Future Skills Pilot Report: Thinking Outside the Box to Reimagine Talent Mobility | Unilever and Walmart

Talent Development

This report shares ideas from a cross-industry pilot program initiated by Walmart and Unilever and intended to identify innovative ways of preparing people for new career opportunities based on their interests and skills. The pilot hypothesized that “opportunities are hidden from viable candidates because of ingrained thinking about experience and qualifications and firms could overlook outstanding candidates simply by failing to look in new places.” Using an AI-based platform, the pilot found that hidden skills could be uncovered. Specifically, when individuals self-report their skills, they impose limitations by identifying 11 skills on average. However, that number increases to 34 with AI’s help, which opens up possibilities for moving talent to nonobvious projects, roles, functions, etc. While an AI-based technology can help unlock hidden skills at scale, this capability’s potential is realized only when a firm’s culture enables it. For example, managers who have talent needs should consider “nonobvious” talent that has the right skills but may not “check the box” on traditional talent criteria/requirements. Other ideas are discussed.

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