Skills Cloud Image by NatureFriend from Pixabay In October 2018, Workday announced Skills Cloud, a new ontology enabling organisations to catalogue skills across their organisation better to hire, engage, and retain their talent. Workday has announced that as it closes in on 1,000 organisations using the product, it has created a new packaged solution, skills foundation to assist organisations in adopting the Workday skills infrastructure, including Skills CloudTalent Marketplace, and Career Hub.

As organisations emerge from the pandemic, the shortage of talent in specific roles continues. A global survey by McKinsey identified that 87% of executives said they experience skill gaps in the workforce or expect to experience them within a few years. Less than half of those executives have a plan to address the shortfall.

One of the challenges is that organisations do not have a clear understanding of their employee’s skills. They may know them when hired but rarely track their progress during their career. Relying on LinkedIn is often not the answer, as employees rarely update these until after they have moved positions.

Workday Skills cloud helps organisations to understand the skills of their employees in real-time. It now has an understanding of more than 2 billion different, verified skills. This enables organisations to understand better what their employees are skilled at. It will help them in finding an optimal career path rather than having to leave to pursue goals. Backed up by Workday HCM, which manages a community of more than 55 million workers, can reduce churn and increase employee engagement and value to enhance business success.

Skills Foundation

At the core of its talent management solutions, Skills Foundation will help organisations adopt cloud ontology, skills inference, skills verification, and critical skills. Leveraging machine learning will help organisations to understand their worker’s skills and interests better. Subsequently, these are used to match with internal jobs on the career hub, learning paths, mentors and short term gigs. This promotes employee engagement and career development.

Dalia Kendik, head of digital HR, Thomson Reuters, commented, “At Thomson Reuters, we want to create experiences that are employee-first and that will allow employees to grow and learn. Leveraging Skills Cloud was the first step in our move to a skills-based people strategy, giving us the data and insights needed to help employees set career paths, fill internal roles, reskill and promote internally, and build our talent pipeline. We want to bring transparency into career development, and Workday skills-powered solutions help us achieve this goal.”

David Somers, group general manager, office of the chief human resource officer, Workday
David Somers, group general manager, office of the chief human resource officer, Workday

In addition, Workday is also providing Skills Insights and Skills Optimisation. Insights leverages the Workday analytics platform. It provides insight into skills coverage, skills engagement, and skills acquired and lost through staffing transactions. Optimisations deliver the ability to leverage the knowledge of those skills across the platform, improving recruiting, onboarding, learning, performance, internal mobility, and planning.

David Somers, group general manager, office of the chief human resource officer, Workday, commented, “Organizations are more focused than ever on deploying a skills-based people strategy to improve retention, hiring, recruiting, and employee engagement. Our Skills Cloud provides the foundation to help our customers adopt a strategy for addressing skills and support their move towards a more agile workforce.”

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

There is little detail in this announcement about what Skills Foundation contains. The inference is that it is available now, though no general availability date was given. Nor did Workday state whether Skills Foundation is included with Workday HCM or an additional cost. Much of the functionality seems to have existed before as well. Is this just an implementation accelerator for organisations looking to deploy Workday Talent solutions? Perhaps.

Organisations struggle with remote working and the shortage of available talent. What Workday is offering is a powerful tool to understand the organisation’s workforce better. The Skills cloud remains one of the most powerful additions to any HR platform. If used in conjunction with other elements of ERP and its PSA solution, especially Resource Management, it is hard to find anything better.

Holger Mueller, principal analyst and vice president, Constellation Research, Inc, commented,  “There is a tremendous shift taking place across key HR business processes, with skills emerging as one of the biggest areas of focus as enterprises look to address increasing talent challenges. Workday customers now have the opportunity to outpace other organizations by leveraging solutions that help them get a better understanding of the skills of their workforce and the data needed to improve overall planning, recruiting, internal mobility, and talent management.”


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