Reimagining workforce ecosystems

In response to a shifting business landscape, HR leaders have a critical role in driving change and reimagining traditional processes.

Reimagining workforce ecosystems

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The business landscape is changing dramatically, as enterprises move away from traditional hierarchical structures and embrace a dynamic ecosystem of distributed workers, connected customers, and partners. In response to this shifting paradigm, HR leaders have a critical role to play in driving change and reimagining traditional processes and constructs.

In this webcast, Deloitte Consulting LLP and Eightfold AI will explore:

  • The pressing challenges facing C-suite leaders
  • The ways in which talent intelligence and AI can help organizations effectively navigate these new workforce ecosystems
  • Why organizations are moving towards a skills-based approach, and how AI can empower HR leaders to take skills beyond the job

John Gates 0:42
Hello and thank you for joining today’s special webcast, “Reimagining workforce ecosystems: Navigating change with Talent Intelligence”. I’m John Gates, Senior Fellow in the human capital center with the Conference Board. Our main topics of discussion today will be the workforce ecosystem imperative, focus on skills and user experience and technology enabled transformation specifically around moving from a jobs-based system to a skills-based system. If you need attended certificate for this webcast, click the icon shown to download your certificate at the end of the webcast. You can use that to claim continuing education credits if you hold a certification. To get the most out of this webcast, make sure to utilize the engagement tools located at the bottom of your screen. Using these you can ask questions to the presenters and download available resources. Now please join me in welcoming our guests for today. Jason Cerrato, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Eightfold. And Sona mano, Managing Director of Workforce transformation at delight. Jason and Sona, take it away.

Sona Manzo 2:03
Thank you so much, John, Jason, love to have you go first and introduce yourself and then I will go and kick us off with our content.

Jason Cerrato 2:13
Sure. Thanks, Alan. Thanks, John. As mentioned, Jason Cerrato, a part of the product team at eightfold covering our talent management, talent, intelligence platform and talent insights offerings. In the former life, I’ve been an industry analyst. And I’ve also been a talent acquisition leader, very excited to join everyone here on the call to talk about this very hot topic, especially in today’s world, I get a chance to meet with a lot of HR leaders. And it seems like everyone, if not just discussing, this is actually trying to tackle this in their organization. So, looking forward to a very robust conversation.

Sona Manzo 2:53
Wonderful. Well, Jason, I’m so delighted to be doing this session with you. For the audience to know, Jason is a co-host of a podcast called The new talent code. So, lots of interesting thoughts that Jason has to share. And I know we always enjoy talking, Jason. So, looking forward to this dialogue and sharing it with the audience. I’m Sona Manzo and the managing director with our workforce transformation practice at Deloitte. You know, our perspective on human capital and the trends that are making an impact on the market will definitely be part of the themes that we talked about today. I’ve been in the talent acquisition and more broadly, the talent space for over 25 years, and have always been very passionate about the intersectionality with evolving strategy, how organizations are responding to the needs of talent of the day, and in particular, exciting evolution of technology. And certainly, a hot topic these days with AI and the transformational nature of that helping us progress, our talent strategies. So, we are just really excited to share some content with you today to set the stage. We want this to be conversational, please ask questions as you go along. You might notice as we talk about disruption, there’s a bit of tech disruption for me on my end, so I may appear frozen to you. I am in California, and the sun’s out, so I’m not freezing, personally, but I apologize for the video disturbance there. And also, just wanted to wish happy spring to everyone. We know a lot of people are dealing with some extreme weather. So please stay safe. And if you’re celebrating many of the holidays coming up this week, you know, we’re wishing you the best. Well, let’s jump into it. We are going to spend some time talking about just the framework of what is going on in our world. Right. Work has changed and we’ve all been feeling that as HR leaders and business leaders and IT leaders. We see it happening around us what are some of those disruptions that we’re seeing? Certainly, that work has become more full We’ve had to respond to the needs of the day, you know, with all the disruptions that we have been having just in general, but and certainly as things are continuing to transform in our organizations with technology, landscapes and organizational change. So work is often fluid, not always predetermined, we’re really changed the focus on creating value, right, we’re getting away from static job descriptions, and really looking at the broader value that the work can be making an impact on, and increasingly workgroup oriented and what we, of course, are all feeling that right, we may have particular roles, but the amount of time that we’re spending on group work, group oriented activities, and how those span across organization and functions is a kind of very interesting aspect of how work is changing. And, you know, we see some of these other aspects that are continuing to evolve. So, with the work changing, you know, certainly leaders are grappling with complex challenges across work, workforce and workplace. And, you know, we do kind of a quarterly update the Deloitte and fortune 500 perspective on CEO sensing, and some of these themes are obviously ones that we continue to see evolving. Certainly, the focus on talent has been at the top of the list for a long time, and that percentage continues to increase. And it spans across a lot of different topic areas. When we think about this, you know, from an industry perspective, every industry is facing some sort of labor challenge. And when one thinks we can really think about the way we transform that is putting out, you know, our skills, thinking hat on, if you will, right. And that’s what CEOs are worried about like this the skills, how do we access those skills? How do we think about what our business needs to address disruption, and then broadening the workforce ecosystem? You know, that was certainly part of the theme of today? What is this workforce ecosystem mindset that we, you know, speak of, ultimately, is, you know, getting away from the silo thinking about bringing talent into an organization separately from how we manage our employee population, separately from our turnover workforce? And so really important that we think about the workforce in general. And those will be some themes that we talked about. And then, of course, you know, the fast-paced pace of technology coming into play as well, as we as we delve into this workforce ecosystem aspect a little bit further. I mean, it’s all intuitive to us, right? We’ve, we all have faced, you know, bringing in alternative workforce components, whether those are partners working with us contingent workforce, but really, you know, there are many different aspects of that, you know, crowdsourcing, you know, even technology at the table, right? Where does AI, robotic processing fit in as part of our workforce. And so, understanding those complex components, even including internal gig marketplaces, and the way that we look at service providers and development opportunities, we need to be thinking about that very holistically when it comes to evaluating our skills and capabilities. Hey, Jason, I’m going to let you just chat for a minute about that. And I’ll be right back.

