Tuesday November 14th - 5:00 PM (UTC)

What It Takes to Become a Skills-Based Organization

Answering Your Top Questions from HR Tech & Gartner ReimagineHR


In today's landscape, everyone seems to be talking about the advantages of transitioning into a skill-based organization. The trend is pervasive, but often, you'll find plenty of talk and few concrete examples of what it entails, how to begin, and the tangible outcomes it can yield. 

Lightcast, the trusted authority in skills and talent intelligence, is here to cut through the chatter.


Join us for our latest webinar installment as  Elizabeth Crofoot and Jason Bartusch cut through the industry noise surrounding skills-based organizations. They'll be tackling critical topics we heard from both HR Tech and Gartner Reimagine HR, along with showcasing real-world results achieved by organizations like yours.

Access a FREE Skills Sample: https://lightcast.io/skills-demo

See where your company is at on their Skills-Based Journey with the Maturity Model: https://lightcast.io/maturity-model-demo 

Time Stamps:

Intro - 1:55

Top Questions - 4:05

Everyone is talking about skills-based organizations. How does Lightcast define this and how can you help me get started? - 8:01

Maturity Model - 13:03

Optimizing Job Descriptions - 17:28

How can you help me manage and connect my skills data throughout my HR Tech stack? - 22:27

What KPIs should we be considering as we deploy skills-based initiatives and how should we measure ROI? - 30:47

What are your global coverage and language capabilities? - 40:31

Questions from the Audience - 46:45


Jason Bartusch: 

Let's go ahead and get started. All right, folks. Thank you again for joining. Welcome to the Lightcast webinar for the fall of 2023. Today we're going to talk more specifically about the questions that Elizabeth and I received during the 2024 conference season. So in terms of the topics for discussion today, we're going to start with some brief introductions of Elizabeth and myself.

Then we're going to cover some of our favorite questions that we got from folks just like yourself at both the Gartner ReimagineHR conference as well as at HR Tech 2023. Then if we have some time, we'll take some questions from the audience if you guys want to submit those. And then at the very end we created this slick interface that allows our customers to get a free Lightcast data sample. So we'll share that to the rest of you guys. And an opportunity for how you can get access to that data.

But for starters, let's go ahead and do some introductions. Elizabeth, want to kick us off?

Elizabeth Crofoot: 

Sure. Hi, everyone. Thanks for joining us. I'm Elizabeth Crofoot, Senior Economist and Principal Research Analyst here at Lightcast. I sit on the consulting side of the organization, so I work directly with organizations, with companies on their skills based initiatives. 

So I have a background in the labor market. I've been spending the last 20 years really focusing on the U.S. and global labor markets and helping companies with their talent management challenges and really getting through to retention and recruitment and in this really hard to labor market environment that we're currently in.

Jason Bartusch: 

And I'm Jason Bartusch. I'm joining Elizabeth. I'm also from the Lightcast team. My title here is VP of Strategy and Growth but I’ve positioned myself as the HR Tech Veteran, but I'm not sure at what point you can call yourself a veteran, but 2024 will be my 20th year in the space. But in the past I've overseen teams for sales, for marketing, for pre-sales as well as most recently really focusing more on managing the general business operations for the Lightcast team alongside the broader leadership team at Lightcast. 

But in terms of what we're going to talk about today, Elizabeth and I have really picked six of our favorite questions that we're going to take turns answering.

So those questions are on the screen, and I'll just go through them really quickly so that all of you guys know what we're going to talk about. The first question is really specific to skills, and this one came up time and time again this past fall. It was really just specific to the fact that everyone in every conference, and quite frankly, the vast majority of the sessions that happened at the conferences this fall had to do with skills organizations talking about, quote on quote, becoming a skills-based organization. And so we're going to answer this question as everybody's talking about skills. Help me understand what that means. Help me understand what becoming a skills based organization means. And of course, in doing so, what role does Lightcast play in helping organizations harness the power of skills?

To make informed talent decisions, question two is about job architecture. And so for Lightcast when we talk about becoming a skills-based organization, phase one of that project is normally creating a job architecture that aligns skills and prioritizes the importance of skills for each and every role that makes up our business, but beyond just the relationship of how we define the relationship between skills and titles.

What other services are our employers looking for when we talk about becoming a skills-based organization? And of course related to that, what are the types of services that Lightcast offers in addition to just helping organizations create a skills-based job architecture? 

