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Workplace transformations position skills as a crucial factor for a company's adaptation. From identifying to managing skill obsolescence, discover the best practices for effective skills management
Skills lifecycle from attraction to obsolescence

The skill is both a legal concept and an expression of the requirements of a profession. The use of this term within human resources dates back to the economic crisis of the late 1970s. Intended to ensure the sustainability of a company, the management of human capital expertise is now a central activity in which HR wishes to intensify its involvement.

The significant investment in this HR discipline is explained by its essential contribution to business performance. The following expressions have become part of everyday language: 

  • "Shortage of skills"
  • "Misallocation of resources"
  • "Difficulties in anticipating tomorrow's know-how".
  • "Loss of know-how"

The life cycle of skill starts with the different definition that each company has. It ends when this faculty no longer contributes to performance. Let's take a look at each of the stages of this still new concept.

How to define a skill ?

The skill is a sum of knowledge, know-how and behaviors that an individual mobilizes to good effect in a given professional context.

This definition reflects both the variety of information, skills and attitudes used, and the importance of the framework in which it is implemented.

Collecting the faculties of the company and describing them through concrete situations favors its understanding by all to become one of the pillars of performance.

We have good news for you: our page "How to define the skill in the company" will help you to see clearly.

How to detect skills in my organization?

The cycle of an individual's specific ability comes to life with their initial identification. Each job requires distinct professional abilities that are assessed on an ongoing basis. We see on a daily basis the importance of detecting invisible assets to enrich the company's assets.

Highlighting the full range of each person's skills and knowledge is one of the vocations of skills management. Our Webinar on September 29 with Implid was an opportunity to examine the priorities of our 90 participants: they emphasize the ability to anticipate tomorrow's skills.

Anticipation of skills as a priority
Anticipation of skills as a priority

The role of AI in the detection of skills

Artificial intelligence for HR produces a multilingual semantic analysis of individuals' abilities based on CVs, career paths and job offers. This inference engine offers an additional opportunity for HR teams, enabling them to capitalize on all the assets useful to the company. The deployment of our HR Platform sometimes brings out up to 15% of skills immersed, revealing this capital of internal expertise is one of the benefits of using AI.

But that's not all! AI is on everyone's lips, impacting many professions that have been protected until now, particularly "white collar" jobs. We can help you anticipate these impacts on your career with a unique modeling tool.

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Learn about the upcoming improvements of artificial intelligence in talent asset management: "AI for Talent Management"

What are the main categories of skills ?

At the same time, the rapid evolution of professions highlights a rapid growth in the number of new qualifications of which we are not sufficiently aware. The new professional contexts such as remote work, the digitalization of activities and tools, invite to limitthe"inflation of skills" with the help of their categorization.

33% of French people say they are "poorly informed" about the most useful professional skills for their current job.

skills categories to streamline your approach:

  • The skills behavioral skills encompass interpersonal and personal skills that are not generally linked to a single job. These qualities, also known as soft skills, have the capacity to be applied in several jobs, and can be cross-disciplinary skills. Mad Skills are a form of soft skills that respond to today's need for agility. 
  • The skills techniques are specific to a job, they cannot be acquired without prior training.
  • The skills sectors reflect the mastery of the issues and culture of a sector of activity.
Category of skills : the 4 most used skills
The 4 skills most commonly used in HR management

Want to know in detail which skill type is best suited to your HR strategy? Read our page on"Categories of skills".

How to structure your company's skills management?

Once identified, companies structure their usage within a framework of reference. Today, about 65% of companies have this formal framework. Establishing a sustainable " skillsapproach" within the company is a rigorous and participative process. The creation of business repositories and skills forming the basis of knowledge of internal assets is not a simple project, but the keystone of the future HR strategic planning.

The method for structuring the management of skills :

Method of Management of skills
Method of Management of skills

To organize your approach, co-construction is always the best philosophy. Workshops with operational staff from all departments help to anchor the approach in managerial practices. This collaborative work, legitimized by the General Management, offers a simple, operational skills matrix to the different departments. From then on, they have a guide to evaluate, develop and allocate their resources efficiently.

The relevance of the data chosen also depends on the existence of actors whose vocation is to ensure the integration of emerging expertise and to limit the weight of obsolete faculties: the team in charge of their governance.

What do we mean by "Governance of skills ? "Read our article in collaboration with the consulting firm "Be hr" and Linnet Kotek more particularly...

Repositories as a major lever for structuring information

The maintenance and enrichment of internal knowledge repositories are subject to important methodological and technological advances. Among these, taxonomy and ontology are the most advanced classification tools. Thanks to these tools, skill becomes a common language for the various HR processes (training, mobility, etc.). An "embodied" repository reflecting concrete activities illustrated by observable facts favors the progression of the feeling of common identity.

Structure the creation of the skills
The 6 steps to structure your skills

Because most companies struggle to create, update and enrich a mapping platform, Neobrain is revolutionizing the practice. Why make things complicated when you can make them simple?