Jason Cerrato 8:17
Sure. You know, I think this is such a hot topic, because a lot of organizations for the last few years have gone through digital transformation. And the same way digital transformation requires really the whole organization to get involved and to look at their processes. And to kind of understand how they can benefit from that type of transformation, for the ultimate ROI to be achieved. I think talent transformation operates the same way. It’s this concept of, like you just mentioned, Sun Moon, looking beyond specific audiences or specific initiatives, and getting everyone onboard, cross functionally across the organization, different audiences, different sources, to really look at the world of work differently. And it’s not just, you know, the way we categorize work, or the way we accomplish work. It’s the way we’re actually working, you know, hybrid remote, asynchronous. So, there’s just a lot of transformation going on. And I think that’s why this is top of mind for everyone.

Sona Manzo 9:19
Absolutely. And we’ll talk a little bit more about how the tech and the technology can help improve that approach. And one of the things that we’re seeing is, you know, despite a real planned and afford in becoming more of a skills-based organization, the number of organizations are actually taking active activity to move in that is not as great, right. So that’s part of the dialogue today. How do we help set you up to be thinking about this journey and really coming up with an opportunity to focus on that? We do see a lot of experimentation going on. And that’s the exciting theme. I think that we’ll see. You know, we talked about the change in the work. But what we’re seeing is this is having a direct impact on the construct of jobs. Right. And so, the sentiment in our skills-based org survey that really was a global survey, sensing what is happening out in the market and the way organizations are addressing this, as you see that both from the business executive and the worker side, that there is, you know, a growing understanding that we need to think about work in a different way. And so, moving beyond the jobs is a bit of a provocative sentiment, right? Like you’ve heard, maybe the end of jobs, so it’s definitely a journey, how do we start addressing that, and looking at the ways in which we can activate that in a more meaningful way. So, what is driving organizations to pursue these skills-based practices? It certainly we’ve touched on some of these themes, talent shortages are a huge driver. And while we see ebb and flow, certainly with what’s happening in certain segments and sectors today, we know that that some of these are short term challenges, and that the talent shortage issues, in tech, in particular, in many different aspects of healthcare, those continue to be on the radar and need to be addressed. So, you know, lots of different aspects here, you know, obviously, the advent of new technologies and automation, with AI is driving that, and being able to unlock some of the capabilities at the same time. So really, skills become kind of foundational, right? It’s, it’s what makes workers unique. So, when we talk about this concept of skills, we really think of it as really a bit of shorthand, right? It’s not just technical skills, or hard skills, but really, also things like the human aspects, or what we call the enduring human capabilities, emotional intelligence, critical thinking, and also potential. And so certainly, as you see here on the right, you know, skills, interests, passions, motivations, all these things come into play. But at the essence skills is really, you know, giving us a lexicon and a framework for assessing this. And this concept of jobs becoming less relevant. As we saw from both sides, both workers saying they’re performing work outside their jobs, all the way through, you know, the sentiment and job descriptions that are starting to need to be addressed. So that we don’t see a disconnect between the way we’re actually going to market and what we’re seeing in our organizations. And individuals want to be seen for their intrinsic aspects as well, right? They’re not just someone fulfilling a job or a job description that they’ve applied for, but they’re really looking to self-actualized. Really, how do they continue to progress in their career? What is those skill sets that they have? And how can they really get to a position where they have greater insight in their organizations to understand what the opportunities are not only to increase their skill set to be effective today? But really, what are those skills that they need to start to identify and progress in for their own growth and progression? Whether that’s lateral movement, or whether that’s upward movement? Certainly, you know, again, kind of foundational there. Jason, I know, you know, this whole concept of individuals having opportunities to understand more broadly, within their organization is a really hot topic. And talent Marketplace is a big area that we see that coming into place. Anything you want to share in this regard here.

Jason Cerrato 13:33
I think that’s part of the reason why the shift towards more of a skills based approach and using some new technologies, like AI and talent, intelligence is coming into play, if you’re focusing on the work at hand, and what are the skills that may be needed to address that work or accomplish that work, then you’re not kind of penned in by a role or a job title or a requisition. And if you break it down at the molecular level, by skill, you may already have those skills in your organization. And you can compile a team of individuals that may be able to address that work in some way. And in many cases, it may allow for, you know, career development or skill attainment. But it also allows you to potentially, you know, maximize the existing talent you have on hand versus always trying to solve things with requisitions and going outside of the organization. And as we’ve seen, in some instances lately, organizations end up over hiring, but I think being able to break down things to kind of the skill component allows you to look at talent and look at work very differently, to then try to solve for that issue in new ways.

