Many organizations are reporting widespread skill shortages that will impact their long-term success — 52% of CEOs are concerned about this issue. One answer being explored by 80% of business leaders is expanding their workforce to include contingent talent. But this is only half of the solution. The other? Ensuring that all talent, permanent and contingent, are working on projects and roles that best suit their skills and experiences.

To do this effectively, you need a skills-based approach. Placing skills at the center of all work-based decisions will help you best utilize all of your workforce skills — hence why analyst group Ardent Partners states that sourcing talent from different channels, including contingent, is one of the top six tenets of the skills-based organization (the umbrella term that describes hiring, promoting, deploying and upskilling talent based on skills).

The Perfect Match

A skills-based approach to finding and placing contingent talent enables you to match people to the projects that their skills are most aligned with. It removes bias from the decision-making process and widens the possible talent pool you can choose from. It also makes it possible to uncover hidden talent with skills you didn’t realize they had. And it breaks down the siloes between departments, so contingent talent can be utilized across the whole organization and not just kept to one or two hiring managers.

To make this a reality, you need up-to-date, actionable skill data. Part of this exists in the platform that you manage your contingent workforce in, but you can also find it in other systems that your workers use every day, such as project management software and document storage. Gathering all possible data on someone’s work ensures that you have a complete picture of their skills when matching them to available projects.

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AI Changes the Game

Making this easier is artificial intelligence (AI) which finds, consolidates, structures and analyzes data to give you the insights you need for managing your contingent workforce more effectively. It’s vital to the success of your skills-based organization because your workforce skills are constantly changing — as are the skill needs of your organization. To keep up to date with everything happening with skills in your organization, you need AI to do the heavy lifting. It’s impossible to keep pace manually.

Laying the Foundations to Be Skills-Based

Once you’ve brought together all of your organization’s available skill data, you can use it to build what’s known as a skill framework. This structures the data and gives you a common way of describing skills in your organization. This is what enables intelligent matching, moving people from project to project, and personalizing their learning and career opportunities. It is foundational work that enables your skills-based organization to become a reality.

If you want to make the most of your contingent workers, don’t rely on traditional ways of finding and placing them. Instead, look at their skills and where they can work best in your organization. Put their skills and experiences to work in the areas that’ll have the biggest impact instead of siloing them to just one or two functions.

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