Building a future-ready workforce

Melek Geveci

Global HXM Value Advisor

In the last couple decades, we have experienced an evolution in Human Resources practices, where HR’s focus has shifted from being “the custodian of the people” to “creating business outcomes”. Accelerated digital transformations have reminded us that there is a person at end of each process and that change needs to be managed with a human focus, understanding changing mindsets, behaviours, and expectations. CEO’s and senior leaders have recognized the importance of building a strong and positive culture, and how this can help their organisations become more agile and resilient while dealing with constant change.

Business models are continuously evolving due to advanced technology. This has tremendous impact on skill requirements. Filling skill gaps continues to be a critical business goal for many organisations, and attracting and retaining the right talent with in-demand skills will continue to be one of the biggest differentiators for organizational success.


We are experiencing the rise of skills-based organisations where large scale “skills transformations” are taking place. In Fosway’s HR Realities Research 2022, 95% of surveyed organisations rated “availability of skills” as the most significant business challenge to business success. Skills transformation is now considered as one of the key initiatives that many organisations are prioritizing and looking for solutions redeploy, upskill, or reskill their employees to future-proof their workforce.

Traditional talent management practices are not helping to solve today’s problems. There is a growing need for AI driven and agile skills frameworks so that organisations can link people’s growth to relevant skills using an AI driven marketplace for opportunities, roles, projects or temporary assignments. LinkedIn data suggests that both employees and employers are starting to use skills as a shared language in the job search. More than 40 percent recruiters are now explicitly using skills to screen and search for candidates on LinkedIn. According to recent Global Talent Trends report organizations that excel at internal mobility are able to retain employees for 5.4 years on average, nearly twice as long as those that struggle with it, where the average retention span is less than three years.

In the light of these market trends, there are four key areas that need to be considered while embarking on a skills transformation journey and make it the driving force of your talent management strategy.

  • Redefine your talent: With hybrid working, it is not about the hybrid workplace anymore, but more importantly how you create your “hybrid workforce”. It’s imperative to know when a position is best filled by a full-time employee or external worker. This requires adopting a flexible approach to define the talent, whether permanent, part-time, contingent, partial automation, or bots.
  • Know your talent data: It is important to ensure you have real-time visibility into entire workforce to ensure alignment of talent with ever-changing workforce plan. How you link your people data to business outcomes is critical. Creating efficiencies in areas such as time to hire and ramp up of new hires are key to make sure the skills gap is addressed in a timely manner. Most importantly, make it relevant for your organisation.
  • Focus on internal mobility: Creating a transparent work environment where everyone can learn about growth and development opportunities has a tremendous impact on employee experience and retention. Talent marketplace solutions centralise and diversify learning experiences in-house and help create fair and equitable talent practices.
  • Nurture a continuous learning environment: Creating a learning culture is a company-wide initiative. People managers’ role is also evolving as they need to prioritize learning over work, provide their teams with dedicated time for learning and development, and recognize or reward learning and growth in their team. When employees spend more time applying new skills to actual work, they tend to be more engaged. It is also important to understand the learner types and develop learning interventions accordingly.

In conclusion, organisations can become more adaptable and flexible in managing their talent when they have real time visibility on their talent and when they can predict future needs. Only then, they can execute a robust talent management strategy and hence create a future-ready sustainable workforce.

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