Sona Manzo 14:47
Yeah, absolutely. And the ultimate outcome as we can see here on the right, you know, we’re already starting to see that worker sentiment, they feel their experience will be vastly improved, and they will be more likely to Um, stay in an organization and, and ultimately what positive outcomes for all of us, right.

Jason Cerrato 15:05
And the other thing I would add, just to that real quick is, I don’t think much of this is new, I think it’s just new capability to be able to get at the data and visualize it and make decisions from it. I mean, people have always had skills beyond their job and have always done things in organizations beyond their immediate responsibility, whether it be volunteering or employee resource groups, or any type of, you know, kind of group or club activities. But with everything, in a lot of systems and a lot of approaches being built around jobs, right, a lot of that other work or other skill development was invisible. And I think now, as you think about tracking all this activity in new ways, and opening up opportunities, and getting visibility for people to do new things, you’re getting a more complete picture of what someone is able to do beyond just, you know, the way their job is classified in an HCM suite, or an HR is system. And now you’re able to leverage individuals for much more broader opportunities, as well as just kind of create a more transparent organization and start to, you know, democratize opportunity through visibility.

Sona Manzo 16:20
Oh, absolutely. And I think that democratization aspect is so interesting and important in the conversation, right, as we’ve seen organizations move in this direction. And let’s make sure that we, you know, acknowledge that there’s a big cultural change aspect in some of this, you know, to your point, Jason, a lot of this has not been visible in the past. And now making it visible, you know, has lots of benefits, but transforming the culture to really be one that is democratize is definitely a journey. And I know that there have, you know, some organizations have really, you know, had some experimentation, where they’ve really recognized the greater need for cultural change, and the messaging and, of course, you know, the adoption aspect of, of making sure that we’re kind of unlocking those capabilities. I was just,

Jason Cerrato 17:10
I was just chatting with a talent management executive this morning on this topic. And I think, you know, as you mentioned, a lot of organizations have been experimenting or piloting things. And they may have started to tackle this with things like, you know, internal marketplaces, but if they’re doing it, they may be doing it within a function, or within a location or within a business segment. And for true talent transformation, you really need to start unlocking and opening up the organization to encourage that mobility. But I think a big part of that is not just technology enablement, it’s also, you know, process and practice and culture.

Sona Manzo 17:44
You know, it’s such a great point, you know, we did, you know, a whole series of kind of eminence in the marketplace, kind of talking about this concept of enabling the talent marketplace. And it is that broader aspect, obviously, that technology foundation is so critical, but what are those other enabling factors that need to happen, you know, policy, process, culture, you know, and the whole process of experimentation is very, I think, rich in terms of that learning, but recognizing at the front end, how these things can be pulled together for effectiveness is really important. And I think some of the interesting outcomes, you know, just one more thing that we’ll touch on, on, you know, some of the examples that we’ve been seeing out in the marketplace, there’s, um, you know, a large financial services organization who had, you know, implemented a talent marketplace capability and what one of the things during early times during the pandemic they were able to see is the skills adjacency aspect, right, understanding the skills that individuals had, and then those adjacencies actually helped them redeploy talent to a really critical needed area. And we see that in manufacturing organizations and healthcare organizations, like every industry can benefit from that. But it’s definitely one of the, you know, I think, you know, the exciting opportunities for organizations to think about beyond the democracy, to organization, the, you know, helping organizations and individuals actualize it’s that broader impact on the organization to get the work done and disruption as well.

Jason Cerrato 19:17
And I think, you know, by taking that skills approach, you’re able to get at, you know, insights like skills adjacencies and learn ability and capability analysis for what someone could potentially learn quickly based off of what they already know. And I think, you know, you just gave us a couple of use cases. Another one that we’ve experienced working with companies was, you know, incorporating that kind of skill-based approach into succession planning. And when you change the criteria or add additional consideration for how you build out you know, your succession bench, and build and build a potential succession plan, you increase the audience for potential consideration and inclusion. And as a result, you know, we’ve already seen organizations To consider talent from other parts of the organization that may not have been included before, open up the audience for, you know, diversity and inclusion initiatives around casting a broader net. But I think it’s taking that skills-based approach that starts to unlock some of this.

Sona Manzo 20:18
Yeah, great point. Well, you can see here alone, you know, drain this slide. But, you know, the areas that are investing are across the spectrum, and I think growing in a lot of these areas, that we’ll continue to see, you know, we’ve been talking about some of these great results. And this, I think, is a great summary of where we’re seeing these, you know, obviously, growth and development, retaining high performers, you know, positive workforce experience, a lot of those attributes are certainly coming through. But interesting, other ones that start to come out, right, like organizations who are skilled spaced are, you know, much higher percentage likely to be innovators. And so, the, the, the impact is not just on our talent equation, but truly our organizational ability to deliver on, you know, our high-level goals as organizations as well. And so, I think, you know, so much to unpack here, but certainly skills based organizational strategy is starting to, you know, really prove out results and see that adaptiveness to change, etc. So, when we think about putting skill space orgs into practice, what we kind of have four operating principles around that and, you know, when we think of a Workforce of One seems suggesting I’ve been talking about really right, enabling the individual to be able to visualize and activate their own skills and their skills journey, and also be recognized for what they’re doing. But equally, like being able to make the right decisions based on skills can come into play at every level of the talent equation, and we’re going to look at that in just a minute and a half, some of those things are coming to life. And then here, you see, like skills-based workforce practices on the rise, not only where organizations are committing, or have committed, where they’re experimenting, which offers a much greater percentage, but also really interesting insights in terms of the workers who say, you know, skills-based strategies in these areas would improve their experience, whether that’s in the hiring journey, or once they’re in an organization, etc. You know, and, Jason, you mentioned the, you know, the impact on inclusion. From an internal perspective, I think there’s also some really interesting things that are coming to light in terms of the impact on, you know, removing bias at the front end, giving more transparency to candidates coming in and looking at opportunities, and how that actually is transforming for organizations, their ability to attract and connect with a more diverse pool of candidates.

