Jane really loves the company she works for — it’s her position she isn’t crazy about. She took a job in communications to get her foot in the door, but it was never her intention to make that her career. She wants to get into sales, and has applied for a few open positions in the company and spoken to her manager and others in the organization about how to make the lateral move. So far, nothing has worked. At this point, she’s resigned herself to the fact that making a move into sales at her current company isn’t going to happen. 

Jane is a composite of the millions of working people who are frustrated with the limited career mobility inside their own organizations. In fact, studies show one of the biggest reasons employees leave their organizations is because there isn’t a clear career roadmap. “One of the biggest reasons organizations lose talent is because of a lack of career development,” says Christoffer Ellehuus, president of Korn Ferry Digital.

Ellehuus says the pandemic heightened the desire among employees to work for organizations that invest in them. A Korn Ferry analysis of large employee survey responses, for instance, found that employees who believe their organization will help them achieve their career goals are three times more likely to stay. Even providing employees with pathways to lateral moves inside the company — new jobs offering fresh challenges without a promotion — is 2.5 times more powerful a predictor of retention than the supposed gold standard: better compensation, according to MIT Sloan Management Review.

In the new world of work, organizations need to be able to guide talent from where they are now to where they want to be. That’s where a much wider use of so-called “success profiles” comes in. Historically, HR officials have used these tools—which review competencies, skills, and responsibilities needed to thrive in a job—to assess top performers. But experts say in these post-pandemic times— where purpose, learning and development, and culture are prized by talent as much as compensation and benefits — they should morph into an empowerment tool for all employees.

How does all this work? In some ways, navigating through this cloud-based, talent intelligence platform is much like driving through Google Maps. Take a peek at how:

Customizable Directions

Just as Google Maps gives directions by car, public transportation, or walking, success profiles based in the cloud use a combination of AI and data and analytics to guide human resources managers, team leaders, and employees directly to their goals. Put another way, by updating success profiles in real-time based on market conditions, the same profile could help human resources managers identify skills gaps in the organization, a manager fill an open position with an internal candidate who normally wouldn’t be considered, and an employee see what skills they need for their current or future roles. 

Alternate Routes

There is no one way to get somewhere, of course. Similar to how Google Maps provides the fastest route, as well as alternate routes success profiles can lead employees directly to their goals, or, with clever career mapping, to new roles that at first may seem unrelated but turn out to develop valuable transferable skills. Think of a data analytics manager in IT whose skills can be leverage for marketing and sales, for instance. In addition to job-matching recommendations, the talent intelligence platform could also suggest training or certificate programs offered by the organization to help obtain the skills needed for the job desired in the absence of actual working experience. 

Time to Destination

Where an employee eventually wants to go can sometimes seem really far away. That’s especially true given the rapid acceleration of digital transformation brought on by the pandemic. According to the World Economic Forum’s "Future of Jobs Report,” for instance, 94 percent of business leaders expect employees to engage in reskilling, whether company- or self-supplied. Where success profiles can provide real value to employees is by illuminating a manageable, step-by-step path to get to where they want to go. Not unlike Google Maps, they can break down every missing experience or skill on the way to an employee’s ultimate destination and the time it will take to acquire them. 

Bottlenecks and Other Hazards

One of the most valuable aspects of Google Maps is the fact that it alerts drivers to traffic, accidents, and other hazards. Similarly, the ability to update success profiles in real-time using hundreds of internal and external data points can alert talent to potential delays or red flags such as new or outdated job requirements, changes in salary ranges, opportunities for advancement, and even long-term trends within a position or function. On the organizational side, success profiles can tell companies how competitive their roles are in terms of salary, career path, and more. 

Nearby Options 

The real value in success profiles is in discoverability — both for the employee and the organization, says Ellehuus. “This isn’t about pushing people into specific jobs,” he says. “It is about providing visibility into skills and experiences so employees can navigate all the potential career opportunities available to them.” Think of it as akin to how Google Maps suggests options for restaurants, hotels, and attractions around your destination. Success profiles can help talent discover entirely new career paths they haven’t even considered and organizations find talent where they wouldn’t ordinarily look to execute their strategies.

For more information about the intelligence cloud and success profiles, contact Christoffer Ellehuus at christoffer.ellehuus@kornferry.com.