Go for pragmatism with our"AI Skills Management" solution!

What approaches to evaluation should skills take?

Evaluating the company's intrinsic capabilities provides a benchmark for the evolution of the company's know-how. The employee is invited to evaluate himself, to position himself on each skill from a scale of 4 values in order to avoid the less significant intermediate assessments. 

When should you formalize the evaluation of your skills ?

  • During the learning process of the talent management software, in a self-declared form.
  • During formal interviews such as annual assessment events.
  • Following specific training to ensure their proper acquisition.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Self-Assessment:

While this model gives the employee responsibility for his or her career development, we recommend supplementing it with other sources of assessment.

Static models such as annual appraisal interviews (AEAs) have gradually been replaced by more regular, real-time systems.

Learn more about the opportunities of the feedback culture in our"Annual Review and Ongoing Feedback" page.

The skill in the certification process

The amplification of company certifications (ISO 9001, BCorp, ...) promised to acquire a competitive advantage, they are now a prerequisite! Certifications also have a growing benefit on the employer brand and the attractiveness of the company. Their lifespan is limited, a tool for assessing internal skills can also manage the validity of certifications. 

The quality and completeness of HR data are the cornerstones of your talent management success. Neobrain offers a wide range of tools for diagnosing, checking consistency and ensuring data reliability, so you can get the most out of your talent management platform.

G2, a recognized analyst, evaluates Neobrain as a major solution for skills management. Here's their matrix:

How to value and develop skills ?

At Neobrain, we focus on "motivations" to enhance the significant assets of employees. This philosophy, which aims to highlight an aptitude according to the employee's level of appetence, provides several benefits: 

  • Better individualization of career paths
  • A learning gas pedal
  • Increased loyalty

Recognizing distinctive qualities by means of an ergonomic sirh is part of the challenge of building employee loyalty. Multi-source feedback, or 360°, gives new importance to the management of skills and their value in a company, since they become collective assets.

The collaborative dimension as a vector of valorization of the skills

Neobrain values the positive impact of the social dimension of its platform. The benefits for the user experience and involvement in the solution are now considered a major asset by HR teams. Neobrain gives you access to a free comparison tool to help you choose the solution that's right for you.

Comparateur Gesion des skills

Mapping skills as an HR development tool

Mapping and business bridges

This mapping makes it possible to group together the skills that can be mobilized and the resources that need to be developed, at an "instant T", in a visualization tool. This mapping of skills is at the origin of a prospective reflection on the bridges between the different current and future roles . Our use case"Job mapping and skills" will show you how several companies have successfully adopted this practice.

This indispensable tool for modern HR management provides a framework for the management of skills and instills several other indicators:

  • Measuring the gaps between the skills levels assessed and the benchmarks required for future roles.
  • New areas of mobility, different from traditional patterns, which contribute to the enrichment of career paths
  • The cross-referencing of data on isolated skills and probable departures (probable turnover or retirements) provides a monitoring of the risk of loss of skill.

According to a McKinsey study in 2021, 87% of companies say they are already experiencing gaps in skills. Successful companies are those that are able to identify them and communicate transparently about current and future roles

Mapping and Rise in skills

The philosophy of "management of jobs and career paths" (Jobs & Skills Management,formerly Strategic Workforce Planning) associated with the "Personal Training Account" (CPF) has increased investment. Upskilling, Reskilling and Cross-skilling are the three forms of capacity building in HR policies. They respond to different objectives, which we present in our page"Montées en skills : new objectives, new opportunities".

Whether they are initiated by companies or by employees themselves, HR development paths and other measures that promote employability such as VAE, coaching, professional training or skills assessments are in the spotlight.

Are you thinking about setting up these assessments for your employees? Read our article "Bilan de skills : quels outils à votre disposition" before you start.

Developing employees is a clever mix of taking into account their motivations and the acquisition of strategic know-how. Outsourcing these resources to third parties is an often temporary logic to face the chronic deficit of relevant profiles that must be taken into account in a training budget. The trend is to incorporate the know-how of freelancers into the company's know-how pool. This policy is beneficial as soon as the transmission of this population's know-how is formalized.

How to promote mobility of skills ?

Companies rarely take advantage of this opportunity since only 6% of recruitments are internal. Employees, on the other hand, are becoming aware of the importance of mobilizing transferable skills in different job contexts.

Here are the results of a study by the "Acteurs de la skill" on their professional mobility:

‍1out of 4 French people think they will work in at least 4 jobs during their career


The Leyton Group has seized the opportunity, we have conducted a webinar on this subject available in the link below:

This lack of internal mobility can be explained by several phenomena:

  • The cultural aspect is the first factor: for security reasons, external recruitment is favored over internal recruitment.
  • The need fora system to manage skills that can be transferred from one role to another is the second most important reason raised by our clients.
  • Finally, approximately 60% of employees consider the implementation of actions decided during annual appraisal interviews to be ineffective (source: Deloitte, HR trends). A solution such as Neobrain provides an operational support system that is planned and monitored by the 3 actors: employees, HR and managers. 