Jason Cerrato 22:55
Yeah, well, I mean, we’ve seen it firsthand from using, you know, skill inferences and skill and skill matching, and you know, like adjacencies, like, like you shared, if you use that on the front end for building out kind of the calibration of your role, or for how personalized experiences end up matching talent to opportunities, it ends up creating a broader audience to select from, because now you’re not just limited to what’s on paper or keyword matching. You know, I’ll share with you a story. I used to lead campus recruiting, and we used to go and recruit for engineers, and we would, you know, match to a requisition that said, we needed mechanical engineers, we needed mechanical engineers, and we would turn away people that weren’t pursuing a mechanical engineering degree, not realizing that if they were pursuing a biomedical, or bio mechanical engineering degree, the difference between those two degrees was only two classes and the curriculum. But the majority of the students in that other degree were female, it was where most of the females were in the engineering student body. So just by looking at keywords and matching, we were ended up turning away a significant diverse audience not knowing how skill adjacencies work. And I think today, we have this ability now to get more of that information and insights dynamically and avoid some of that and broaden the audience.

Sona Manzo 24:21
Yeah, that’s, that’s a great insight. One of the things I thought I’d touch on here is, you know, skills-based workforce planning, this is an area that’s been evolving, we’ve certainly been seeing, you know, skills-based strategies around hiring and talent, internal mobility and retention, all those, the workforce planning piece, you know, starting to pull that up, worked with the front end. We’re seeing a lot of discussions going on in that area. And while you see, you know, maybe lower in terms of where people have taken this into their organizations, I think this is going to be an area we’ll continue to see. I know Jason, there’s a lot of evolutions going on in terms of how we look at skills and look, you know, again, the build by borrow equation, if you will, from a workforce planning perspective, and not just what we need now, but from a future of work lens. And I think skills really helps us unlock, you know, some of those insights and with a rich, you know, talent, intelligence platform capabilities that we’re going to turn our conversation to next. One is a really interesting aspect of that. Yeah, I mean,

Jason Cerrato 25:25
it’s something that’s very exciting, and I’m super passionate about. And I think, when you when you start to incorporate things like skill-based workforce planning and skill-based job architecture, it allows you to not only, you know, recruit and retain and upskill individuals, but also start to redesign work, and incorporate all different datasets and information in how you do this. So, you’re not just looking at your own organizational information, you’re looking at what’s happening in your industry, and what’s happening in your market, and how are, you know, other, like companies building out their workforce? And where do you need to compete. And I think this is especially timely, as a lot of industries are evolving with advanced capabilities. But also, a lot of organizations are pivoting into new industries, right. So, you have a lot of organizations that are taking on a new type of work for the first time or delivering to their customers in a new way. And this is really requiring HR to get involved in redesigning work for, you know, a future facing workforce.

Sona Manzo 26:27
Yes. Well, I won’t use this just to transition. So, you know, really, this is just saying, like, imagine, if you will, that your people within and coming into the organization can do their best work by applying their unique skills and talents to deliver outcomes that matter? How do we think about that, as we brought in, you know, from these, you know, components that we’ve been talking about, to more of a holistic view, and this is really just intended to depict, you know, if we put the employee journey with skills at the center, we can actually think about skills where they fit and leverage, you know, AI technology here is kind of highlighted in green across the spectrum, to really engage each of the personas that certainly the employee at the center here, but also helps empower all the individuals who are supporting that whether there’s a recruiters or hiring managers, or coaches, you know, everyone across the spectrum coming together to make sure that we don’t just activate this at one point, but we continue it as foundational throughout the lifecycle, which is helping, you know, continue to pull that thread of skills and skills enablement through. Jason, I want to turn it over to you now to talk about, you know, this important concept of talent intelligence responding to these changes.

