Facebook changed the world. It’s changed our lives. Connecting to, sharing with and engaging with people universally is easy. Even my computer-illiterate mother is hooked to it.

Social connect has been a human need since the time humans were hunter-gatherers and Facebook has certainly made it easier for us to fulfill this distinct need of ours.

Now, lets investigate the concept of growth aspiration. We all want to grow. Businesses also want to grow. Growth simply means two things:
(i) continuously developing our skills (innate, apparent and new ones as per changing market scenario) and
(ii) engaging these skills effectively – for better fulfillment, better compensation, better recognition.

Lessons from Facebook for the talent landscape

How can we better fulfill this penchant aspiration for growth. Let’s look at what Facebook did in the social space and see if there are lessons for us. It has done two important things. Firstly, it pulled people into its social “ecosystem”. By getting more and more people and the probability of me connecting to someone I know (and have not connected so far) gets higher. The other day I incidentally found a friend from my early years of school, thanks to Facebook.


Secondly, Facebook successfully uses intelligence to help us connect. That is from the large ecosystem of people, communities, interest groups skill-book and others, it finds those that would be of interest to me. It is essentially doing two things: (i) it understands me or rather my profile – education, people I am connected to, my interests etc. (ii) it applies rules and technologies to identify the right people (actually bits and bytes as for the Information system goes) or right things that are likely to be of interest to me. It does not matter to me that there are millions of people. Only those few among the millions of people who are friends or connects matter to me. And Facebook knows this and can successfully pull these few relevant ones for me.

Applying the lessons

Now let’s apply these observations to the more important need of ours – better growth by talent development and talent engagement.

We all can benefit if we – companies and individuals are connected through an ecosystem.
When more people and companies participate in the ecosystem, each of us will have better chance of fulfilling our growth needs. We will be able to better get talent engagement opportunities, learning opportunities, and insights to the market needs. The corollary for the companies is that the probability that it will find people it wants will increase.

Employee Skills Management AD

This is only the starting point. As we learn from the Facebook it pushes us towards higher and higher levels of engagement through individualized choices i.e. being offered or recommended people, events etc. Same thing can happen in the case of the growth front. When we start getting “good” recommendations on talent engagement opportunities, market inputs on skills demand / supply, recommendations what other people are skilling themselves up on, and how they are pursuing them and so on – those that can aid in our talent development and engagement the two drivers of our growth.

But there is something we need to do before these two i.e creating an ecosystem and building “individualization” mechanisms (algorithms, big data analytics and so on) – we need something more fundamental.

First step first

Remember that the beauty of Facebook is that it understands us well or rather our social profile well. We provide it information of our social profile (education, interests and others) and we all do it in the same form or template. Similarly for skills-book (if we may call it that) we will need to have a good common way of mapping our skills. Only when my skills profile and your skills profile are mapped well and in a similar manner can a connection between us happen well. And that skills profile needs to bring out each of our unique skills.

Today unfortunately there is no common, standardized, simple way of mapping skills. This is where It’s Your Skills (www.itsyourskills.com) has laid the foundation and done work after years of research and information mining. It’s created a simple tool with a large intelligent dynamic library at the back-end to help all of us create our skills profile in a standard manner.

Furthermore, the foundation for skills-book is here and work on the other pieces of the skills-book has begun – such as creating an ecosystem and mechanisms for individualization. This will benefit all of us and energize growth of each of us.

Want to participate in this skills-book mission? Please write to me – Ramu at gramu@itsyourskills.com.

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Ramu heads up the It’s Your Skills team and enjoys being completely hands on with day-to-day operations. An engineer from the Indian Institute of Technology at BHU in Varanasi and with an MBA in HR from XLRI in Jamshedpur, his key objectives are conceptualizing and developing ideas for solutions, driving product development and business strategy. A creative and strategic thinker, Ramu has a rich and distinguished career with almost a quarter of century spent in senior management positions in the IT, FMCG and HR sectors.