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Insight

It’s Time to Build and Borrow Talent, Part II

Our previous post demonstrated the danger of over-relying on buying talent. In this post we will explore the process of building and borrowing talent to create a more nimble organization and promote career mobility.

The New World of Work
A closer look at how the world of work is evolving sheds light on why companies are emphasizing creating a more balanced approach to their talent strategies.

New and Redesigned Job Architectures: A shift away from the traditional idea of one person to one job is moving organizations toward a more agile model of work that is informed by a better understanding of how skills map work. This, for example, lets an organization assign the right people to a project as needed. In this example, European IT services provider Atos used this model to accelerate project engagement.

Evolving Management Practices: An organizational trend toward creating work environments that are less bureaucratic and nimbler as well as give everyone the opportunity to learn, innovate, and flourish is gaining momentum.

Upskilling: The rapid pace of change driven by advancements in technology and business practices means that acquiring new skills is critical to career longevity.

These trends are forcing companies to rethink how they invest in, grow, and manage their people, which means your talent strategy for the next 10 years probably won’t look like the strategy that worked (or didn’t) for the last 10 years. It’s time to build and borrow.

During these turbulent times, support for upskilling and the agility it affords has never been greater among senior business leaders. In fact, 82 percent of global executives at companies with more than $100 million in annual revenues project that these approaches will provide at least half the answers for addressing the skills gap, compared with only 30 percent for external hiring. These changing attitudes toward skill acquisition and deployment are driven by the emergence of a new blueprint for valuing and investing in people.

A New Skills Operating Model
So, what does it take for an organization to put this new build-borrow model to work?

First, this new model requires that companies inventory existing talent supply. It’s vital that organizations compile a complete picture of their people’s skills and experiences. The next step is to determine future skill needs, specifically which critical skills workers will need to drive business forward. And it’s critical that this happens in an ongoing, flexible manner. Then, companies must provide access to tools and resources so their employees can build and apply the skills that people want and companies need. Our research shows that most employees know the skills they need to perform better in their current roles and advance their careers.

But building skills isn’t enough. Creating real business value happens when employee learning is connected to opportunity. This is a core tenet of the new talent operating model that comes to life when organizations establish a marketplace that connects employee skills and skill development to ongoing, real-time internal opportunities for employees to explore new types of work.


With a talent marketplace, organizations can quickly reallocate talent, putting the right people in the right roles as needed. It’s about enabling agility and building empowered teams. In many ways, executing a career mobility initiative requires looking at people and work in a more granular way.

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