Jason Cerrato 27:45
Yeah, and I love the slide you just shared kind of with that workflow, I think, you know, like I said, historically, a lot of HR processes, and as a result, HR systems were built around the job with the, you know, the requisition kind of as the cornerstone and everything oriented itself to that, you know, who was the hiring manager for that role? Who was the interviewing team? Where did it sit in the org chart, I think what we’re starting to really be able to execute on is more talent centered design with optimizing around talent than around the roll. So, what we’re seeing is organizations turning to talent, intelligence, to start to respond to this change. And it really is incorporating a broader set of data and encompassing kind of the entire holistic workflow of the candidate experience, employee experience, you know, organizational progression in their in their industry, and start to incorporate things like benchmarking their workforce against their industry, trying to align their talent strategies with their business strategy. So that way, when they look up, and they feel that they’ve progressed in that strategy, did they actually arrive where they thought they were going to be, and I think evermore these days, it’s really hard to predict where you need to be. So, this needs to be more of a dynamic scenario-based process. And then by having this visibility into your talent, you’re able to invest in the right talent, with individuals that are learning and developing rising skills that are become more and more important for where your work is headed. And then you can empower, you know, individual execution that allows them to kind of take on their career and own their career, but in a way that’s mutually beneficial for the person and for the organization. I think what we’re starting to see is this kind of relationship with this concept of, of talent intelligence, where it’s the segment that kind of sits in the middle of a variety of processes and practices and HR tools. And it really helps organizations deal with the fast pace of this change and the dynamic nature of this undertaking to better understand the talent they have, the work they may need to do and where they’re headed, and then to partner with systems of record, like an applicant tracking system or learning management system or, you know, an HCM suite to organize that, to then come back and execute on that using like a skill based talent centered approach. And I think one of the things that we’re also increasingly seeing is how this is encompassing talent acquisition and Talent Management and what we call talent, flex, which is contingent workers and more of a total talent approach, you know, it’s not segmented by audience or segmented by business owner, it really is having a more all-encompassing view of how talent is flowing into your organization. And like we’ve mentioned a few times here now, we’re also starting to see evaluating skills and how skills are progressing, and which ones are rising, and which ones aren’t declining, to really help inform how organizations are investing in skills. And it’s no longer a conversation of build, buy, borrow, it’s built by borrower bot, you know, we work with companies, we work with companies that are using multiple elements of an approach like this. And they’re trying to figure out, you know, which skills do we want to invest in as our organizational IP? What skills do we want to borrow as needed? From a contractor perspective? You know, what skills do we not have internally that we need to acquire from the market from a recruiting perspective, and now all of this data is feeding into a more comprehensive overall talent strategy, where, you know, just a few years ago, we were still operating in silos.

Sona Manzo 31:34
Yeah, and those, you know, breaking down those silos, and having a more holistic view is just really transforming the way organizations are thinking about this, right? We’re looking at rearchitecting work, because we have greater insights into this, and we’re changing the way that we’re thinking about that. You know, Jason, one of the things that comes to mind, you know, that may not be intuitive from this slide is, you know, I think for the organizations that are on, you know, major core platform or have, you know, like one of the major ATS is, etc. What’s been fascinating to us is, you know, it, this solution, having a talent house was a platform by it was really unlocking the value of the data that they have. So, organizations have invested for years in developing, you know, talent information, but not being able to leverage it in the way that now, talent, intelligence insights allows you to do in conjunction with some of these broader, you know, global data sets that you have.

Jason Cerrato 32:35
Yeah, I recently heard someone refer to it, and they refer to it as it helps you bring the data to life, it helps it come to life. But also, again, it’s not just, you know, matching, or, or, you know, natural language processing. It’s also understanding contextual information for how talent interacts with your specific organization, and also includes Industry Insights for how talent is moving within your industry with specific benchmark companies. So, I think it’s the, it’s the learning and the contextual understanding, that also starts to build these relationships amongst kind of skill skills and skill clusters and, and competencies and traits, where you start to understand, you know, how does our organization look at talent compared to our industry? What is this skill mean, in the context of our organization? You know, how do we move talent through our organization, and then when talent is coming to you from the outside, you also have more understanding and context of what that means in, you know, the capability of that person in their talent profile from the organization they work for compared to ours. So, it adds that learning perspective, that contextual perspective, to drive additional insights. And I think, you know, this, this last slide here is one that I like just to show, it’s kind of another way of depicting the flow slide that you shared, of how when organizations take, you know, a skill based approach, all of these type of HR processes and practices come into play, and start to get fed with, you know, talent, intelligence and skills, information and insights. So, it’s not just at the top of the funnel, or it’s not just for the employee experience for them to own themselves. It’s now part of the overall organizational strategy and the leadership view into the enterprise. And it starts to cover all of these various kinds of aspects of the talent cycle, and then the career journey. And all of that is also fed with a variety of datasets and data enrichment, to bring in that internal and external view with that contextual understanding.

Sona Manzo 34:46
Jason, you have kind of an interesting experience yourself coming into a fold and how this technology and you know the insights that it gave for you, as you know, a candidate Yeah, we’re a party that was interested in a fold. And how, you know, Explainable AI really changed some opportunities, you know, that you might not have thought about before. love to have you share that share that story.

Jason Cerrato 35:13
Sure. Yeah. Real quick, I’ve gone through a couple of career pivots. Like I said, I’ve been in HR as a, as a TA leader, I’ve also been in the industry as an analyst. When I was considering career opportunities with Eightfold, the way the technology works, it truly is talent centered design, you don’t go in and search through a traditional career site like you normally do, where you have to put in key words and look through the filters and select radio buttons to try to figure out how you orient to accompany or, you know, what is this company called this thing? Or what is the function? How do they refer to it, basically, the way it works is you create a profile, and it matches the opportunities to you? And it lets you know kind of what you’d be considered a strong match for what you’d be considered a good match for, and then even shows you the other roles. So, it doesn’t prohibit you from seeing things. But if you’re not a match, it explains to you why you weren’t perceived to be a match. So true, Explainable AI. But in my own scenario, at the time, you know, I created a profile, and it said I was a strong match for six different positions that were available at the time. But the interesting thing to me was, as I looked at them, they were in four different departments, and two of the departments where areas I never would have considered and didn’t realize, you know, how my how my skills would have translated. And it just kind of opened my eyes to opportunities for me and my career, but also was kind of a first-hand explanation of how the technology works.

