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Since the industrial era, work organisation has been structured around the concept of jobs, comprising fixed responsibilities and job descriptions that form the basis of remuneration and organisational hierarchies.

Is this model, which applies identical training and performance evaluations to each individual, still relevant? Does our job genuinely encompass what we do daily? These questions are increasingly being raised within human resources.

Could the future of work potentially revolve around redefining a job as a collection of skills and allocating resources based on individuals' abilities and preferences rather than adhering to rigid, predefined roles? Many voices advocate for this skills-based organization, with both advantages and reservations discussed in detail in this article.

Define career development based on the skills

Career development criteria in figures

Two figures from Deloitte's recent survey indicate the necessity for a transformative shift:

  • 63% of executives indicate that work in their organization is currently performed in teams or on projects beyond employees' primary job descriptions.
  • 81% report that work is progressively carried out across functional boundaries. 

So, how can we persist in conceptualising employee advancement solely in a vertical manner? Factors such as the number of years in a position, academic qualifications or an individual's confidence level should no longer be the sole criteria for talent recruitment or promotions. This is particularly relevant considering the growing scrutiny of skill levels in critical positions. Thomas Chamorro-Premuzic underlines this perspective in a provocative article highlighting the increasing need for humility in today's management roles, particularly among men.
It transforms into a tool that facilitates ongoing dialogue between employees and managers, enabling continuous assessment of both individual and team performance. Ultimately, it leads to the swift identification of hidden insights and potential risks.

We will also outline a framework you can adopt to optimize your investments.

The transition to more objective developments

How can we objectively assess the capabilities of each individual?

Three dimensions aid in this transition, with the starting point being the level of expertise.

  1. Provide regular feedback, a topic developed in the article "Continuous feedback vs. annual interview."
  2. Design a relevant skills mapping tool, detailed in the "Making a mapping that mobilizes" page.
  3. Involve all stakeholders in updating the criteria based on skills, especially managers, as discussed in the section titled "How to involve managers in mobility."

This will undeniably necessitate a comprehensive shift in mindset and the broader corporate culture. These changes, often substantial and challenging, will naturally encounter resistance, affecting how managers assess contributions at work and how HR provides daily support to workers. 

Matching skills with the organisation's opportunities

How to make internal opportunities visible?

Currently, leaders and managers do not possess a comprehensive view of their employees' skills. On the other hand, employees lack visibility regarding the opportunities available within their organisation. Two figures highlight this dissonance: 

  • Only 18% of executives strongly agree that employees fully utilise their skills and abilities.
  • 85% of HR respondents assert that organisations should establish more agile work structures to enhance agility and adapt more swiftly to market fluctuations. 
All the opportunities contained in a Talent Marketplace
Making all opportunities visible is the role of a TalentMarketplace

The Talent Marketplace serves as the digital manifestation of skills-based practices. For example, It fosters collaboration and knowledge sharing by connecting individuals with projects and mentorship opportunities throughout the organisation, effectively breaking down silos.

You can explore the comprehensive functionality of this new skills-based approach in our detailed guide: "Internal Talent Marketplace."

How opportunity matchings work in practice

Within this talent management system, every employee can apply for an internal position that aligns with their career development aspirations. By examining the skills essential for the role, they can promptly pinpoint the areas where they require assistance. Subsequently, the Talent Marketplace, empowered by robust AI, suggests the necessary training to help them achieve their objectives. 

Conversely, a team in need of specific experience for a project can now directly recruit the most suitable candidate from within the company. This benefits both individuals and projects, enhancing overall productivity within the organisation.

Thanks to this system, employees are no longer required to wait for full validation; they can commence a portion of the role they aspire to and gradually take on additional tasks over time. Collaboration with a mentor, for instance, facilitates the exchange of best practices between managers and reduces resistance to what might otherwise be perceived as the loss of workforce.

Rethink and develop an engaging concept of objectives

Performance objectives and development objectives

Performance is typically defined as the degree of accomplishment, at a specific point in time, concerning anticipated outcomes relative to the expended efforts and resources. Given that performance relies on various prerequisites, including skills, it is often more sustainable to prioritise the development of skills and progression over solely focusing on performance. This approach encourages active engagement and adaptability to environmental changes. Furthermore, it wholeheartedly supports a culture of continuous learning as the organisation allocates adequate time for these transformations.

Training is no longer a burden in parallel to the work to be done, but a goal in its own right for the employee.

An overhaul of the animation of objectives

Ultimately, this re-evaluation of objective-setting practices results in enhanced employee retention and significantly contributes to the company's employer brand. 

In fact, 64% of employees surveyed by Deloitte express a stronger attraction to organisations that prioritise development goals over performance objectives. This indicates people's desire to work in environments where they perceive the organisation is actively nurturing and value their growth and fostering the realisation of their collective performance potential.Rather than attempting to homogenize individuals by imposing standardised, production-focused objectives, skill-based development goals allow the unique qualities of each person to shine through in their interactions with the business and its domain.

It is now the responsibility of HR teams to collaborate with all stakeholders and to emphasise the numerous advantages of this change: 

  • Personalised career solutions: Our article "5 tips for individualizing careers" provides valuable insights.
  • Enhanced agility in responding to various changes: Refer to our White Paper on HR agility.
  • User experience that empowers employees to actively participate in their career development.
  • Restored confidence in the organization's ability to offer appropriate mobility opportunities.