The third question is one of my favorites and it was asked to me by the Red Thread research team. And it was specifically what is something that nobody's talking about, but everybody should be talking about? And the short answer that we gave was interoperability. And that is, I've got all of these systems and all of these systems have skills data. What do I do with it? How do I connect all of them so that I'm not creating more work for my team to manage or simply buying another system that's just going to ask my same employees to input more skills information? It just makes the entire process of managing that skills data more complicated. So we're going to talk about that.

The fourth question is specific to KPIs and ROI. And that is with so much energy really getting fixated on becoming skills-based, what are some of the KPIs that we should think about as we're investing in these types of initiatives? And then more importantly, beyond the KPIs. What's the ROI that my business can expect if we are to pursue becoming a skills-based organization?

Now, the last two are a little bit different. And the first one was just that if you guys went to any of the conferences this past year, you probably saw two things. Number one, everybody's created a chat GPT interface, including ours. But one of the core topics this past year was really, hey, what's going on with generative AI? What's going on with artificial intelligence? What role does Lightcast play in that? So we're going to spend some time talking about that. And then last and certainly not least you Lightcast works with large global employers. And as a result, they're really looking for a single solution provider that can help them make talent intelligence decisions globally.

And so we field these question quite often. Help me understand what global means for Lightcast? And what does that mean today? And how is it changing over time before we jump into any questions? Elizabeth, want to add any more context?

Elizabeth Crofoot: 

No, I think you did a great job of scoping this out. So excited to dive in.

Jason Bartusch: 

Awesome. All right. So the way this is going to work is we're each going to ask the other person the question. So Elizabeth, you're up.

Elizabeth Crofoot: 

Awesome. So like Jason said one of the basic questions is, everyone's talking about this. How does Lightcast define this? And how can you help me get started with the skills-based organization?

Jason Bartusch: 

Thank you. Awesome. Thanks, Elizabeth. So before we answer this one, I just wanted to answer this in three ways. One is who is Lightcast. The second is why does your perspective on skills matter? And why is it unique? And why should I be paying attention to your opinion about skills?

And then the third is, we'll talk a little bit about a framework that we've developed over the last 18 months, but have now developed an entire product solution around, which is basically our maturity model. It's really specific to helping organizations define what becoming a skills-based organization is for them, but really identify the outcomes and the objectives that becoming a skills-based organization is going to help drive for their business.

So really quickly, who is Lightcast? When I get this question, I always answer it by saying that we're a talent intelligence provider. But what that really means is that we aggregate data on people in jobs to help. Customers make more informed decisions about talent management and talent acquisition. We also like to say that we're the trusted leader in skills and jobs data.

And then talk a little bit more about that. When I say aggregate data about people in jobs, know that we're consuming information from job postings, from government data, from social profile and resume data, which in and of itself isn't unique because that data exists in a lot of places. But really what's unique about Lightcast is its what we do with that information, how we synthesize it, how we normalize it, how we enrich it so that customers have access to all of that information, but can use it to answer very simple and very complicated questions about what's happening outside the four walls of their business, specifically in the regions that they employ people and how are those trends going to impact their influence, what they're doing with people and people management internally.

That was a long answer, but there you go. The second part, which is: help me understand why Lightcast and why skills. And why is your perspective important in the marketplace? It might be too bold, but I think it's important. Lightcast is a very unique business. And we basically have these sort of three specific businesses that really utilize the data I referenced a moment ago to help different types of organizations make informed decisions.

The first one is employers, which is who both Elizabeth and I work with most frequently. So the first one is employers.

The second one is education providers. And the third one is government entities. And what's really unique about Lightcast is the fact that we're working with all three of these groups to help utilize data to make more informed decisions that are going to impact different types of individuals.

Education and education institutions are helping individuals learn new skills and then understand the implication of how those skills are going to change or alter their career path. But long story short because we're at the intersection of employers, government and education providers. We’re really at the intersection of how individuals learn new skills and apply those skills to either alter or improve their current career paths.

So that's why our perspective is unique. For the back half of this question, I'm going to let Elizabeth answer it. 

Elizabeth Crofoot: 

I think it's about identifying what the imperative is around the skills-based organization. And essentially it's because they're more resilient. In the face of change and as an economist, I really focus on the holistic macro economy as well. And we've seen so many changes in the economy over the last several years with the pandemic, with supply chain issues, with rampant inflation, with demographics changing our workforce. And all of that is to say that the skills-based organization can help you pivot right. Can help you be more nimble in the face of all of these challenges so you can be more adaptable. More equitable as well as more innovative. The skills-based organization gives you the tools to be able to adapt more easily and really the bottom line is about skills, right?

