Internal Mobility
Sujit Karpe
Written by :
Sujit Karpe
August 16, 2023
16 min read

Why is Building a Skills-First Organization Critical in the Age of GenAI?

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Before September 2021, the term and idea of "GenAI" were relatively unknown to the general public. However, since then, 'GenAI' has emerged as a powerful force, causing significant disruptions in various fields.

Even though it is still in its early stages, 'GenAI' has already had a profound impact on diverse industries, reshaping the future of work in unprecedented ways.

Why just possessing GenAI skills not enough to navigate future disruption?

Possessing 'GenAI skills' have become highly sought-after in numerous job roles and industries. Skills like Prompt Engineers, AI Developers and Programmers, and experts in Human-Machine Interaction have become essential for organizations to thrive in today's intensely competitive market.

However, it's essential for CHROs and decision-makers not to fall into the belief that merely acquiring these skills guarantees success in this AI-driven world. The emergence of Gen AI has just provided us with a glimpse of what lies ahead, demonstrating that most job-specific skills can swiftly transform or become outdated within surprisingly short timeframes. And, given the current scenario, further technological disruptions loom on the horizon, adding complexity to the ever-evolving skills landscape.

According to the World Economic Forum's Future of Jobs Report 2023, 85% of organizations surveyed found new tech adoption and expanded digital access as key transformation drivers.

World economic forum's future of job report 2023

Even a survey conducted by iMocha in partnership with EY revealed that nearly 35% of tech roles were considered susceptible to obsolescence, necessitating upskilling and reskilling to remain relevant in the next two to three years.


Now in a market marked by inconsistency and unpredictability, organizations face a crucial question: How can they ensure they stay relevant and competitive? How can they safeguard their position and achieve success amidst constant fluctuations?

The answer lies in adopting a 'Skills-first' approach.

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What is a ‘skills-first’ approach?

'Skills-first' refers to an innovative talent management approach centered on skills and competencies – as opposed to degrees, job histories, or titles – for talent attraction, hiring, development, and redeployment. By prioritizing skills directly, regardless of how they were acquired, the 'skills-first' method democratizes access to economic opportunities and pathways to quality jobs for more people than traditional approaches.

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How does adopting a ‘Skills-first’ approach help CHROs tackle the ongoing AI revolution?

Following a ‘skills-first’ approach can be compared to having a crystal ball that predicts all your future skill demands. With this approach, organizations can simplify:

Skills Architecture:

  1. Enhanced Clarity: A skills-first approach provides a clear and standardized framework for categorizing and understanding skills. This clarity enables better skills management across the organization and with external partners.
  2. Flexibility: Skills architecture allows for flexibility in job roles and career progression, enabling employees to adapt to new roles that align with their skill sets.
  3. Skill Development: By identifying specific skills required for various roles, employees can focus on developing the right skills, leading to a more skilled, versatile, and future-proof workforce.

Skills Validation:

  1. Objective Evaluation: A skills-first approach emphasizes multi-channel skills validation of an individual's skills through various sources like Skills Assessments Reports (Functional Skills, Technical Skills, Coding Skills, Communication Skills), Social Data (Resume Parsing, LinkedIn, GitHub, Stack Overflow), Internal System Data (Project History, Training Data, Certification Data, Performance Data), and User Input Data (Self-declared Skills, Manager Inputs). This reduces bias and ensures a fair validation of an individual's capabilities, leading to better talent matching.

Talent Acquisition:

  1. Targeted Recruitment: Skills-first approach allows recruiters to target candidates based on their specific skills, increasing the likelihood of finding the right fit for the role.
  2. Improved Candidate Experience: Candidates are more likely to feel valued when their skills are the primary focus during the recruitment process, leading to a positive candidate experience.
  3. Faster Hiring: Skills benchmarking enables a quicker and more efficient hiring process, as it is easier to match candidates' skills with the requirements of the role.

Internal Talent Decisions:

  1. Optimal Career Path Mapping: A skills-first approach helps employees identify potential career paths based on their skills, allowing them to make informed decisions about their development and future roles.
  2. Career Development: It enhances employee career development by focusing on skill acquisition and relevance, empowering employees to adapt to changing roles, contribute effectively, and navigate evolving job markets with confidence.
  3. Better Internal Mobility: When skills are at the forefront of decision-making, internal mobility becomes smoother and more effective, as employees can transition to roles that leverage their existing skills.
  4. Succession Planning: Identifying and developing skills in the workforce allows organizations to groom internal talent for key leadership positions, leading to better succession planning and continuity.

As we face an ever-changing future, we are bound to encounter various market and technical disruptions that demand our attention and adaptation. Embracing a skills-first approach and using AI-driven skills intelligence becomes our ultimate survival tool, equipping us not only to compete effectively in the current market landscape but also to anticipate what lies ahead and make strategic talent decisions. By prioritizing skills, we can empower ourselves to navigate these challenges with foresight and agility, ensuring our organization's resilience and success in the dynamic business environment.

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