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The employability of employees is a major concern for HR and managers. As an essential element of the Jobs & Skills Management system, it is in the interest of both the employees and the company.

How do we define the term employability? How important is it for employees and for the organization as a whole? What are the different steps to implement to develop the employability of your employees? 

What is employee employability?

Today, employability refers to an employee's ability to attain, maintain and develop his or her qualifications in the face of changes in his or her profession. More prosaically, it also refers to an employee's ability to be hired by a company, to keep his or her job and to be aligned with the changes required in the competitive environment. Employability is a concept that emerged in England in the 19th century, and was used to refer to the support provided by public authorities to social classes in difficulty.

As David Dunning points out, cultivating employees' employability also means giving them the awareness that they can do better.
This vision of employability clearly suggests 2 notions:

  • Adapting qualifications to changing business requirements
  • The resources available to each employee.

What are the objectives of employability?

Employability has objectives for both employees and the company.

  • For employees, it's a question of keeping up to date in a constantly changing professional environment, and improving their ability to possess the skills in demand on the market. It also aims to give employees the confidence to take on new challenges and adapt to change.
  • For the company, employability has the virtue of preparing it for future challenges by minimizing the uncertainty of its environment. Thanks to a diversified workforce, fostering the continuous acquisition of a variety of skills skills stimulates innovation and creativity within the company.

The 7 steps to develop employee employability

The stages of employability development
The stages of employability development

Step 1: Map the internal skills and the necessary skills.

The notion of aptitude is the common denominator for all your employability improvement actions. To build it, you can rely on the taxonomy and ontology that we explain in our article Guide"The indispensable reference framework of skills".

Step 2: Establish an initial diagnosis of the forces at work.

‍Oncestructured, the collection of employee qualifications will be subject to a double evaluation: a self-assessment by the employees themselves an assesment by the manager. Tests may also be necessary. Managers and HR teams will then have access to a complete mapping system.

What are these main categories of skills? We answer you in our page"The categories of skills".

Step 3: Examine the individual situations of each employee.

We recommend objectivizing evaluations by means of tests and 360 feedback , so as to obtain reliable data. The next step is to measure their evolution at regular intervals. The aspirational dimension also needs to be considered in detail: a person who is motivated to acquire a qualification will achieve it 2 times faster than someone who feels compelled to do so. HR development is therefore a fine balance between :

  • A"common core" of transversal skills for each employee.
  • Adaptation to skills as soon as an information system lists them.
  • The company's priorities in terms of performance and business development.

Step 4: Match learning content to expected skill levels.

Do you have a rich library of HR development content but have not yet matched it to the skills to be acquired? Bring together managers and business experts to match each specific skill and the target level with the chosen modality. Neobrain integrates all the content taken from training organizations and matches it with the skills in your reference frameworks to "match" them and save you precious time.

Catalog adapted to skills to be developed
Catalog adapted to skills to be developed

Step 5: Create an individualized support plan

Anchoring employability as a priority means integrating a support plan as a driver of each person's career path. Performance objectives are too often given priority over development objectives, even though the latter are the primary factors in achieving performance. Here is an example of a development plan on the Neobrain platform.

Adaptation of the development plan
Adaptation of the development plan

Step 6: Deploy the various forms of training

Sources of skill acquisition or development are available in 2 ways:

  • By automatic suggestion of the artificial intelligence. This recommendation appears directly on the employee's profile and his evaluation on each key aptitude, his appetencies to increase some of them.
  • By searching for the employee, manager or HR in the library of available apprenticeships.

A workflow system from request to acceptance to scheduling will be automatically triggered. The social dimension of the talent management platform accelerates its adoption: the employee can both evaluate the relevance of the support he has received and suggest it to his network.

Skills training to enhance employability has several objectives:

  • It can be upskilling (objective of progression in a similar job)
  • Reskilling (to keep the individual in his job)
  • Or cross-skilling (mobility towards a job related to the current job).

You will find the details of these objectives in the page"The objectives of the ascents in skills".

Step 7: Measure the evolution of employability

The review of Learning action results consists of several metrics:

The 5 indicators of training performance
The 5 indicators of training performance

We can also mention other indicators:

  • Employee acceptance of suggested learning programs, number of requests made.
  • The qualifications most in demand at annual interviews and throughout the year, this provides a strong trend.
  • Overall changes in skill levels by business line, department, location, ....
  • The learning methods that have contributed most to each person's employability.

The whole process is very structured and requires a budget that is adapted to the situation. As HR teams face the need to limit expenses, we have designed for you a summary of the levers to optimize your training budget.

What are the company's employability tools?

Employee employability is both a corporate responsibility and an opportunity that goes beyond the legal framework of Jobs & Skills Management. From ongoing training to innovation programs, there are many mechanisms available. Here are some of them:

  1. Ongoing training : Whether in the form of courses, seminars, workshops, MOOCs or micro-learning, etc., these programs are designed to enhance the technical, managerial and interpersonal skills of our employees. These programs aim to improve employees' technical, managerial and interpersonal skills.
  2. Mentoring and coaching : Set up mentoring programs where more experienced employees share their knowledge and expertise with younger ones. Coaching can also help employees develop specific skills and career management skills.
  3. Special projects and extended responsibilities: Give employees the opportunity to work on special projects, take on extended responsibilities, or get involved in cross-functional initiatives.
  4. Career transition support: Helping employees with career transitions, whether promotions, role changes, or the end of a contract. This can include career counseling sessions, orientation programs, or coaching to adapt to new roles.
  5. Innovation and creativity programs: Encourage employee participation in innovative projects, hackathons, creative ideas and continuous improvement initiatives.

Here is an illustration of the contexts in which they can occur:

  • The change can come from an evolution of the company's strategy, as Sage has recently done with Neobrain, see the success story Neobrain & Sage.
  • Change is also linked to uncertainty, mostly caused by external factors.

Finally, the ageing of the population, coupled with the acceleration in the transformation of professions, raises the question of how to capitalize on the assets of older employees. Interested? We've written a full article on the subject of employability for seniors.

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