Fact 4/7: most wanted and indicated skills on talent and knowledge sharing platforms

Fact 4/7: most wanted and indicated skills on talent and knowledge sharing platforms

This series of articles focus on real-life measures obtained from companies that have deployed such a platform.

In summary, the platform allows people inside a company to help each other, train each other or share some tasks.

This article details fact 4.

  1. talent and knowledge sharing platforms have qualitative benefits
  2. talent and knowledge sharing platforms have quantitative benefits
  3. how high is the adoption and success rate on this kind of platform?
  4. what are the most wanted skills and the most indicated skills?
  5. how can companies limit the number of social platforms?
  6. real life examples of talent and knowledge sharing demand and supply
  7. real life challenges of introducing this kind of platform
What are the most wanted skills and the most indicated skills?

When a person creates a question, wants to share a task or requests a training on a talent and knowledge sharing platform that person is asked to indicate the required talent. By doing so the platform then channels the request to the experts that have indicated matching talents. The company application administrator can now query the platform database for information that was never available in the company before.

Information such as below is now readily available and actions can be taken:

  1. what are the most wanted skills?
  2. what are the most indicated skills?
  3. who are the top experts?
  4. how long does it take to solve a problem?
  5. what are the unanswered questions?
  6. … and dozens more answers allowing talent analytics

Some of the above questions will be answered in subsequent articles. Here I would like to answer the first two: what are the most wanted skills and the most indicated skills?

A representative customer with 1 500 users has a knowledge tree counting approximately 350 skills. These skills have been indicated by the experts themselves and go beyond those required by their job description. This is the top 5 of the most indicated ones:

  • Microsoft Office
  • Language skills
  • Communication skills
  • Creativity & Innovation
  • Management skills

When we list the skills that are searched for when a co-worker tries to find an expert to share a task, get a short training or a response to a question, we see the following pattern:

  • Microsoft Office
  • Sametime
  • Apple hardware
  • Collaborative & Social business place
  • Language skills

Sametime, which is shown in 2nd position, is a typical example of a temporary surge for help on a new tool that was introduced in that company some weeks before the poll. It proves that the platform can handle help-desk functions for as long as they are needed next to its main purpose, which is a general seek for help and training. A continuous high number of help requests on a topic is also an indication for HR to consider a training program.

a continuous high number of help requests on a topic is [...] an indication to HR to consider a training program.

A striking conclusion is the high request for MS Office and language skills matched by a high number of co-workers with such skills. My wild guess would have been that YouTube, Google, Google Translate or the co-worker in your own office space would have been your first choice when trying to solve your MS Office challenges. It might indicate that people have wasted enough of their time and that real experts, who know the topic, the company, its mission and its specific lingo, prove to be more efficient.

The most required skills, such as for MS Office in this example, are often not picked up by traditional talent management systems who might be often focused on job matching and succession functionality, and therefore remain invisible for those who need them.

Conclusion: specialized skills, such as Prince 2, e-strategy or Scrum, which are detained by few people and searched for when required by few, represent the highest time and cost gains when delivered. But generally available skills, such as general office productivity tools, produce the bulk of the gain.

[...] generally available skills, [...] , produce the bulk of the gain.

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