Recruiting, Developing and Retaining the Best Talent –the Illusive Holy Grail of Business
Workforce Analytics, Talent Analytics, HR Analytics are all buzzwords and hot topics in the HR and talentspace at the present time.
But consider this… when you actually drill down into the nuts and bolts of these three areas – they’re essentially exactly the same thing. So is it a case of over complicating the situation?
Additionally – and perhaps more crucially – they omit what I believe to be an altogether more important and fundamental component: Skills Analytics.
What is Lacking at Present?
Having read many articles, publications and white papers – as well as speaking to HR, recruitment and talent professionals recently – I am somewhat perplexed that there is little or no reference to the inclusion of Skills Analytics in these discussions. Let me explain why.

Skills Library and Profiling

Firstly, allow me to elaborate on the key elements of Talent Analytics. This includes(largely) staff or potential employee analytics and the cost of employee management. Factors falling under this area are demographics, employment history, fixed /variable and other costs – as well as key performance indicators, to name but a few.
And on the other side of this pressing issue is the management of skills. From an organization’s standpoint, this entails finding the right skills, deploying them effectively and hiring or strategically enhancing their talent decisions. For an employee, the biggest challenge is deploying their skills productively, developing new skills and one of the most overlooked aspects – having(and demonstrating) a short, medium and long-term strategy for themselves in the company.
Where Businesses are Going Wrong
Skills are not the ambit of Talent Analytics, but in my opinion they need to be. Principally due to the fact that if there is greater accountability and emphasis placed on skills, the business impact could be exponential. For me, skills currently sit somewhat below the radar as they are perceived as an intangible quality that cannot currently be measured in an accurate, consistent manner.
Historically, there has been no central data available. More often than not, it can only be found after much time has been spent searching across a number of locations and formats, such as resumes and job descriptions.
I also firmly believe skills need to be part of the Analytics Framework – or at the very least play a more significant role. Here’s why: currently, behavioral skills and competencies are oftentimes taken into account – but this still leaves many holes in the bigger picture. Without any data or reference to functional or technical skills, the skills profile is essentially incomplete –only revealing a fraction of an employee’s talent – and the consequences to an organization could be enormous.
The point I am highlighting here is that HR Analytics can only be relevant (and reach its true potential) if it encompasses Skills Analytics.
What is the Solution?
So, having identified the pitfalls and the challenges, what is the answer? In short, it is data. Currently, obtaining information about a person’s salary or personal information (date of birth, etc) is easy and the data is readily available. However, as already mentioned, data pertaining to an individual’s skills is not – and what is available is unstructured and in a variety of formats – for example, hidden in resumes, job descriptions and professional social media profiles. There is no central location for this information.
A shift is therefore needed, I believe, towards utilizing skills data which is structured, and insightful – mapping the depth and range of functional and technical skills of everyone in every function or department. Which is why, together with my team, we have been developed such a resource – the Skills Library and Profiling (SLP) engine. It ensures HR and those working in recruitment or talent acquisition have a tool that is both easy to use, but also provides the necessary information to make the right decisions for a business – and the individual.
It is also important that a shift towards using this data applies to everyone at every level. There should be no half measures – and indeed – there are no excuses for not going ‘all in.’ Data should be detailed yet easy to create, use and manipulate – and should replace the resumes, job descriptions and other data sources. And this is what the SLP engine does – housing all the data you need in one convenient location.
Our aim is that readily available data can now become the central point of all employee engagement and HR activities, pleasevisitincluding performance appraisals, succession planning and development planning.
The SLP engine can also help HR Tech companies and HR departments make this vital shift and in doing so, provide real, tangible business influence. Also, as a web-based service, it does not disrupt any existing platforms or HRIS.
To find out more about the Splease visit www.itsyourskills.com. Alternatively, contact Amuthan on +91 97915 21646 or amuthan@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.

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