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Blog post

What is a skills-based organisation?

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4 minutes

What is the definition of a skills-based organisation, and how does it improve hiring, talent strategy, workforce planning and skills development?

What are the benefits of skills-based organisations?

The benefits of a skills-based organisation are numerous. Employees are more engaged and motivated, as they are recognised for the skills they have acquired and given the opportunity to develop their skills and take on new challenges.

They are also more versatile and adaptable, able to work in different roles and departments, which increases the organisation's flexibility and ability to respond to changing market conditions.  Gartner predicted that nearly 33% of skills required in 2018 will no longer be needed in the market five years later - this need for skills flexibility and adaptability is more important than ever.

More effective organisations

Skills-based organisations also tend to be more efficient and effective, as employees are able to perform a wider range of tasks and take on more responsibilities. This can reduce the need for specialised positions and increases the overall productivity of the organisation. 

A skills-based organisation is able to retain its employees, as employees feel valued and appreciated for their skills and contributions.

How to create a skills based organisation?

To create a skills-based organisation, there are several key steps that need to be taken. Firstly, the organisation needs to identify the key skills that are required for success in each role. This involves analyzing the work that is performed in each role, and identifying the skills that are required to perform that work effectively.

Once the key skills have been identified, the organisation needs to create a structure that enables employees to develop and utilise those skills and managers to define activities and roles in the context of these skills. This may involve creating new roles and responsibilities, or redesigning existing roles to incorporate a broader range of skills. 

To create a culture that supports a skills-based organisation, the organisation needs to communicate the importance of skills development to its employees. This includes encouraging employees to identify the skills they have, provide transparency on the skills they and the organisation are likely to need in the future; and support employees with taking on new challenges to develop their skills. The organisation also needs to create a feedback loop, where employees can provide input on their skill development needs and the organisation can respond by providing the necessary resources and support.


In conclusion, a skills-based organisation is one that is focused on developing the skills of its employees and selects, evaluates, and promotes employees based on their skills and performance. This involves creating a structure that enables employees to take on new roles and responsibilities to develop their skills and creating a culture that supports skills identification and development. The benefits of a skills-based organisation are numerous, including increased employee engagement, retention, versatility and productivity. 

Spotted Zebra - making the skills-based organisation a reality

At Spotted Zebra, we are powering the transition from career pathways to agile, skills-based organisations.  We provide the platform to power skills-based organisations.  

People now move around as much as they move up, and the ascendance of an agile workforce is compelling every organisation to design work around people, not processes.  Skills are taking the stage.  Today, the best organisations align people to values, hiring and developing people based on the unique set of skills needed for success in each role in the organisation.

The Spotted Zebra platform ensures skills are the centre of every decision made about people. Whether talent acquisition, talent development or internal mobility, Spotted Zebra focuses people on skills.

Spotted Zebra does this through its contextualised skills cloud, embedding your values and language alongside our science to ensure each people decision you make drives future performance.  It then provides a suite of applications that work across every phase of the talent lifecycle. Whether you are hiring, thinking about development or promoting internal mobility, Spotted Zebra has created an application that puts skills first and makes the skills-based organisation a reality.