Lightcast Global Data Served Up Via APIs

The Detail Employers Need to Decide

Published on Jun 15, 2023

Updated on Mar 25, 2024

Written by Scott Bittle

Illustration of granularity in global data

In a global talent market, the biggest challenge most HR managers face is a simple one: detail. 

Now more than ever, companies can tap into talent pools worldwide, finding skilled workers in new locations (and often at lower cost). But to do that, you need detailed labor information that lets you make real decisions.

That’s often the problem with labor market data. The traditional categories are too big to be actionable. To say you need a computer programmer is one thing, but in reality employers are looking for programmers skilled in a certain areas: Python, Java, or another specific language. So to make accurate global hiring decisions, a talent executive needs to be able to compare talent pools at a granular level.

That’s what Lightcast’s new, more granular global occupation dataset allows corporations to do. With the more than 450 occupations worldwide now available in Lightcast APIs, global talent executives can make detailed comparisons between roles, skills, and countries using the internationally recognized ISCO categories.

This allows employers to get to the level of detail they really need, whether they’re trying to locate facilities, identify possible talent pools, manage learning and development programs, or gain competitive intelligence. 

Let’s say a company wants to dive into talent demand for IT roles in a specific country. Instead of thinking in terms of IT Network Professionals–a category that’s too broad to be helpful–they can see the numbers of Systems Administrators, Database Designers, Web Technicians, and other roles.

Chart mapping previous occupation category to ISCO occupations

But of course, decisions on hiring and training aren’t just about where workers are–it’s also about what they need to know. And Lightcast can provide that level of detail. For example, the top three skills for Database Designers in France are project management, SQL, and information systems. So if you’re a tech company operating in France and worried about keeping up with your competitors, those are the skills you need to build into learning and development.

Chart showing a more specific view of how to categorize IT network professionals in France

With these global categories, companies can also make comparisons between countries. Job titles can vary from employer to employer, much less country to country. So having a basis for comparison is crucial for any company that operates multinationally. In addition, Lightcast’s latest research shows that employers are routinely choosing to recruit globally for talent, which raises a whole new set of hiring questions.

For example, looking at France, Germany, or the US, France has by far the biggest demand for Database Designers. If you’re looking for Systems Administrators, then Germany has the bigger demand. That can serve as useful competitive intelligence about what French or German companies are working on (if they’re hiring Database Designers, then databases have to be a priority). Using European workforce analytics driven by job  postings data can also serve as a rough proxy for supply: if a country has lots of job postings asking for a particular skill, it is also likely to have a larger pool of workers with that skill.

Chart showing change over time from previous categories to countries and ISCO occupations

There’s a complex set of decisions that need to be made in deciding where to hire the best talent. As global talent shortages continue, employers are going to have to cast a broader net for workers. And once you have the ability to make detailed comparisons across countries, the opportunities begin to open up.

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