Managing Workforce Skills

Managing Workforce Skills

Learn how your organization can benefit from Managing Workforce Skills. 

It’s Time to Focus on Managing Workforce Skills

We help business leaders and HR to manage their workforce skills in order to attract, retain and sustain the talent needed in the future workforce.

Aon’s HR pulse survey showed managing workforce skill is top of mind right now: 77% of organizations were addressing the future skills gap.

Source: Aon’s December 2021 global HR pulse survey

What are Workforce Skills and Why Do They Matter?

Workforce skills are the skills needed by the individuals in the workforce to realize organizational strategy. Workforce skills must include competencies, behaviors and abilities that go beyond traditional technical skills and enable the workforce to operate in a more agile and resilient way.

The increased speed of change means that "future" skills are needed right now to build resilient workforces to future-proof organizations. Sources of disruption range from digitalization, climate change and supply chain woes to the rising cost of materials and labor.

What is a Skills Framework?

A workforce skills framework is a structure that allows organizations to develop and realize a strategy on how to acquire the necessary skills.

Talent is rare, companies have talent supply issues and skills shortages. Therefore, companies must be proactive to attract, win and keep talent. Creating a robust skills framework helps.

The Benefits of a Skills Framework

Connecting the workforce skills framework to your job architecture is an incredibly powerful combination. Job architecture is a firm-wide structure which defines roles and jobs and enables career progression. In today’s workplace, job roles are constantly changing. Consequently, new and emerging workforce models mean that business leaders need look differently at their workforce models and job architecture. This combined view is critical to the success of ongoing talent attraction and development.

A workforce skills framework helps answer key questions such as:

  • What type of skills and roles will we need for the future and how might they change over time?
  • How does our current employee population stack up against required skills?
  • How can we actively fill gaps using internal and external talent?

How to Create a Robust Skills Framework in Three Steps:

  • 01


    Identify workforce skills that are critical to the organization’s ongoing success. Connect these skills into the organization’s job architecture.

  • 02


    Conduct a future skills assessment to pinpoint the skills gaps in the workforce.

  • 03


    Develop workforce strategies to close the skills gap. This includes seeking qualified talent externally or investing in reskilling and upskilling existing employees to bridge the identified gaps.

How to Future-Proof Your Workforce Skills Strategy in 5 Steps


How to Future-Proof Your Workforce Skills Strategy in 5 Steps

Where, when and how work gets done is changing, causing companies to reassess existing roles and determine what skills are required for the future.

Bring Your Skills Framework to Life

The devil can be in the detail – particularly in the implementation phase. Working with clients over many years we know that there are two core success criteria to bringing the skills framework to life.

First, the skills framework needs to be integrated with your current HR processes and technology infrastructure. This can include job architecture, competency frameworks, performance ratings, career pathing and opportunities, training possibilities and psychometric assessments. This is where our partnership with Workday really adds power.

The second aspect is that companies need to understand the cost implications of the options to close the skills gap. What are the costs of finding talent externally or understanding which skills you already have internally? Tracking and mapping workforce skills across your organization can dramatically be accelerated by the use of analytics and machine learning. Increasingly sophisticated HRIS platforms make it much easier to capture and maintain skills information.

Better workforce decisions to realize business strategies require expert advice. Thousands of clients rely on Aon’s human capital consulting to future-proof their talent strategy.

Discover Aon’s Skills Framework

At Aon, we are uniquely positioned to help our clients create a skills framework that is in tune with market trends and aligned with our Universal Skills Taxonomy.

Through our integration with Workday, we are able translate Workday SkillsCloud to Aon job codes through a proprietary mapping of Aon’s Unviersal Skills Taxonomy. The Universal Skills Taxonomy (UST) is a comprehensive library of the most popular skills for each role according to Aon’s Radford or McLagan Job Classifications. The integration will cause an acceleration of our client’s skills focused strategies for recruitment, assessment, talent management, compensation, and rewards activities based on a common set of skills.

Managers have relevant human capital data at their fingertips so they can make good people decisions and find the right skills for the right roles.

Our workforce skills capabilities include:
  • Aligning job levels and salary bands to the new architecture;
  • Mapping jobs to enable career roadmaps;
  • Matching skills to jobs within a flexible frame to allow the evolution of skills over time; and
  • Extensive experience with assessment of skills readiness through certifications, technical assessments, digital leader framework and personality assessments.

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