We're talking about skills as the underlying unit of what the skills-based organization is so we're not talking about jobs. We're saying that organizations that start to think about their workforce decisions in the context of skills and not jobs are going to be able to adapt more easily. And then this is our maturity model that Jason referenced below and this is really an answer to the question of how can Lightcast help me get started?

Really the number one step here is to identify where you fall as an organization across this maturity model. So on the left hand side when it comes to your journey as a skills-based organization, and then you have four different pillars. So the first is business value delivered. So this gets to the fact that or to the aspect of do your skills that are within your four walls, as Jason mentioned, do they align with your strategic objectives as an organization to deliver the products and services to your customers?

What does that connective tissue look like? And then the second and third pillars. Really get to the skills hub and that's really the engine that's driving the skills-based organization So that first part is skill strategy and governance. Do you have an underlying philosophy about skills that's driving the organization? Is it a common thread throughout? Do you have the governance structures in place to make that a reality? And then the second part is the technical, the data infrastructure part. Do you have a common language of skills, a taxonomy? Do you have data that speak to skills, not only internally in terms of the skills in your own four walls and also maybe proficiency levels, but do you have external data sources that are providing context and directionality with the skills that you have in terms of how you're going to align that to your strategic objectives? And then, do you have the technology in place? What does your tech stack look like and that issue of interoperability Jason talked about before so that's the skills hub dynamic and then finally the stakeholder engagement piece. Is this an issue that's, just an HR initiative, or are other stakeholders involved as well, such as people in strategy and operations, people in procurement, when you're talking about freelancers, for example people in other parts of the organization that really, need to be part of this conversation in order to, again, make that common thread across all pieces to really drive it forward more holistically Jason, did you want to add anything here in particular?

I know this is you know, a big part of starting out in terms of identifying where you are.

Jason Bartusch: 

No, just that I think you nailed it, right? But we created this framework to help organizations understand that regardless of where you are in adopting a skills-based structure. We've created a framework to help you document not only where we are today, but where we want to go in the future.

And then really what Elizabeth's team does is create a systematic path to allow you to go from point A to point B. And we're going to define these in a little bit here. But as we start to define the goals and the outcomes for becoming a skills-based organization, more specifically, what are some of the KPIs we can be looking at?

And how are we going to measure the impact that those KPIs have on our business? And then, of course, one of the questions later on here is talking a little bit more about ROI. So I think this is good enough for now. So let's keep going. All right, so I'm asking you this question. So beyond defining the relationship between skills and titles, what are some other things that I should be thinking about that skills can help me do?

Elizabeth Crofoot: 

Yeah, and I think during the conference season a lot of people came up to me and said, you know I get it that when it comes to skills and jobs we're defining jobs as a set of skills and that's the underlying building block of the skills-based organization. But how do I move beyond that? Where do I go from here? And so there are really four use cases that we wanted to highlight. Here's some examples of how a skills-based organization can move beyond the job architecture. So optimizing job descriptions, building career pathways, benchmarking proficiency, and then closing skill gaps, and then finally determining pay, banding, and benchmarks.

So I can move forward here. The first one is about optimizing these job descriptions, and this is often a good place to start when you're thinking about a skills-based organization. It's like that low hanging fruit because a lot of these job descriptions across many organizations are outdated.

They're asking for everything under the sun. So it's, let's, it's about focusing on the skills that are actually needed to perform the job. And what we do at Lightcast is we can optimize for the skills and request and credentials that are requested, that you need. And that also can translate into cost savings.

We'll talk a little bit more about this in the ROI section, but just to wet your appetite a little bit. Removing college degree requirements, for example. That can increase your talent pool significantly. This is actually an example of a company we worked with to do this. They were able to expand their talent pool by 61 percent and they also saved $16,000 per hire by just removing that college degree requirement.

You can also save on focusing on building those skills internally right rather than buying them on the spot market for talent. And in this case, they were emerging cyber security skills that are really expensive and hard to find so by training internally you can save you know ten thousand dollars in this case for each of those skills and then also dropping certain certification requirements can also drop salary costs significantly.

So there's definitely an ROI component to this as well. The second use case is about building career pathways. Lightcast can identify the opportunities to build these pathways between roles to enhance internal mobility. And we do this by focusing on skill adjacencies between roles. And that's about what are the skills that can translate from one position to another right from a junior level to more of a mid level and then even beyond that to more senior level roles. So we can map that out, highlight the skill gaps in between and so that you can communicate to your workforce. This is what is needed in order to achieve the next level. This is how you can get there and also we've assigned or associated these jumps with salary levels as well.

So there's a salary bump associated with this. So this is all to really drive internal mobility and retention. And we can give you the tools to do that. The next piece is about benchmarking proficiency and closing skill gaps. In the last example, we could have the specific skills associated with those career pathways.