Sona Manzo 36:46
That’s great. You know, I’m thinking about another audience segment, that this strategy of the AI serving things up has really been transformative, and that’s in terms of, you know, changing the way we look at degrees. And we, you know, we’ve recognized, kind of in the US recently, you know, what a barrier we put in place, over time, to entry. And in particular, you know, certain segments of our population who don’t have as high threshold of achieving degrees, particularly four-year degrees, we’re locked out of a lot of opportunities. And so, you know, the 110 initiatives, which is, you know, providing opportunities through a consortium of employers, over 50 employers who are seeking to provide 1 million black Americans with career family sustaining jobs over the next 10 years. That concept, you know, again, that’s being adopted to help address opening up opportunities and reducing, you know, barriers, I think, is really another powerful outcome of this skill strategy, and also the technology enablement, you know, with a full platform kind of serving to help, just as you described, being able to match those skills to individuals, and I noticed those,

Jason Cerrato 38:01
and I think that’s a great example. Yeah, I think that’s a great example on and, you know, that’s, that’s just one we have others where we’re doing similar initiatives for State Department of Labor Career Centers for job matching and skills matching. And then like we shown in the in the previous slides, where it carries through the talent lifecycle, if you start to remove some of those barriers, or some of those requirements, then you have to have some other way of building out your HR practices, processes and practices and policies. So that’s where having that kind of skills intelligence can feed into other strategies like pay for skills, especially when you know, we’re shifting into this new world of pay transparency? Well, if you’re changing the criteria, you have to have some data set or some, you know, an underlying approach for how you’re going to then have your compensation strategy. So, with many organizations taking on a pay for skills approach, that’s another reason for having this kind of skills, intelligence and these skills approach all the way through the lifecycle.

Sona Manzo 39:05
Yeah, that’s an area we’ll really need to keep our eye on, isn’t it, that the pay for skills is evolving, we wanted to just kind of wrap up our talk track here with a little bit of insight from the Deloitte 2023 global human capital Trends report. And the theme of this is boundary lists. And really, when you think about, you know, all the changes that we’re seeing, really, a lot of these boundaries that we’ve had are breaking down whether those are organizational or societal or work force worker boundaries. And so, we have these categorized based on this global data set that we go through every year. And some of these themes obviously fit really well with, you know, what we’ve been talking today about this journey to skills-based organization. Navigating the ends of jobs, again, a little bit provocative is definitely a journey but it’s, it’s, we’re in the midst of it, right? Pairing human impact with technology. You know, Jason, you mentioned build, buy, borrow, bought and of course So we need to remember to put that, you know, additional B, on the end, we’ve considered that quote, part of the super team concept of humans working effectively with technology. I know evil had a press release yesterday and talking about some of the next evolution of technology and AI and where that’s going. I don’t know if you want to comment on that. Sure.

Jason Cerrato 40:22
So, we’re deploying some virtual assistant capability to help with recruiter and employee and candidate experience with some of the evolving capabilities that are occurring through technology, especially with generative AI and chat GPT. I think part of this is just, you know, the pace of change and the capability and what technology can do is going to change the way we work significantly. But I think another part of it is, there are certain elements of this kind of workflow and of this process where, you know, people can use assistance for automation and efficiency. But then there’s other pieces where it’s very important to emphasize the human role in the process. So, you know, we are adding new capability, but approaching it very responsibly and thoughtfully, and a big part of how our system has been designed from the beginning, is this concept of human machine collaboration with kind of the human at the center. So, we do have new capabilities around those type of virtual assistant use cases. But we’re, we’re approaching it very specifically and thoughtfully as to what those use cases are, while not removing the role of the individual kind of as they interact with capability.

Sona Manzo 41:37
And, you know, putting the human at the center of that is so important, right? Like, we have this theme of making work better for humans and humans better at work. And essentially, is that right? It’s making sure that retaining that essential, humanistic component, and leveraging technology to the best of our ability there. Well, I listened we I know, we’ve been sharing a lot of content with the audience, I think we probably want to just take a pause and see if we’ve got some questions that we want to chat about. Obviously, Jason, you and I can talk for hours. But let’s see. But maybe we might have some questions going on here.

John Gates 42:17
So, Jason, thank you very much. We do have a question from the audience. So far, if you have questions, please type them into the chat. First question here is how do you begin and execute a process to collect all of your employees’ skills, interests and talents? Do you then use AI to match the skills? With the jobs?

Jason Cerrato 42:41
It’s great, it’s a great question. And it’s not as overwhelming as it sounds. I think that’s part of the that slide that we showed around building this through all your processes. In a technology like ours with the talent intelligence platform, you have a dynamic profile that updates with you automatically, in addition to the information that you put into the profile, if you’re, you know, joining a project, or taking a training course, or part of a team, all of that gets automatically registered in the system. And the skills associated with that work automatically appear on your profile. And that’s where we get a more comprehensive view of the people in your organization more than just, you know, their work history or the job that they’re filling for your organization. And it updates, you know, dynamically. So, I think the first part is, understanding what the work is, and opening up the opportunity across the organization to start to incorporate it in more of a skills-based approach. But then by building it, building it in as a process and a practice and a culture with some advanced technology, like, you know, skills enabled AI, it makes it a little easier to track and kind of understand and learn from that information. And then as a result, it becomes this kind of regenerative system to build on itself, when it makes recommendations for the individual employee, for candidates, Matt looking for jobs and understanding people like them, where they’ve gone in your organization, or as a manager and a leader going through, you know, upskilling reviews or succession planning decisions. So, it starts to feed on itself. But you know, there’s a lot of organizations that we talked to that think, you know, you have to spend a year and a half to two years you know, going through a very manual process to look at every single role and identify, you know, your skills taxonomy and reevaluate all the information that the for the way you’ve always done this. And yes, you can do that, and it is very helpful. But if you start to incorporate, you know, skills intelligence with this, it can actually build that for you as you go. And you can kind of get started at a much faster pace.

