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Industry Trends

Skills as currency: why should it be placed at the heart of organizations and talents growth?

5 min.

skills as currency

What if skills was considered as a currency like any other? This question is becoming obvious today, as it is becoming a resource that is shared, exchanged and may become scarce. Because the rapid progress of technology is pushing us towards an economy based on this skill.

This concept is part of an ecosystem based on knowledge. A knowledge base on which skills have an intrinsic value and could be exchanged like money. But above all, it is placing this precious resource at the heart of the growth of organizations and talents that becomes a major challenge. Without skills, growth will stagnate and become unsustainable. This economy of the future would thus lead organizations to invest and manage their available skills wisely, in the same way as their finances. 

Skills as currency: when wealth creates wealth

It must be said that asking this question is legitimate. Skills have always been part of human development. They have evolved as technology has innovated. As technology advances, skills become more specialized, rare and valuable commodities. Our market is seeing new industries emerge and new jobs that require new expertise. It’s like a never-ending cycle of innovation. 

The nature of work is constantly changing. Individuals no longer have the choice of acquiring new skills to keep up with the demands of an evolving market. As we can see, the boundaries between humans and technology are becoming increasingly blurred. Generative artificial intelligence such as ChatGPT is a perfect illustration. With all these transformations, competency remains a tangible, perennial measure that can be enhanced. Developing skills is therefore crucial as they are the key to this new landscape. It is gold that managers, like individuals, must make work for them to trigger a cycle of continuous, sustainable growth.

How can talent use this currency in its career path?

Talking about skills as currency raises another question: what about talent? Whatever the nature of the company, the employee is a key resource. If you want to thrive in a competency-based economy, talent is a key element. It is the employee who appropriates the skill to grow, progress and move on to other jobs. By offering them opportunities to develop their skills and careers, organizations are more likely to motivate and retain them.

When you know that the type of skills are evolving as well, having a leading-edge expertise allows you to increase your value on the market. Like the stock market, the more a talent invests in its own skills, the higher it climbs on the market curve. They can then compete for more interesting positions and negotiate higher salaries more easily. Growing talent through their skills becomes essential for companies that aspire to maintain a valuable and sought-after talent ecosystem. To achieve this ambition, these companies can implement a number of training programs, coaching and even workshops or conferences to enable their employees to acquire new skills or improve existing ones. 

Employees are less and less hired, deployed and promoted according to their work time. It is their ability to deliver specific skills or results that allows them to grow in this way. By viewing skills as a currency, talent can evolve in an environment where their expertise becomes fruitful. Imaging one’s skills from a monetary perspective facilitates this idea of development, investment and enrichment. 

How is this currency of exchange strategic for organizations?

Moving towards a skills-based organization is the current challenge for service companies. Turning this precious data into a currency of exchange is an equally relevant growth axis for organizations. Capitalizing on available skills means maintaining cutting-edge expertise, attracting the best talent and responding to increasingly sophisticated market demands. This is an undeniable competitive advantage. By not doing so, companies risk losing customers, market share and opportunities. 

In an environment where talent shortages and skill obsolescence are rampant, valuing knowledge as an interchangeable currency is a game changer. By capitalizing on their internal wealth, organizations can fill their gaps by training their employees, recruiting new experts or outsourcing certain tasks. The notion of “skills gap” also takes on its meaning: by detecting the missing skills of their talents, organizations contribute more to their career development. This investment in skills is a sustainable way to meet the challenges of their industry and continue to grow. 

Organizations would then be more receptive and ready to win business opportunities and bring more value to their current and future projects. By attracting, developing and retaining their skilled talent, they can move forward with a strong competitive advantage to make a real difference in the marketplace. 

Whoz and competency management: the winning equation to ensure sustainable growth

Of course, this topic is of particular interest to us as it directly addresses our skills-based organization model. As we have demonstrated, this type of economy serves both talents and companies, while promoting merit and wealth creation. 

Whoz has always advocated for a simplified, intelligent and efficient knowledge management. A model that requires an internal transformation to gain visibility on its talent ecosystem, and therefore skills. In fact, the Whoz solution takes the decision to build a universal expertise language, requiring a standardized framework for the company. By categorizing and mapping skills, the solution proposes an evolving ontology that allows to go further and further in the management, optimization and allocation of these precious commodities. 

Managing competencies as a currency allows bridging talent aspirations with business needs. In this way, Whoz breaks down the boundaries between these two stakeholders to create a virtuous and unified circle. Skills are shared, exported, enriched and sold. It is at the heart of the profitable growth of organizations and their talents.