In our previous piece, we looked at how an individual who is struggling to define and articulate their skills can do so by using the Language of Skills we have developed. In our example, we saw how John, a Head Chef who has just lost his job, was able to use our Skills Match tool to:
- Identify the skills he had been using in the job
- Determine which jobs outside the restaurant sector are closest in terms of match with his skills
- Understand where his skills gaps are, in order that he might retrain/upskill
Going back to our initial article, we made the point that the Language of Skills that John uses can also be used by an employer to define which skills they are looking for in their new employees. We used the example of The Abacus Group, a manufacturer of soaps and hand sanitisers that has seen demand for their products go sky high in recent months, and who are looking in particular for new people to lead their procurement process. But just as when John sat down to write his CV, and found it difficult to define the skills he had learned as a Head Chef, so too when the Human Resources team at Abacus sits down to write a job description, they too struggle to articulate what exactly it is they are looking for.
This is where Emsi’s Skills Extractor comes in. This is a free tool we have developed, which uses the power of our Open Skills API to extract skills from job postings, CVs or syllabi. So for example, one route Abacus could take, is to go online to find some job descriptions from their competitors, and run these through the skills extractor to identify the sorts of skills that other organisations are using. Or they might want to take a job description for a Procurement Manager in an entirely different industry, in order to find out the sorts of skills that are being used elsewhere in jobs that are similar. For example, in the image below, we have run a job description for a Procurement Manager in a public sector organisation, and as you can see, the Extractor has highlighted skills in the text, and displayed them alongside as a list:
As well as the skills requirements of the job, the process can also be used at the other end of the process; that is, to assess the incoming CVs from people applying for the role. So having identified the skills that they are looking for in a Procurement Manager, and having posted the job description online, once the CVs start coming in, Abacus can use the Skills Extractor, this time to run CVs through it to identify those candidates that have the closest match up to the kinds of skills they are looking for.
If this Language of Skills starts to become common currency, we can therefore begin to see how it might be used to close the gap between people looking for work and employers looking for workers. For the individual, it can help them define their skillset on their CV, as well as broaden their employment options to jobs which have similar skills requirements to those they have acquired. For the employer, it can help them define what they are looking for, so that they can articulate skills much better in their hiring process, and it can also help them become more scientific in the way they screen incoming CVs for candidates that have the best skills match.
However, there is a third dimension — the education provider –, which is the link between people and employers, responding to the skills needs of businesses, and providing people with those skills in learning, retraining and upskilling, as our as our Venn diagram depicts:
In the final piece in this series, we’ll be looking at how colleges, universities and training providers can use the same Emsi Language of Skills to understand the skills they need to be teaching, in order to bridge the gap between people and employment.
In the meantime, join us at 2pm on 3rd June for our webinar, The Language of Skills, when we’ll be looking at this topic in more detail.