John Gates 44:55
Thank you, Jason. So, is AI inferring the skills that a person has As or looking at a job description and extrapolating, or are you going out with some sort of questionnaire of people, people populating data in a system somewhere? I’m just curious how that works? Yeah,

Jason Cerrato 45:12
it’s a great question. So, I’ll, I’ll tackle it and answer it kind of in two segments. The first one is we get the information that someone supplies, whether it’s a resume, whether they create a profile, you get the information that they present to you. Now, one thing we know, you know, some people over present their skills, some people under present their skills. So, with the information that we’re provided, you then can also incorporate things like skill inferences, as well as you know, skill adjacencies and learnability. So I’ll just share with you, let’s say for example, someone gave us a profile that was able to, on paper highlight, seven to 10 skills, well, with skills inferences and skill adjacencies, you can actually double or triple that the data, you know, on that person beyond what they’ve given you to then start to make recommendations on what things could be a possible fit, or what things they may want to consider based off of the understanding of context of that skill, information and capability of what that person is able to do. I think the other interesting piece is the way our AI works for contextual understanding is that we’re not just matching a profile to a job, we’re looking at the context of how the organization interacts with that type of skills information. So, in many instances, if we had the same profile being submitted for the exact same job at two different companies using, you know, our AI, the recommendation, or the matching may be different based on the context of that setting. So, for example, does that company value movement? Or does that company value tenure? Or does that company work on more of a project based? Or what does that company work more on, you know, established roles, there’s the context of how talent moves in that organization, how that organization, values or interacts with talent that also weighs in on the recommendation. So, we’ve moved beyond just basic keyword matching.

John Gates 47:17
All right, thank you, Jason. I appreciate that. Sona, did you have something to add?

Sona Manzo 47:21
Well, I was just going to say, you know, listen, we’ve seen a lot of evolution in terms of the way that organizations are trying to get at the skills that exist in their organization today, and you said, you know, like, are there you know, surveys, or what, what things are happening? You know, I think some of the interesting evolution on this is, you know, that we know that people self-recording their skills is a start, but is not a great foundation, for many reasons, you know, you may have people with similar skills, but they may not take the time to report all the skills, or they may not think some of the skills that they have are important, right. So, while self-recording can be you know, a part of the equation, and manage your validation of skills is another seem theme that we see organizations doing. And again, not yet yes, also helpful, but in the context of then being able to pull in other datasets. And as Jason was talking about, you know, leverage, you know, talent, intelligence, and how that helps inform the process is something that we’ve really seen as an accelerator for some organizations. And I think the other thing to think about is, you know, beyond what we traditionally think about as datasets that might inform skills, you know, you know, what those are, you know, certainly gain skills and education, as it was pointed out, certainly, through job experiences, but the traditional mechanisms of those, you know, whether those are resumes, or LinkedIn profiles, or internal profiles, you know, we can enrich that by looking at other datasets that are available to us. And one that I think is quite interesting is, you know, when you think about tech talent, the way communication happens within organizations, whether that’s in Slack channels, or information in GitHub, or Jira, or, you know, what have you, you know, being able to harness some of that information, and through, you know, natural language processing, and, you know, these deep, you know, capabilities from an AI perspective, it really is giving us different insights than we have been able to traditionally get and so I just, I think it’s a fascinating area, that’s going to continue to expand, certainly, and then the final point on that is, you know, there’s it doesn’t take away the other aspects that we need to do in terms of, you know, thinking about the validation process. You know, so if you think about the hiring process, for example, using this to identify skills and match between what an organization is looking for and what individuals have, can also be augmented. And so, it depends on the role, as Jason was saying, depends on the organizational strategy, but certainly things like interviews are still an important aspect of, you know, the assessment process. And certainly, we see lots of opportunities with other types of assessments that are technology based, right. And so how we weave that together and really kind of create an architect the solution, you know, to be aligned to that is, is definitely part of this work that we’re all working on. Moving forward.

Jason Cerrato 50:12
Thank you, John. And John, just to piggyback on that we had one organization we were working with, where in addition to incorporating talent intelligence for kind of personalized career paths and skill development, you know, they were using a third-party tool to kind of evaluate their workforce on leadership skills and leadership competencies. And, you know, they were able to ingest that information into the town intelligence platform. So that way on day one, when they turned it on, and they went live with their employees, that information was already in the system and being used to partner with the town intelligence recommendations to build out broader recommendations for learning and career paths, and so on and so forth. And the way they approached it was, you know, they did that to kick off and to start, and then later on, you know, in their journey, they would come back and do you know, a second point in time evaluation to see the journey, the distance between kind of the first assessment scores and the second assessment scores. But I think part of this is the ability to incorporate a variety of datasets into the insights and evaluation, and then the ability to have the flexibility to generate those dynamic recommendations.

John Gates 51:26
Very good. Thank you so much. There seems to be a spectrum of options here with on the one side, you have standard jobs, or job descriptions, which are fairly rigid. And on the other side, you have a completely open skills-based talent marketplace. Is there a middle ground sort of a middle steppingstone? Or do you have to go from one pole to the other pole?