So that's one way of closing skill gaps and identifying where you can get the best bang for your training buck, essentially, but we can also use market data in order to inform or infer proficiency levels within your organization. Using, for example, education and experience requirements within the broader for a specific role, for specific associated with a specific skill in a specific role within your organization and compare that with what that requirement and education level looks like with the market at large.

So you can make comparisons as to where your organization stands compared to your competitors and other market participants more broadly, and then again, identify those specific skill gaps and proficiency levels and upskill those accordingly. And then finally determining pay banding and benchmarks.

Lightcast enables organizations to optimize local, regional, and global pay, and this is really critical, especially now with remote work, and we really have a global labor market. So having information about advertised salaries and also benefits, we have information about certain types of benefits associated with certain positions as well that can allow organizations to compare their incumbent wages with their market wages, especially in a very dynamic labor market like today where entry level wages were accelerating so quickly.

And this is real time data that can tell you what is actually happening in the market and where are those inflection points in wage rates? So that you can be more competitive so that you can provide equitable pay across your workforce, especially when it comes to those pay transparency laws, having this information is really critical.

And then finally just being able to reward the skills and capabilities of your workforce again to drive retention, and also mobility as those employees can see transparently, what those career pathways look like and what those salary bumps can do for them.

Jason Bartusch: 

Awesome. Thank you, Elizabeth.

Let's keep moving. 

Elizabeth Crofoot: 

The next question here is how can you help me manage and connect my skills data throughout my HR tech stack?

Jason Bartusch: 

All right. Great question. At the outset, we talked a little bit about framing this question of I've got a lot of applications and systems that we use to manage people and candidate data.

All of them have their own approach to skills. A lot of them have their own skills taxonomies, but as an employer, what I'm left with is a lot of bits and pieces about skills scattered across a number of different systems. So the question is what do I do when that's the reality? How do I make sure that I can aggregate and harness all of that data and not waste it?

Lose sight of the fact that I've got really good information about people and jobs in different systems but really utilize all of them to create a foundation of skills information about my workforce that's what we're going to talk about now. So I talked a little bit earlier about why our approach to skills is unique because we're at that intersection of helping education institutions teach new skills, helping governments understand what skills they need to train their unemployed citizens to find new work.

And then of course, helping employers understand how to make more informed talent decisions for skills. One of the things we did a few years ago was we created an open source, a Lightcast skills taxonomy. Now, the Lightcast Skills Taxonomy is 33,000 skills, updated every two weeks. And then organized into category, subcategory, and skill type. The second is we've created an open source to job title library that has 75,000 skills that are also open sourced, mapped to the labor market, and updated every two weeks.

And then last and certainly not least, we've created an occupation taxonomy that at the bottom level has 2,000 specialized occupations that are also mapped to the labor market, updated every six months. and categorized into career area, occupation group, occupation, and then specialized occupation at the bottom.

What we're really getting at here is a couple of things. Number one, in order to standardize all of this data, you've got to have a standard that number one is an updated map to the labor market and trying to as best as possible mirror what's happening in the world of work as quickly as possible as it pertains to skills and titles.

And that's essentially what Lightcast has done. Now, what we've done is utilize all of that data to create a new product that we call Talent Transform, which its sole purpose is to help organizations take their existing job framework, map it to the labor market, add some normalized titles from the Lightcast occupation and titles taxonomies, and then enrich those new profiles with Lightcast skills.

Now, what's unique about our approach to skills and how we can automatically use labor market data to create skill profiles for your jobs is we can do so using five different data points. Number one, we can just use market data to tell me what are the most important skills I should be looking at based on this normalized title.

The second is we can use your own data. So we aggregate job postings data from over 61,000 sources online. And more often than not, that includes your current and historic job postings data from your career site. The third is an industry benchmark. So all of our data is organized into industries. You can pick and choose several and use that industry as the framework that we use to identify the correct match of skill to job.

The fourth is we can use company information, which is essentially a list of competitors or different types of competitors and use their skills and job data. From our job postings information as the genesis or the foundation for the skill profiles that we create for your business and last and certainly not least we can use our model data.

So Lightcast maintains a model called defining, distinguishing, and necessary skills. I feel like this is a pitch, but it's all part of the context. We'll get into the rest here in a bit. But defining, distinguishing, and necessary skills is our attempt at defining and prioritizing the importance of every skill defined at the specialized occupation level within the occupation taxonomy at Lightcast.

