Video: David Green interviews Mikaël Wornoo

Watch the highlights from MyHRFuture's podcast 'How Do You Understand the Skills of Your Workforce?'

TechWolf's co-founder and COO Mikaël was HR specialist David Green's guest for a well-received episode of MyHRFuture's podcast.

A listener wrote us: "I was listening to the podcast you were in with David Green and was inspired. You explain the difficult concepts around skills and data in a very clear way.
The problem usually is that HR professionals explain topics around skills, gaps, competencies etc. in a fuzzy manner only HR seems to understand

In the interview, Mikaël speaks about AI and natural language processing are helping to solve a perennial challenge for organisations, namely the process of gathering skills data automatically, continuously, and objectively to understand the skills you have, the skills you need and the gap in-between.

Skills are a popular topic on David Green's Digital HR Leader podcast series. Not a surprise, given that according to PWC, 74% of CEOs are concerned about the availability of key skills, and are worried that the shortage of talent will constrain growth.

The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2025, 50% of all employees will need to be re-skilled as 97 million new jobs emerge and 85 million jobs will be displaced by a shift in labour between humans and machines.

This pressure translates to HR, with Gartner stating that the top priority for HR leaders today is building critical skills and competencies for the organisation.

Furthermore, research into the future of workforce planning conducted by Insight222 found that while nearly all companies want to build a skills-based workforce planning process, only a quarter are actively doing so.

Throughout this episode, David and Mikael discuss these topics and others, including:

  • The biggest challenges organisations face in gathering and utilising skills data
  • How TechWolf helps customers build an overview of skills in just eight weeks
  • How companies are using skills data to solve a myriad of challenges and help the business effectively see around corners

Enjoy the highlights of the podcast in the 2 short videos below.

How can HR help the business identify critical skills?

Mikaël Wornoo: That is exactly what a strategic HR functions needs, and what skills intelligence is all about. It starts with understanding what you have in house today. Embracing data, prioritising evidence-based decision-making and adopting technology will fundamentally change HR’s job and make it more strategic.

If HR really wants to help the business identify critical skills for the future, the answer won't come from doing the same thing we did 20 years ago.

The challenge requires us to rethink the job of HR. Marketing became a strategic function by embracing data. HR is different because there is a people component, obviously, but embracing data, as marketing did, and really getting that strategic seat at the table, will only happen if HR helps the business identify critical skills. Identifying skills can only be done by embracing data.

How can you use AI to understand the skills in your organisation?

Mikaël Wornoo: Every HR leader I talk to regarding the skills topic, tells me the same: "We simply don't know the skills of our people". 

Even with the best tools, they don't manage to get a continuous overview of skills.

The solution can not be putting another tool in front of people, it cannot be just asking people for skills data, we have tried that, it doesn't work.

It is about leveraging data that is already present.

We realised that there is plenty of implicit skills data lying around, and you just need to talk to those systems and grab the data and translate it to explicit skills data.

You also realise that it is not just the HR systems, but your general digital footprint. People don't work in Workday, or Degreed, or Gloat, it is also not the place where they are going to create the bulk of the skills data. You need to look into systems where people actually spend their day.

That is what we do. We approach skills as a data problem. TechWolf specialises in creating AI, natural language processing, that can translate different data sources into skills.

Sometimes it baffles people. "Why would you do that? Why would you just focus on getting to know the skills of people?" Because we believe that skills data will be an instrumental piece in creating smarter technologies, a competitive advantage, and also more engaged employees.

Even just this year, there are two types of platforms already that really needs skills data: the learning experience platforms and the talent marketplace. The number of tools that will rely on skills data will only increase.

Skills data is going to be the key to unlocking more engaged employees, create a better employee journey and a better employee experience.

Employees expect organisations to assist in their career development, and that is what skill data enables.

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