Sona Manzo 51:52
Huh? Yeah, no, not at all. I mean, I think, you know, it’s absolutely a journey, that it’s hard to go to, and when one big leap, you know, certainly, you can take pieces of it. I think that, you know, really the takeaway from this is, you know, looking at the case of, you know, the value of this sort of a strategy, identifying how it fits in within your organization and putting a roadmap together, thinking about, you know, the experimentation phase of this, you know, where can we start activating this? Where is it going to make the most value? And while we ultimately want to get to that, you know, broader ecosystem approach, you know, that each organization could be on their own journey. So, it’s, how do we get there lots of tools and steps that we can take to start setting that foundation. And actually, I think that’s why the talent marketplace has been, you know, has evolved and become quite popular, right, because it gives some aspect to move from, you know, and give people the opportunities to seek a more formally, these skill-based initiatives that are outside the traditional job. But, you know, certainly looking at, you know, this as a journey is appropriate.

Jason Cerrato 53:02
And in sound, I mentioned how we have a podcast called The new talent code, it’s called the new talent code, because we speak with talent leaders, who are looking at new ways to build kind of their talent approach for the future. And one of the episodes, we were interviewing someone where they were disrupted entirely, you know, due to changes as a result of the pandemic and the shutdown. And basically, what they ended up having to do was they ended up having to look within their organization to say, who has these skills, that we’re going to need to deliver our product in an entirely new way and, you know, communicate with customers in an entirely new way. And it didn’t change their job title, their reporting structure, their org chart, but it, you know, allowed them to address the work and the challenge at hand based off of the skills that people had to arrange themselves around to the task and around to the challenge. So, I don’t think that’s kind of one pole or the other, it’s kind of being able to operate in the middle. And, you know, with businesses, in order for business agility, you need talent, agility, and with talent agility, you kind of need that molecular approach, which is skills.

John Gates 54:13
Okay, great. Thank you. I think we have time maybe for one or two more questions here. So, you touched on this a little bit sauna, and that was the compensation implications of a skill-based system. I’m wondering if you could go a little deeper either sauna or Jason, into what you’re seeing out there in companies that have embraced the skills-based system and how that’s changing their structure in compensation.

Sona Manzo 54:43
Yeah, this is an area that I think, you know, organizations are really starting to look at and from Deloitte perspective, you know, we have, we have our compensation team and our workforce. Transformation practice is actively working with organizations on strategies around that It’s a complex scenario, obviously making that sort of a transition. And I think, as we saw earlier, one where there hasn’t been as much traction yet. But you know, a lot of discussion and interest in exploring gods. So how do we take kind of our traditional mindsets about, you know, compensation strategy and management and start to transform that with skills base. So, we’re seeing that in pockets and some evolution going on there. And I do know, this is going to continue to be an area that we’ll see evolving. Jason, not sure. Thoughts from your side?

Jason Cerrato 55:30
Yeah, I think it’s kind of akin to, you know, a few years ago, everyone was transitioning towards trying to deploy rating list performance reviews, right, and going through a performance management process without ratings. I think this is somewhat similar where, you know, today, you know, we look at who has a critical role, and which job is critical for our organization? Well, if you change the change in the mechanism by which you’re viewing talent, you start to look at, well, who has a critical skill? And what skill is a rising skill that we’re going to need in the future or which skill is a rare skill that would be hard to replace, or it’s hard to recruit for? So, it’s looking at, you know, a process that isn’t necessarily changing, but using different criteria to then evaluate?

John Gates 56:17
Yeah, it’s a very interesting question, because today, I think people map jobs, scope, and responsibilities to a grading system of some sort. And in a skills-based system may be there now mapping critical skills to some sort of leveling or grading system. It’s could potentially be very disruptive. But maybe there’s some baby steps that companies can take and probably the source of a whole nether webcast. Deeper.

Unknown Speaker 56:47
Good points.

John Gates 56:49
All right. I think we’re about out of time for questions. So, I just want to say thank you, to Jason Cerrato. And Sona Manzo for such a great, great conversation and sharing your deep experience with us today. Thank you so much. If you enjoy today’s program, please visit the Conference Board dot.org/webcasts For a full roster of upcoming webcasts. We have a leadership and coaching conference coming up on June 1 a second, so join your fellow human capital talent coaching and leadership development peers during this two-day virtual event where the agenda will address the challenge of how to build better leaders for the business needs of the future. through case studies, action-oriented research and spotlight on emergency emerging technology trends, we’ll explore how organizations are leveraging leadership development and coaching to transform both leaders and the business. Registration is complimentary for members of the Conference Board. The 2023 engaged at work conference will focus entirely on engagement and the employee experience showcasing the latest insights and case studies from leaders across major corporations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations. So, we expect this to be a really good conference as an attendee, or you will have access to exclusive research from Conference Board, insights from C suite and senior leaders from Fortune 500 companies as well as exciting innovators in the engagement space. This event will also provide you with the opportunity to take full advantage of the in-person experience with time to ask questions, join small group discussions and to connect with your fellow attendees. Finally, we’re really proud at the Conference Board to have recently launched the TCB insights app. With the app you can easily connect with peers in your community. Register for our events and find the latest research podcasts and webcasts downloaded today. Thanks again to Jason and Sona. And thanks to all of you for joining us. Have a great day.

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