That's all the way down to the two thousand level of granularity, and we can use a variety of these different lever levers to identify and be the genesis of skill profiles for different types of roles in your business, for example, using technology companies as the benchmark for just your IT Roles using a collection of competitors for different types of departmental roles in your business, using your own data for other roles that are very unique to your business and really won't have it. A good benchmark that we can compare using the external data that Lightcast has but it's that flexibility that allows organizations to dial in the right mix of information to prioritize and create skill profiles for all of the different departments and roles across the business.

Now in the left hand corner, you're gonna see a little logo there. I want to talk a little bit about this, but we just became an access partner for Workday. This gives us the opportunity to utilize this solution to extract job profile data from a Workday system, enrich it with Lightcast information, including skills and then pipe that data back into Workday. But if you're asking yourself, I don't have Workday so can this product integrate with my HCM? Know that the entire function of talent transform is just designed to help organizations extract information from their HCM, enrich it with market data and skills data, and then push it back in.

So whatever system that you're currently using, know that we've got the frameworks to extract that data, enrich it and push it back in terms of how we get started. It's as simple as 3. And I've already talked through this, but it's essentially extracting your information, normalizing it to Lightcast data, choosing the different levers and recipes that we want to use to create skill profiles and then connecting that information back to your internal systems of record.

But think of Talent Transform really, it's just an external job architecture management system. That simply sits alongside your HCM, giving you one place to manage, maintain, and update your skill profiles and use technology to automate the lion's share of that work. Here's a quick visual that's a little overwhelming, but hopefully it gives you an understanding of what we're going at.

I talked at the beginning of this question about the fact that a lot of times organizations will have a very fragmented HR tech stack, they'll have a different ATS, they'll have a different HCM, they'll have a different LXP, perhaps a different LMS. And the reality is that you're going to have information about people and jobs in all of these different systems.

And what we're proposing and what we've built is the ability for Lightcast to extract and normalize all of that skill information, essentially being your skill taxonomy hub. Mapping that data to the labor market, enriching it with Lightcast skill information, and then pushing it back into the system of record that really manages and maintains your job architecture.

So we're essentially this tool that sits alongside, essentially helping you manage, maintain, and update all of that people and jobs data using our tools and technology to automate, again, the lion's share of that maintenance. All right, now it's time for me to ask you a question. Now that I'm thinking about becoming a skills based organization, help me understand what KPIs should I be considering?

And what's the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow here? What are we working towards?

Elizabeth Crofoot: 

But yeah, I love this question because ultimately this goes back to that.

Yeah. The maturity model and the sort of stakeholder component, right? You have to get other parts of the organization on board. In order to really expand the philosophy of the skills-based organization, company wide and this is one way to do that is by focusing on what are the key metrics that I can put out as proof that this is working and what's my return on investment for these skills-based initiatives.

So here are just some ideas about some of the metrics that we can focus on. Obviously there are more but this is just some of the ones that we like to highlight. First of all, it's quantifying that reduction in the skills gap, right? What's the percentage of the skills gap reduction for each role when it comes to, your training initiatives, for example, that are going to help you with career pathing, for example or other proficiency level goals.

The second is in terms of reducing the time to alignment between what you currently have in terms of how you're currently defining your roles. And once you really refine your job architecture and define your roles with a set of skills, you know how long it takes you to actually implement that to make sure their roles are aligned with your optimal skill profiles?

Third is about benchmarking to competitive competitors. So can you increase the percentage of roles that are aligned with industry benchmarks or with your competitor benchmarks? So we want to make sure that those you're aligning to market mark market definitions, right? And market competitiveness.

Fourth is about retention, increasing retention rates is another metric that we can focus on. In terms of hiring you want to decrease your time to fill. Another good one with this is diversity metrics, because you are expanding your talent pools by focusing on skills. You can look at those as well.

And then finally, return on investment. So what is the actual cost savings associated with some of these skills based initiatives? We touched on that a little bit before with cleaning up the job descriptions. But if we move on to the next slide we can look at some other examples, again, these are companies that we've actually worked with and these are the cost savings that they have realized within their organizations after implementing some of the skills based, tactics that we have helped with them with so the first was a large retailer who was building out career pathways to help really promote store supervisors from within the organization rather than hiring them.

They were able to save 13,000 per employee or really per hire. The second example is a manufacturing company that was building or training those emerging skills within their four walls. So again, these were I.T. related skills, cloud computing. Those A.I. Skills that are really hard to find, and they were able to save $20,000 to $35,000 per hire again because these are some of the most disruptive tech skills on the market.

