Skills Based Organisation

Moving to a skills-based talent strategy

Skills and workforce shortages are two of the most pressing issues facing societies and economies today, and the (future) impact on organisations is huge. 

The latest PwC Annual Global CEO Survey shows that 52% of CEOs believe labour and skills shortages will have a significant impact on profitability in their industry over the next 10 years.  

Shortages of talent come at a critical time for organisations, with many simultaneously facing the challenge of reinventing business models in response to various factors. These factors range from competitive pressures and technological innovations to economic uncertainty. 

The World Economic Forum's Future of Jobs Report 2023 highlights skills and the inability to attract talent as the main barriers to industry transformation in all sectors.

A ‘skills first’ approach has the potential to transform the way organisations operate. By enabling organisations to respond to skills gaps and thereby gaining a competitive advantage, this approach will be essential in the future to adaptively respond to the rapidly changing environment.

What is a Skills Based Organisation?

A skills-based organisation is an approach to talent management that emphasises a person's skills and competences - rather than diplomas, work experiences or job titles - when attracting, hiring, developing and (re)deploying talent.  Developing a skills-based organisation helps sustain business growth, innovation and profitability. 

To address the trends and challenges of a rapidly changing and increasingly digital world, organisations can focus on these three pillars in a skills first approach.

To address the trends and challenges of a rapidly changing and increasingly digital world, organisations can focus on three pillars in a skills-first approach: 

  • Strategy

  • Technology

  • Transformation

Strategy: the role of skills in a changing labour market

A skills-based talent strategy provides employees with the opportunity to develop themselves, perform meaningful work, and adapt to changes. Skill-based working requires a change in the mindset and culture of the organisation. By investing in new technologies and systems, skills data is more accessible and easier to manage, giving HR a competitive advantage and enabling data-driven decision making. Additionally, the focus on skills will also result in a workforce that is prepared for changing roles and technologies.


To prepare the workforce for the future, 81% of HR leaders have explored or implemented AI (or other digital) solutions to improve process efficiency within their organisation. By investing in automation and advanced technologies, repetitive tasks can be automated, allowing employees to focus on augmentations and on tasks that add more value. As digitalisation and transformation accelerate, it is essential to ask the right questions and leverage technology to develop a dynamic workforce. Additionally, current technology provides the opportunity to benchmark or gain external insights.  

Our collaboration with various specialised skills platforms enables us to offer our clients a wide range of services and expertise, allowing us to meet specific needs. With continuous monitoring and workforce analytics, we can identify and address emerging skills and functions. 


Skills-based organisation requires a ‘rewiring’ of the organisation, ultimately embedding skills in every element of the employee journey. Supported by technology and embedded in a strong business case, our vision of Skills Based Organisation is not just a mere ‘refresh of skills’, but a fundamental rewiring of how an organisation creates and delivers value.  

We believe that sustainable transformation can be achieved by reevaluating the organisation's strategy through a skills lens and embedding these changes in key moments of the employee journey.  

With our industry experience and technology solutions, we can help address these challenges and unlock the full potential of skills-based talent management.

From operational changes to complete transformations 

PwC provides support at various levels within the domain of skills-based organisation, addressing operational changes, technological challenges, and strategic issues.   

Based on our knowledge, market insights and leading practices, we advise on taking the right steps towards a skills-based organisation. Our services range from establishing a skills-based HR process to developing and implementing a skills-first strategy with appropriate technology, and more. In doing so, our holistic approach integrates both human and technological aspects.  

Discover how to harness the potential of a skills-based organisation to drive the success of your organisation. Let's get in touch.