Workday creates universal skills translator


A problem often cited in business is incomplete information about the skills of employees. When HR doesn’t know all of their employees’ skills, it can make it difficult to assemble teams or find internal candidates for open positions. It’s an issue Workday has addressed with tools that can translate skills.

Workday created a skills cloud in 2018 that standardizes skills and organizes them into a common dictionary. It includes a machine learning feature that can examine a person’s background, experience, and education and extract an employee’s skills from that.

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But training providers, which may be third parties and internal training programs, may use ontologies that define and group skills differently. This could result in siled information that prevents a cohesive picture of employee capabilities, said David Somers, group general manager of product for Workday’s chief human resources officer.

According to Somers, Workday has developed a way to automate the mapping of skills so that neither party has to change ontologies. The upgrade provides “a central place where everyone is now speaking the same skill language, regardless of what apps they use or where that skill data is coming from,” he said.

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Qualification Data and Talent Issues

The new functionality is not just about moving skills into the Workday platform, but also allows them to be used externally – for example, by a third-party job information platform. The company unveiled the tools at its just-concluded Workday Rising conference.

Skills mapping expands as Workday adds organizations to its Skill Partnership. The company described the mapping process as a continuous effort. It has worked with three vendors in its pilot implementation to translate skills: Degreed, a learning platform; Aon PLC, a multinational financial company; and Skyhive, a job information platform also funded by Workday Ventures.

Companies struggle with talent issues.

Jon ReedCo-founder, Diginomica

Several trends are driving the need for better skills data, including a tight job market, historically high dropout rates, and many reconsidering the value of a college degree. College enrollments have fallen by 1.4 million students, or 9.4%, during the pandemic, the National Student Clearinghouse reported in May.

“Companies are struggling with talent issues,” said Jon Reed, co-founder of Diginomica, a computing industry analytics firm. Employers can “quickly hit a hurdle” when translating skills into a development plan that solves problems for the company if they don’t know what skills they do or don’t have, he said.

According to Reed, there is a growing realization that a siled approach to skills data doesn’t work, which is putting pressure on Workday to build the skills data integration.

Another part of the learning story

Workday’s ontology automation and partnership development tells only part of the story of what happens in learning. Learning providers are also expanding their platforms through integrations.

For example, Skillsoft recently partnered with learning provider Coursera and added its business training to the Skillsoft Percipio learning management platform.

Skillsoft offers training on many topics and technologies, such as: B.AWS. Still, customers may want to offer broader training along with an AWS course, e.g. B. A university course on networking fundamentals. That broader, college education is something Coursera has, said Apratim Purakayastha, Skillsoft’s chief product and technology officer. Employers can train employees from multiple vendors on Percipio and “create custom learning paths,” he said.

Skillsoft has 24 partnerships with other providers including Udemy and many niche providers such as B. Providers of safety training. By using the Percipio platform, users don’t have to switch from one system to another, Purakayastha said.

Patrick Thibodeau covers HCM and ERP technologies for TechTarget Editorial. He has worked as a corporate IT reporter for more than two decades.



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