So you're going to see a really high premium for those specific skills. And then finally a finance company that also eliminated four year degree requirements for certain IT roles and they were able to save $16,000 per hire. So these are all impacting the bottom line, right? This is how we can provide some fodder for extending these types of initiatives to other parts of the organization.

Jason Bartusch: 

Organization, especially when you're starting out small. Yeah. And honestly, we're talking about per hire here. So I do want to point out the fact that the customers that we're working with are really getting a large return on the investment. So the time and energy that they're putting into. Becoming a skills-based organization and really defining and connecting in the relationship between skills and titles is really helping to pay off in a variety of different ways.

So we're going to move on to the next question, and I think Elizabeth, you're going to ask me this one. 

Elizabeth Crofoot: 

Yeah, and this was one of the most popular questions because like Jason said, everyone's talking about skills and AI and they want to know what are you doing with AI?

Jason Bartusch: 

All right, so this one's for me.

So what are we doing with AI? It's funny because when we got this question, and again, this is really framed much bigger than just Lightcast, but it's everyone's talking about AI. What's the role that Lightcast is playing in AI? And earlier this year, I worked with our corporate communications team, myself, and a number of folks at Lightcast, really helped to create a document that was really framed.

How Lightcast has historically been using artificial intelligence responsibly when you think about the fact that we ingest, aggregate, normalize and enrich just so much information about people and jobs, just know that we've been utilizing machine learning and artificial intelligence as a core component to really assist in the maintenance of all of the taxonomies and all of the enrichments that Lightcast maintains. But it's important to point out that historically and even today we really maintain a human in the loop or a human at the center approach to artificial intelligence. And that really helps Lightcast know that we can ensure the data quality and the standards that individuals have been coming to Lightcast and expect for the last 25 years. But if we dive into this question very specifically, let's talk a little bit about what we're doing right now, and really what's happening in the coming months relative to some new solutions in which we're exposing some of our artificial intelligence to our customers. So this breaks down into three areas. The first is Ask Lightcast. Ask Lightcast is our sort of GPT style interface. This is a generative AI large language model that we've built on three main data sets that Lightcast maintains. The first is all of our people and jobs data, so our government data, our postings data, our profile data. The second is a large language model that was built from all of our research and thought leadership. And the third was a large language model that was built from our knowledge base articles.

So essentially, the information that we use and publish to our customers that defines our models and defines our taxonomies and provides them answers to questions about what does this mean at Lightcast? But we've essentially built the one large language model that consumes all three of the ones below and it's a simple interface that allows you to ask natural language questions and get really quick answers to all of your talent intelligence questions globally. And I'm going to say that again.

This product is global. It has all of our global labor market data in it and we're going to talk about that next but a little precursor. Just a little side note, Ask Lightcast is available now. It's in beta. So if you want to check it out, let us know and we'll get you set up. The second thing that we're exposing to our customers, I should really say the second two things are really designed to help the customers that use Lightcast software harness the power of that software more easily.

The first one is essentially using generative AI to create report summaries anytime a user is running a report in Lightcast to just really give them the two or three or four key bullet points that they should take away from that report. But then on top of just the key bullet points, it utilizes Ask Lightcast.

So that you can chat the summary and ask additional questions. If for whatever reason, the three bullet points didn't encompass everything that you were looking for. The third is just navigational assistance, right? Lightcast has a lot of information that exists in a lot of different reports. So they're really designed to answer different types of talent intelligence questions.

And this is essentially another generative AI interface that sits in our tool. It just allows you to ask a question about, Hey. I'm trying to understand diversity data at the market level. Where do I go for that? And it'll tell you exactly which report you should be diving into and then what types of information will live in that report.

But all three of these tools, right? The Ask Lightcast, Chat GPT Style Interface, Report Summaries, and the Data Navigation or Data Assistance, all of those will essentially live within our tools, helping our customers adopt and extract even more value. From the Lightcast solution set. Oh, and I guess that's it for this one. So we're going to move on to the last one.

Elizabeth Crofoot: 

All right. So this is another popular question. Again, we are in an era of global labor markets. So when people are really interested in you know going outside our borders to see what kind of talent is available So what kind of global coverage and language capabilities does Lightcast have?

Jason Bartusch: 

All right, let's dive into this one.

I'm jumping around here. Okay, here we go. So I think this one might be a combo of me and Elizabeth, but the first thing I want to point out is, as we framed this question at the very beginning, I employ people in multiple nations and as a result, I need to invest in partners that can help me understand the global labor market.

So to that extent, where can I go to get global talent intelligence on this scale? And the integrity that I need to make really informed decisions about how I manage people from my organization. So let's start this by just giving a quick overview of where we are today relative to the coverage that Lightcast offers.

