Spotted Zebra CEO talks skills-based organisations with Sky News

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4 minutes

Spotted Zebra CEO Ian Monk spoke to Sky News about the growing interest in skills-based practices and how to tackle the global skills gap. Watch the footage below.

Sky News skills-based organisation

What is a skills-based organisation and how is Spotted Zebra offering businesses a way to tackle the global skills crisis?

These were just two of the topics that Sky News discussed with Spotted Zebra CEO Ian Monk when he was a recent guest on the channel's flagship business show.

Appearing on the acclaimed Business Live with Ian King, Ian Monk summarised how skills-based organisations are best placed to respond to the $11.5 trillion skills challenge - and how Spotted Zebra enables businesses to embed skills-based practices.

Watch the full interview here and read the transcript below.

Ian King: For years company structures have been based around the jobs that people do. But now there's a growing trend for skills-based organisations, whereby employees work on projects based on the skills they have rather than simply their job. The UK start-up Spotted Zebra helps companies work towards a skills-based organisation and just secured $1.8 million in seed funding. Well joining me now is Ian Monk, the Co-Founder and Chief Executive of Spotted Zebra. Ian, welcome to you. How are you defining a skills-based organisation?

Ian Monk: Well a skills-based organisation is one that puts skills rather than jobs at the heart of all talent decisions. So they use skills as the fundamental building blocks of the workforce.

Ian King: Give me an example of how that my look in practice?

Ian Monk: Yeah so if you look at one of our clients, Rachel is a worker within one of our clients. She is in that organisation, running a retail store for the last five years, she was recently promoted, she has got great skills in retail, but also strong skills in project management and communication. Unfortunately that branch has gone under some transformations over the last 12 months or so, and her role was made redundant. In the past, she might have left that organisation, and gone on to get another role somewhere else. But that company is working with us. They are transforming to become a skills-based organisation. And so they were able to identify the skills that she had and they were able to see that those skills were in stark demand for some other roles that are really difficult to hire for - in this case a Business Analyst. They were then able to cross-train her, or reskill her, into that new role. So that's a win-win for both her, the company and society as a whole because it is helping to close the skills gap challenge.

Ian King: And what's the business model here? Do you have company clients on a retainer or do you charge on a one off basis?

Ian Monk: We work with an organisation where we charge them an annual fee, typically based on the number of employees they've got. So we really look to connect our fees to the changes that we're impacting and helping them with and particularly that's around the reskilling of individuals at the  moment.

Ian King: So how do you define yourself then? Do you regard yourself as a staffing company or a tech company?

Ian Monk: A bit of both! We actually define ourselves as a skills company. So the skills crisis is an $11.5 trillion problem, similar to the impact of COVID on the world economy. And we're there to really try and help the world's largest companies solve that skills gap challenge.

Ian King: Is there anyone else doing this out there? Who do you regard as the competition?

Ian Monk: The way in which we're approaching the solution is that we provide some modules that sit on top of what we call a SkillsCloud and that provides solutions across hiring, development, as well as internal mobility. So there is plenty of organisations that are providing solutions around those but actually being specific on the skills and solving this skills gap crisis... we think we're relatively unique in that area.

Ian King: And what is this funding going to enable you to do?

Ian Monk: It really enables us to invest in those modules that we talked about earlier, so within development or hiring or internal mobility. So we want to help the world's largest companies transition to become a skills-based organisation and typically they want to start with one of those modules at a time. So the more of those modules that we can provide them, the more starting places they have got.

Ian King: And are you UK only for now?

Ian Monk: We've actually got some customers around the world already. So we have got big ambitions, this is a global challenge - the World Economic Forum says it's the second biggest challenge of our time across the globe, so we want to be a global player.

Ian King: Alright so best of luck with that Ian - good to talk to you this morning, thank you.