The skills you need to drive future business success

By Chris Lamb

A company’s most valuable asset is its human capital. In fact, people skills were ranked as the third most important force that will affect enterprises in the next two years by more than 12,800 C-level executives who participated in the most recent IBM Global C-suite Study. In addition, only half of the 2,100+ CHRO participants said they currently have the people skills and resources to execute their business strategies.

However, it’s not just about identifying the current skills gaps on your teams. As Gina Dellabarca, General Manager of Human Resources for Westpac New Zealand, says in the C-suite Study report: “Our most important priority in HR is finding talent for the future, not just for now. We’re focused on the formidable challenge of attracting, developing, and retaining employees with skills we haven’t yet determined.” 

The challenge of identifying the skills your company will need five or so years down the road is not as far-fetched as you may think. And the first step is to establish a common foundation of jobs and competencies needed across your organization. Then, by applying AI – for instance, through data mining of job boards – you can identify new trends, jobs, and skills to future-proof your organization.

IBM’s ready-to-use library of general and industry-specific job profiles developed over 30 years is now curated and personalized with AI technology. IBM Watson Talent Frameworks contains 3,000+ industry-specific job profiles and 2,000+ associated skills that can help you recruit, hire, and develop people with the skills you need today and in the future. With the new Watson Talent Frameworks Publisher software, you can quickly customize the profiles with the edits you want, then export them to your recruiting, performance management, compensation, and learning systems.

All mission critical HR applications rely on accurate skills data. The quality of your organization’s competency frameworks is especially important if you are preparing to leverage AI across your various HR systems. For example:

  • Pairing Watson Talent Frameworks with talent acquisition solutions can help your team write effective job postings by leveraging AI-curated standard and alternative job titles, key responsibilities, and industry-specific skill requirements.
  • For existing employees, Watson Talent Frameworks helps talent development solutions like IBM Watson Career Coach understand and recommend career paths by linking its expertly-curated network of competencies and skills to job roles.

In the past, the benefits of comprehensive jobs and skills structures were sometimes outweighed by the time and resources required to create and maintain them. IBM Watson Talent Frameworks removes that burden. By leveraging AI, it helps your HR team more deeply understand gaps in your talent strategy and access the most current skillset definitions, interview questions, coaching tips, and prescriptive learning resources that can be easily deployed across a range of HR applications.

Read how North American logistics provider ArcBest is using Watson Talent Frameworks to build a strong bench of future talent. To download the full report of CHRO perspectives from the IBM Global C-suite Study, visit