So today we have job postings data in our software on about 29 different nations. We've got social profile data on roughly 150 nations. And then we've got government data on 40 nations. Now, the caveat for the existing global solution is that we categorize and have created and maintained a global occupation taxonomy that really only defines labor in 34 broad categories.

And while it was extremely innovative for its time, it's not nearly as granular as what our customers really need. Because 34 broad categories of work gives me some good insight, but our customers have really asked us to dial up the granularity so that they can understand the labor market through the lens of their types of roles.

And that's really what we're working on. So very similar to the artificial intelligence side, know that we're tackling global and expansion of Lightcast global in three main areas. The first is a new SaaS application that we're calling Talent Central or Talent Central Global. Maybe that name will change, maybe it won't, who knows.

But essentially that is a new solution that I'm going to define here in just a second. But it's essentially a new SaaS application that's going to have granular labor market insights for 20 nations to begin with. But we're going to continue adding more and more global data as it becomes online. The second is very specific to skills, and this is actually something that just happened within the last eight weeks.

Lightcast has officially pushed out our skill taxonomy in six languages at the moment, and those languages are both American and English versions, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Dutch. And the last thing I wanted to talk about a little bit is about our experimental data before I talk a little bit more about Talent Central.

So in addition to all of the data that's going into Talent Central. Know that we've published all of our job postings data, which is about 150 nations, 150 nations worth of data in an experimental table that can be consumed by a snowflake. For those of you guys that don't know, Lightcast delivers insights really through three primary vehicles.

We've got our SAS applications. We've got programmatic data delivery, which can take the shape of an API. Custom data file and delivery or our integration through Snowflake and hopefully more to come on more integrations very soon in the future. And then the third is really Elizabeth's team, which is professional services.

So to just open up the floodgates and give our customers access to everything that Lightcast has been aggregating. For all of the years that we've been doing it, we publicized an experimental data table that has some caveats. So you'll want to talk to your Lightcast professional about it, but know that as we set our sights on what global means for Lightcast, just know that we are maintaining and aggregating data everywhere that it exists online.

And so we have. The information that we need to deliver the most comprehensive, granular, global talent intelligence product ever conceived and ever imaginable, but we're working towards that and to that end, let's talk a little bit about the next evolution of Lightcast. 

Here we go. Go back here. The next evolution of cast global interface. So that interface, as I mentioned a moment ago, is going to have 1500 specialized occupations. So the ability to search talent intelligence data at 1500 different types of roles across 20 nations. And those are the nations that you see up here.

And for those of you guys who see me looking around, it's because I have this monster monitor in this office. And it's bigger than me. And so when I'm looking at the slide, I literally have to turn my head like I'm at a tennis match. But anyways, these are the 20, these are the 20 nations that are going to be in that product.

Know that the data will be available in January. The solution interface will follow shortly thereafter. But we are working on this right now. And our goal is, as stated earlier, to deliver the most comprehensive, the most granular interface for talent intelligence that the world has ever seen. And that is one of the big E's on the iChart for Lightcast.

Now, I know we've got about 14 minutes left. So I'm wondering if we've gotten any questions from our audience, and I'm sure everyone on the Lightcast product team is. I can't believe I just said that, but I put you guys on notice. We're building the best product.

Elizabeth Crofoot: 

Jason, we did have some questions come in, and maybe I can start with one.

I'll ask you here, which I thought was a good one. For organizations struggling to get started on their skills-based organization journey, what advice would you have on how to get started?

Jason Bartusch: 

Yeah, absolutely. It's funny because I always want to go into pitch mode when I don't want to go into pitch mode.

So first off, know that despite the topic of this webinar, the vast majority of organizations are at the very beginning stages of defining what does it mean to be skills-based? And more importantly, what does it mean for our organization? And in order for you to get started, there's a couple things that I want to dive into.

Thank you. The first is, and I'm going to just leapfrog forward here, let's just look at that. So if we scan this QR code for anyone that's out there it'll take you to a landing page and that landing page will allow you to answer a few questions and then give you a template of our maturity model that's specific to the questions and the way that you've answered those questions.

So essentially giving you a quick snapshot of where your organization is. relative to those different levels in which we define a skills based organization. There's two things I want to touch on. The first is, this will allow you to set the stage and have a conversation internally about where we are.

But the second stage is really helping you define what are the types of outcomes we want to drive, right? So I would say phase one is, if you can you can get with Lightcast and we can do essentially Elizabeth's team can Jason Bartusch will not, but Elizabeth's team will essentially work with your organization to do essentially an assessment and really define.

