A standardized and simple skills profile and how it can benefit talent engagement and development
The image we have shown here is that of a horoscope; one that is used in the north Indian astrological system, (the one used in the Southern system is slightly different). I myself am not a great believer in horoscopes or astrology, but there are things that struck me about horoscopes and learning’s from the construct for the talent landscape.
Lessons from the construct of horoscopes
Three things stand out
- It is a standard template that is used by all. Meaning, everyone’s horoscope is in an identical format, and has a standard /uniform set of variables.
- Even as everyone uses the same standard template, a horoscope is unique to an individual. No two horoscopes can technically be the same. (They are charted based on the location and time of birth which except in rare cases cannot be same for two persons.)
- It is used extensively by Indians for match making (the other common use is on getting future predictions). It is common for Indians to match horoscopes of the prospective bride and bridegroom. Such match making is greatly enabled because of the identical format or template and the data therein.
Relevance of the construct of horoscopes for the talentscape
Why is it relevant in the context of the talent landscape? My submission is that if we have a common template i.e. standardized form of representation of our skills profiling, we all will benefit greatly.
Individual or employee growth is all about constantly developing one’s skills and engaging them effectively. The fitment (match making if we may call it that) between positions or jobs and people will be far more effective; whether it is for hiring from outside or for promotions within or for role changes within the organization.
In most organizations this is a huge problem and one of the biggest contributors to inefficiency in the “fitment process ”. There are a few key causes. One, the jobs and positions are not clearly articulated. Two, when they are, it is mostly in the form of texts, for instance the Job Descriptions. Similarly people profiles (other than that of education, experience) are poorly articulated or are articulated in unstandardized texts.
Result – We have textual resumes and job descriptions in all kinds of forms, with words and phrases used and are unstructured.
What if we Define the Skills “Profile” similar to Horoscopes
Consider a situation where we can create a skills profile aka a horoscope. We would be using a standard template and a set of variables and creating a profile using the same which is unique for each individual. Outcome – everyone’s resume is standardised in terms of the format as are the contents the job descriptions for which hiring needs to be done.
Benefits are significant
- Matching people with jobs will become easier
- Identifying gaps in skills between jobs and individuals will also be apparent
And thus we would be better fulfilling the two criteria for growth – better engagement and better development
Challenges in creating the Skills Profile
Oh, this sounds interesting but how do we get there?
There is one significant challenge in creating the skills profile along the same principles of the horoscope .
The number of variables or fields in the case of horoscope are predefined (Static),commonly understood (well known) and finite(Limited).
Unfortunately we all know that this is not the case in the skills space. Here the skills are in millions, are ever changing (Dynamic) and referred to in different ways by different people (in spelling or in reference).
We can get there by having a Universal Standardized Skills Profile.
So we have a need and a super opportunity to foster growth and a very significant limitation.
It’s Your Skills has been working on overcoming this challenge.
It has created a Skills Library (one that it keeps on updating) and has created a web template for everyone to use.
Ramu is founder of It's Your Skills. Feels he has been fortunate to have had education in engineering and human resources and experience in non-IT and IT industries. They have helped him evolve an all round perspective on the talent space.