The Skills Revolution is Now | Mercer

Talent Management

Skills-based talent practices (SBTP) continue to be a focus of many firms. However, the shift to SBTP can be a long journey, requiring practitioners to answer various questions about the operationalization and implementation of SBTP. This paper provides insights into five of those questions: 1) What skills do we need, and how will we incorporate a skills taxonomy into our job architecture? 2) What skill proficiency level do we expect for each role? 3) How do we assess the skills that will drive our business forward? 4) How will we reward for top skills? 5) How will we operationalize our skills-based strategy? Concerning skill proficiency (#2), survey responses from 650 global organizations show there is no consensus on the optimum number of proficiency levels (e.g., intermediatepractical applicationexpertrecognized authority), with a fairly even distribution between companies that report three levels (9%), five levels (7%), four levels (6%), and six or more levels (6%). Further, skills assessment remains a predominantly subjective process comprising self-assessment, manager assessment, and/or 365-style reviews—potentially reducing objectivity and fairness. As practitioners think through these and other questions, I am resharing this one-page bonus resource I have curated from Deloitte’s 101-page report, Building Tomorrow’s Skills-based Organization Jobs Aren’t Working Anymore. The summary includes ten additional questions and answers on SBTP.