Redesigning Jobs, Organizations, and Work | The Josh Bersin Company

Talent Development

Many organizations continue to face challenges in attracting and retaining top talent. Simultaneously, workers still rank lack of career development opportunities as a primary reason for leaving their organizations. One untapped opportunity for opening up new career opportunities for workers and helping firms expand their talent pool for open jobs is skills adjacencies. Skills adjacencies are linkages between an employee’s existing abilities and those that enable success in another role. These linkages are often not apparent, which is why they inhibit recruiters’ and hiring managers’ ability to consider nontraditional candidates for open jobs. It also leads workers to stop short of exploring and considering non-obvious career opportunities. This 15-page paper provides a section on tapping the potential of skills adjacencies through career pathways. Career pathways are not a traditional career path through which someone may move from “junior engineer” to “engineer” to “senior engineer” to “engineering manager.” Instead, it’s a series of developmental steps that help employees progress from one career to another; for example, a financial audit manager might become a cybersecurity specialist and go on to manage a cybersecurity team. Figure 6. on page 10 provides an example of mapping roles where adjacent skills can help workers discover new careers. And with various AI platforms making it easier to identify skills adjacencies, firms have the potential to unlock this capability at scale.

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