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4 Ways Software Vendors Can Deliver Skills Intelligence Across the Employee Lifecycle

Skills intelligence is key to making strategic decisions across the employee lifecycle. APIs are making it easier for HR software vendors to deliver skills insights. Read more to learn how.

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A brain at the center of a path with employees walking along it, representing skills intelligence and the employee lifecycle

As more and more organizations adopt a skills-first approach, skills are quickly becoming the new currency. In an era of rapid technological change and tight labor markets, developing skills within the organization and across the employee lifecycle is more important than ever. But the shift from a rigid, jobs-based structure to a skills-first approach is complex. Capturing and standardizing skills data is a real challenge for organizations and HR tech vendors. 

In order to connect all HR processes and objects in the system—think employees, courses, and candidates—you need a common framework. With skills intelligence engine APIs, this has become much easier for software vendors to achieve. Here we break down how HR can use skills intelligence, and how offering it in your HR software helps your customers support their key HR processes.

Skills intelligence under the hood

A skills intelligence engine is an HR management solution that provides analysis and recommendations based on skills data and artificial intelligence.

Skills data

Skills data refers to all the information on the knowledge, know-how, interpersonal skills, and physical abilities necessary to carry out a job. This data is central to new HR practices. Indeed, skills are the new gold standard for assessing both an individual’s professional potential and an organization’s competitiveness.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI)—and more specifically natural language processing (NLP) algorithms and artificial neural networks (ANNs)—make it possible to extract, analyze, and organize data from free text. 

Thanks to these AI-based semantic analysis techniques, it is possible to extract skills content from key HR materials such as training descriptions, job offers, or CVs, and categorize and match them with other HR objects such as other skills, jobs, or courses to meet a specific need.


Instead of building from scratch, skills intelligence APIs provide HR software vendors a shortcut to building systems for NLP algorithms and ANNs to make it possible to extract, analyze and organize from free text.

These APIs are typically split into jobs and skills ontology, job standardization, skills extraction, and jobs and skills matching. Based on different use cases and customer needs, these APIs can be integrated accordingly.

4 reasons to use a skills intelligence engine

A skills intelligence engine supercharges your HR software to make customized analyses and recommendations that address the needs of the key HR functions like recruitment, training, career management, and workforce planning.

1. Employee recruitment

Using a skills intelligence engine helps you optimize the entire recruitment process by using skills as a common thread throughout the various stages of the process. 

By automatically identifying the skills associated with a job title, this smart solution increases recruiters’ precision and objectivity when they write position descriptions, conduct targeted searches, and pre-select applicants. Armed with this essential information, they can focus on the elements that are truly decisive for each vacancy.

Using a skills engine, recruiters are able to save valuable time during this pre-selection process by quickly shortlisting relevant candidates with skills insights. The AI techniques the solution is built on enable it to analyze the content of candidates’ CVs to match their skills with those of the position to be filled. The tool can then automatically select the most suitable profiles for the position.

By focusing on skills, HR teams maximize their objectivity and efficiency and minimize the risk of making recruitment mistakes.

2. Employee training

Beyond recruitment, skills are the foundation of training activities. Using a skills engine enables HR teams and managers to take stock of their company’s skill pool. The tool helps them accurately identify the skills gaps that exist between the know-how and interpersonal skills in the company, and the organization’s actual needs. This step is essential to build a plan to bridge these gaps.

Additionally, the tool automatically translates course descriptions into skills. This approach makes it possible to match educational resources to the needs identified during the skills gap assessment, enabling organizations to build customized training paths for their employees. 

The solution’s skills-based approach provides a better understanding of the two key components of training: the hard skills and soft skills employees need to strengthen or acquire, and the learning resources that will enable this upskilling.

3. Career management

Using skills as the key analytical parameter also helps companies to build compelling career paths for employees. It’s a powerful method to measure the similarity of various jobs. 

To assess employees’ potential for internal mobility, as well as identify the pathways between positions, the skills engine analyzes the skills they currently have and those required for other jobs. The tool then acts as a “matchmaker” to suggest customized career paths. 

Beyond helping the HR function foster internal mobility, this smart tool enables them to recommend relevant training content that supports such career moves and promotes their success in the field. 

4. Strategic workforce planning

Skills also play an essential role in strategic workforce planning. Here too, the skills engine is a powerful tool in the hands of HR and management. By listing and mapping employees’ skills, it provides a precise skills inventory showing the resources available within the organization. This step is essential for any forward-looking HR management strategy.  

Stakeholders can then use this internal database to measure the impact on the workforce of various labor market trends, such as task automation or the emergence of new skills. This strategic information enables them to define action plans to prepare for—or adapt to—these changes in the best possible conditions, like through training, for example. 

Unlock your shortcut to skills intelligence

Visier Skills Intelligence APIs allow HR software vendors to integrate their preferred skills intelligence capabilities into their product suite to modernize recruitment, talent management, and learning tactics for their customers. Our skills engine consists of 3,300 standardized occupations and over 14,000 standardized skills across 27 industries in more than 100 languages. With APIs ranging from jobs and skills ontology, job standardization, skills extraction and skills matching, plug and play based on your software needs. For more information, visit here.

On the Outsmart blog, we write about workforce-related topics like the top talent acquisition metrics your software should offer, how to add insights where they matter with contextual analytics, and how predictive people analytics helps businesses of all sizes thrive. We also report on trending topics like ESG and EU CSRD requirements and preparing for a recession, and advise on HR best practices like how to create a strategic compensation strategy, metrics every CHRO should track, and connecting people data to business data. But if you really want to know the bread and butter of Visier, read our post about the benefits of people analytics.

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