Are you familiar with the concept of cross-functional skills ? We tell you all about these critical assets for internal mobility in the article "skills transversal and mobility".

Big DATA as a gas pedal of the pragmatic mobilization of know-how

Big Data influences the various roles of human resources; recruitment, development of skills, HR management and employee career management can benefit from it. Extracting meaning and capitalizing on all HR data streams is facilitated by Natural Language Processing (NLP). Born in 1950, this multi-disciplinary field has made a considerable leap forward with the launch of the BERT language model by Google.

The scope of AI in internal job developments

From now on, the management of internal fields of expertise benefits from an intelligence capable of understanding the contextual environment that surrounds its terminology. For example, we can distinguish the differences and similarities between several jobs to compare them and build mobility areas. The relevance of matches between several "HR objects" within a dataset accelerates, and internal mobility can finally be considered a real alternative to external recruitment.

The project-based organization of companies also calls for new responses in the punctual mobilization of internal skills . Matching algorithms are accompanying the emergence of internal talent platforms. These "internal talent marketplaces" are real internal search engines equipped with filters to select the right skill and offer them the opportunity to take part in projects. 

How to limit the obsolescence of skills ?

The organization cannot interfere in the obsolescence of a skill or the depreciation of expertise. However, it can anticipate it through a carefully considered approach to Job and Career Management, and, on the other hand, through a resource planning strategy deeply embedded in managerial practices. Furthermore, digital transformation is now underway in the company, and another change must be carried out: the transformation of  skills to support the ecological transition.

The Jobs & Skills Management as a lever of adaptation

The life of a particular skill in the company ends with their lack or loss of adaptation to a given activity. Within the framework of the Jobs & Skills Management, companies are responsible for anticipating the evolution of jobs, as well as adapting them to technological, economic, organizational and environmental changes

Anticipating the automation of trades

The recent factors of digitalization and the search for sustainability in economic models are imperatives for which Jobs & Skills Management is a strategic tool. Neobrain proposes to diagnose the probability of automation of jobs in order to prioritize HR actions.

The observation of the rapid obsolescence of technical skills (less than 2 years) should not lead us to focus only on soft skills.

Other alternatives help to perpetuate the company's assets and contribute to its success by improving the performance of its contributors.

The populations most affected by the obsolescence of skills

The employees most at risk of not being able to cope with change are, on the one hand, those who do not take part in ongoing training and, on the other hand, older employees. Our partner Edflex produces an annual training barometer which reflects the need to renew the HR development offering. In this respect, 2 figures are particularly evocative:

  • 40% of employees find educational content difficult to find.
  • 12% of the over-50s believe that no additional factors would lead them to train.

We recommend reading 2 articles to help you solve these problems:

Finally, companies are thinking about a more responsible organization that reconciles economic performance and positive societal impact. The late appearance of this consideration by leadership stems from the need to demonstrate collective intelligence with partners, or to give meaning to each activity within a systemic reflection. More than ever, the mobilization of these assets is revealed through behaviors orchestrated by Human Resources.

The challenge of the risk of automation in your company's businesses?

In addition to the job-destroying phenomena of globalization, there are now the risks of automation produced by predictive and generative artificial intelligence. Neobrain integrates and calculates these risks for a range of sectors and professions, and our "Strategic Workforce Planning"helps to limit these risks in advance.

Make an appointment with a Neobrain Consultant to anticipate this aspect in your Workforce Planning.


How do I map my company's skills ?

Mapping the skills can be done through 3 main steps:

  1. Consolidate the available data, ensuring that it is understood in a common way across the company.
  2. Involve employees to enrich collective knowledge and thus visualize possible areas of mobility.
  3. Orchestrate each action: mobilities, trainings, resource allocation and constantly update your data.

Neobrain groups these actions in a downloadable guide.

How do you determine the skills keys to the different positions?

Defining the key skills for each position brings together several activities:

  • Engage business experts and employees to reveal part of the answer
  • Capture external signals through the use of an AI-centric solution
  • Create a governance team to oversee all skills

How can I evaluate my employees' skills objectively and accurately?

Making evaluations of skills reliable is of key importance since career paths and the choice between external recruitment and internal mobility depend on it. Several sources must make these evaluations objective:

  • Involving employees in a self-evaluation or 360° evaluation.
  • The contribution of managers in constructive comments
  • A sum of new tools such as "serious games" and the analysis of corporate social networks.

How to encourage internal mobility through the management of skills ?

Based on skills precise employees and positions, the company reveals opportunities for internal mobility.

Neobrain is convinced of 2 complementary elements for a sustainable internal mobility culture:

  1. The centrality of the motivations and skills to develop these skills in the success of the courses
  2. The sum of mobilities is not just a new role, but the sum of opportunities such as "Gigs", mentoring, knowledge sharing.

Do you still have questions?

Please feel free to contact us for more information 😃

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