Career Path Mapping

Tackling Skills Gaps With Skills Development and Career Path Mapping

Improve internal mobility and build organisational resilience through skills development and career path mapping.


skills development seated at tableAmidst widespread and worsening skills shortages, organisations face a core, fundamental challenge that demands immediate attention.

While the buzz around AI – as both an enabler and a disruptor of talent management processes – prompts us to reimagine job roles, it diverts focus from addressing the critical issue of skills gaps.

According to Gartner, the top two priorities for talent management leaders right now are 'leader and manager development', and 'career management to enhance internal mobility and nurture skills.

The study revealed that:

  • Over one-quarter (26%) of CEOs rank the talent shortage as the most damaging factor on the outlook for business.
  • Eighty-three percent of HR leaders report their struggle to find enough talent with the skills they need.
  • Over one-half of HR leaders (57%), say that the lack of talent undermines the sustainability of corporate performance.

With external talent scarce, we need to shift the focus inwards and concentrate on building greater internal talent mobility.

Unleashing the Power of Internal Talent: Making Career Paths Visible

Ninety-five per cent of talent management leaders admit that unclear career paths within their organisation hinder the delivery of key business priorities.

The challenge lies not only in providing employees with the visibility of potential career paths, but also in demonstrably supporting them to explore and discuss their career ambitions.

Career path mapping tools enable this critical support.

Look for a customisable career path mapping tool for your employees that helps them to explore and plot out possible career routes based on their current skillset and competencies. It needs to flag the specific competencies, skills and knowledge they need to acquire or develop to move into their identified roles, along with realistic timelines for achieving those milestones.

More than this, the ideal career path mapping tool also suggests roles or career moves not yet considered by the employee, opening them up to a range of future career paths – be they linear or lateral career moves. Talent Navigator has this innovative feature called ‘Great Match’ which does just that!

The ‘safe space’ provided by a career path mapping tool, gives the employee the opportunity to ‘test drive’ potential career moves and provides the information to have a more meaningful career conversation with their manager, mentor or coach.

It also demonstrates your organisation’s commitment to internal mobility, career progression and skills development.

Showcasing Skills and Experience: Surfacing Hidden Talents

While employees can explore possible career moves with a career path mapping tool, many want the internal visibility of their specific, perhaps untapped, skills and expertise.

Skills management tools put the power into the hands of the employee – and stops it from being an HR burden. Employees get to choose which skills they share or bring attention to. Perhaps it is something they have done in the past that they’d like to do more of - or knowledge they have gained from a different role.

Whatever they bring, by having a searchable repository for skills and experience, means:

  • Greater (and possibly organisation-wide) exposure for them and their talents.
  • Project teams that bring together some of those who might not have been considered.
  • Opportunities to contribute to beyond their current role.
  • Faster set up and greater agility of teams.
  • Finding people with rare or hard-to-acquire skills.

Handing Over the Ownership: Creating a More Employee-centric Approach

In a world of more ‘joined-up’ talent management, let’s make a clear connection between current skill levels, previous experience, job families, career aspirations and internal mobility.

Introduce a single online portal of interconnected tools that:

  • Employees can access and update whenever they wish. 
  • HR and managers can dip into and interrogate when needed. Proactively drives internal mobility options and choices.
  • Can adapt and flex as skills and priorities change. That is, it can be configured and customised for where you and your employees are now, and where you are heading.

Software can help. However, it needs to be based on a foundation of cultural change and a shift towards true employee ownership of their development and career planning.

Retaining and Engaging Talent 

One final finding from the Gartner study.

Those who agree that their organisation provides internal mobility are:

  • 1.43 times more likely to report higher intent to stay and;
  • 2.46 times more likely to report higher engagement.

Retention and engagement. These are the building blocks to talent management.

To have a conversation about how you might get started in supporting your employees manage their careers and skills development, get in touch.

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