is one of our last slide. So I want to provide a summary before we start taking questions. So we asked how often do you do this, increasingly becoming a skills based organization and having this type of advanced technology supporting you in the process means increasingly, this becomes a continuous process, real time on demand continuous, so we start to break away from the annual or the semi annual approaches that may have been calendar based, for some reason, or because maybe the effort was so much to do this, as the as the amount of effort comes down the frequency and need to update these goes up. We also asked, How are how are you on your journey? Are you just starting out? Are you window shopping, we had a little bit of mixed results, but also want to say kudos to our person who was well along on their journey, but not many people are. So all of this is still relatively new. And we are building an HR org of the future as we apply this capability to kind of reshape this this for our employees and for the new way of work, especially in hybrid and remote, and very different types of work environments. And then we talked about, you know, how deep in the organization do you do this? Are you actually able to get at emerging skills and rising skills and create more of that portfolio approach, rather than a pipeline approach. So I’ll share those with you as kind of my key takeaways for how this process and how this capability is changing. And organizations. Keith, any any key takeaways for you?

I’m sure. And when I thought about boiling it down to just a few key takeaways, it came down to me that getting all the data in one place isn’t easy, but it’s worth it, it may take a little effort to get to get there. But once you set up for that to your point, it allows you to to really accelerate and to go much faster and engage in this continuous cycle. So it’s really worth the effort to get there. And tools like eight fold really make that much easier. And so I think there’s tremendous opportunity that’s only going to get more efficient and more straightforward over time. The second thing I’d say is that we talked a lot about job relatedness. And I really think that’s critical. It’s important to start out with what are the requirements of the role? What is it that success looks like and then start to align your measures to that and align the skills that you’re looking at to that you’ll have better success that way. And that just aligns with best practices. And I think there’s a lot of potential for success with this blended AI and human measurement approach, right. So when you’re, when you’re taking all of this information together and putting it in the hands of trained professionals, you’re going to wind up with a better result than you could have otherwise. So it really is, you know, the one on one equals three sort of analogy there.

So with that, I want to I want to thank you, Keith, for joining me. I want to thank the audience on the other side of this listening and answering the polls and following along. We appreciate the time I think, you know, this is such an interesting topic and so important to organizations. And the nature of how this is done is almost changing entirely. It’s flipping on its axis. So, appreciate you following along and we’d love to take some time here now to maybe check in with Nicole and see if there are any questions.

Thanks, Jason and Keith for really fascinating and informative presentation. We did we’re See the number of questions. And so let’s get started here. Do you think that having an ongoing succession plan may inform professional development for workers?

For me? Absolutely, I think that’s one of the advantages of it is that you can see more in real time what your needs are, and start to make those decisions where it’s not just a sort of asynchronous once a year decision where you’re, you know, looking at talent and making decisions on where to allocate development resources, it becomes more of a regular cadence and just part of doing business. And I think you’re able to react more in real time and get people equipped to be successful much more efficiently because of that.

And I agree for me, I think it helps provide opportunities and visibility for where someone could potentially go in there and their organization, we talk a lot about, you know, personalized guidance, and tools that help identify career paths. I think, if you’re able to do continuous succession planning, you’re also better equipped to identify needs in real time and guide some of those activities around career paths, where you start to better align your talent programming with your business needs, because all of this starts to get done in line of sight of each other.

Excellent. This is a good question. A lot of people have questions when it comes to security and privacy when using AI. So are there security and privacy issues that might arise from using AI within the HR database?

I think you there. I mean, there’s concerns around this, in general, we part of this is who has access to the tool? Who are you sharing this with? How are you communicating this, and all of that can be configured with user credentials, and security settings and different types of provisioning for user types. I think part of what we’re trying to do is create increased transparency for the employee, while at the same time doing things that are specific to them and bespoke to them. So this really is nothing different from sharing information between a manager and their employee. It’s just providing additional information and context and guidance. But all of this still needs to be handled with care, and concern in compliance. And I think, by going through that kind of roll review, for who’s involved, at what level with what visibility to data, you can manage for this. But again, all of this isn’t prescribing what the decision should be the one person that should be considered, it’s actually trying to generate a broader conversation. So again, I think some of the same ways you would try to manage an account for this today, you would manage an account for it in the future, you would just need to understand kind of the roles and responsibilities in the system and how which people on your team have access to it at what stage of the process?

Yeah, that the one of the thing I’d add to that is I think a lot of it has to do with what what are the inputs that you’re exposing into into the AI algorithm in the first place? Right. And that’s, we asked a lot of questions about that, as we started our partnership with eight fold. And one of the things that we were really focused on was making sure that the inputs are all job related. So name rank and serial number, probably aren’t really relevant for in most ways for predicting skills and success and likelihood of taken on the next role. And so you want to move as many of those out of the out of the algorithm, anything that’s individually identifiable that way, so that it’s focusing more on those job related bits, right, one of the roles that this person has had and all of the skills that they’ve been able to demonstrate their success focusing in on those things. And also looking at demographic differences along the way to make sure that nothing we’re feeding him would start to bias the system in any way against any demographic group, which was important as well. Yeah, I think

that’s a great a great response. as I as I heard you speaking, I was thinking about the process. And I appreciate you referring back to the product, you know, that’s at the core of what we do specifically in our product. So the fact that that’s not incorporated into any of our algorithms or recommendations to begin with, you know, that philosophy of applying AI in an ethical way comes along here for succession planning, and those recommendations as well. But again, all of this is being done to be to be supportive by a person who’s helping to drive the process.

Excellent, excellent. Can you speak really briefly to validating the skills? So inventorying is one thing obviously validating is another and that’ll be our last question.

So I’ll go first. The first one is, we can identify skills based off of our intelligence around proficiencies and level and job titles and context, but in addition, there are steps in the tool where you can actually incorporate external assessments if you’d like. Or we can also do manager manager validation or manager identification as well. So the whole point of this is identify and validate working together. But I think the validation piece is specific to what hydric navigator does as well, right, Keith? Yeah, exactly.

The business impact inventory that I talked about, really is an opportunity to capture a consistent set of inputs that we’re asking about, and then complement that with the information that we’re gathering out of eight fold. So you really have that opportunity to kind of to validate in that way and make sure that you’re hearing a consistent message across all of those. And then I think looking at some of the insights you get around capabilities and potential start to round out that picture. And it just contributes to the overall story what you know, what’s the pattern that’s emerging overall, for this leader that we’re looking at? And do we have consistent voices that point in a direction that says they’re likely to be successful?

Wonderful, thank you so much to both of you. This was a very informative and thorough presentation. Just a reminder to the HCI members. Today’s webcast has been approved for HR CI and Sherm credit, as well as for HCI recertification. Your credits for attending this webcast will soon show up in your My HCI profile under the transcript tab. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out hci.org for even more insights, as well as information on our certifications, virtual conferences, premium membership and more. I’d like to say one more time. Thank you to our presenters today and the wonderful team at eight fold. And I’d like to also thank you our webcast attendee thanks for spending an hour with us and we’ll see you next time.

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