Where are we today relative to becoming a skills based organization? What are the goals and outcomes we want to drive? And then essentially present that information to your stakeholders or give you the resources to do that as well. But now that job is one for becoming a skills-based organization, in my opinion, I'll ask Elizabeth this same question, is really the hot potato of job title normalization.

and really updating your job architecture to include skills. We always joke about this at Lightcast because these job architecture projects, in my opinion, are the hot potato that gets passed from responsible individual to responsible individual or, at Lightcast we sometimes use the term DRI.

But essentially that, that, that project and that task never gets done because doing that work historically was very tedious and it required a lot of manual curation and it took individuals a lot of time to simply create phase one. And again, this is where Lightcast really excels is utilizing technology to help organizations build.

Maintain an update of that job architecture using the services and data that like cast is known for. And so hopefully I gave that a decent answer. But Elizabeth, how would you answer that question?

Elizabeth Crofoot: 

Just in practice, the companies that I work with are embarking on their skills based organization journey.

There are two types. The first is the type that is using it as a method to address a critical need. Essentially, they're putting out a fire. There is a problem. They're losing competitiveness. They have roles that have huge attrition rates. And so they use skills as a method to, let's try to find a solution.

Let's Go to the core of the problem redefine our roles and then try to address it from That aspect rather than just put a bandaid on it so that's where it starts is like a critical need and then it's usually very targeted in a specific department you know it seems to be a really popular department or these, it roles are a little bit I would say easier to define at least in terms of the way organizations think about them They have very specific skills, not to say that others don't but this just seems to be where organizations like to begin because it's easy to get a handle on It's easy to sell in terms of getting other parts of the organization on board.

So if you have a critical need in those terms, this could be a solution and just starting small and then going on your road show of trying to get other parts of the organization on board. Just quickly. The other type of organization that we see are those that have a longer term philosophy about engaging skills through the entire employee life cycle. So it's really more of a philosophy that they're trying to implement. So there's just a long term and short term kind of approach to it.

Jason Bartusch: 

Awesome. I pulled up that question doc. I see we got a couple more. All right. So question number one was I'm a current Lightcast customer and I also use Workday. What is the estimated timeline and strategy to have Lightcast skills seamlessly mapped to Workday skills? Such an interesting question. So I know this is specific to just one individual. Maybe some other folks on the phone are also using Workday. Know that to the person that asked this question as a part of our integration and our partnership with workday, we've already mapped the Lightcast skills to the Workday skill equivalents.

So part of our integration is once we update your job taxonomy with the corresponding Lightcast enrichments and skills when we push the skills back into workday, we do so through the naming conventions of the Workday skills cloud. So we've already done that mapping and we maintain it. So the estimated timeline is it is ready now and we've got customers LIVE on the integration.

The third one or second one, I guess it was the third way I can get access to ask a Lightcast sounds super interesting. I will definitely get you guys access. I'll make sure that Jeffrey, our head of product, reaches out to you and provides you access to it. And if we don't have any more questions, we can certainly pull it up right now And just play around with it.

That's always the worst thing, right? Pull up something live and run a quick demo, but I'm happy to do that. No more questions. All right, so why not? Let's just have some fun. We've got seven minutes. All right, so let's look here. All of Jason's files that no one cares to see. This is how I talk to myself, guys, every day when I work.

Alright, so this is the Ask Lightcast interface. And a quick new chat. Alright. As I had mentioned earlier, these are three different large language models. We do have one more quickly. I'll just show you guys. I mentioned that it's three large language models all rolling into one extremely large language model.

That's all of our labor market data, which is just represented by Snowflake, all of our thought leadership and analyst reports, and then all of our knowledge base. But if we click into any one of these, It's the really, really simple interface that I know all of you guys are pretty familiar with because we utilized I think an interface that I think most customers are familiar with, but you essentially just ask it the question and then it'll give you an answer.

And then you can ask that question more and more. Now, while this is loading up, we've got a couple more questions that we can play around with. The first one is, We also know Lightcast recently partnered with one model and curious in line with the workday question on timing for the availability to integrate Lightcast skills data within one model.

Okay, so for this one I know that myself and my corresponding partner Richard Rose now over at one model are currently having conversations with some of our mutual customers really helping to understand and define the model. What do those customers want to see relative to the integration between Lightcast and OneModel?

And we're starting that listening tour right now. And we have four or five mutual customers that we're meeting with, I think, starting this week to really define what customers want to see. So in terms of timeline, I know that it's TBD, but rather than just build an integration that we're just, we think is what customers want.

We're coming directly to you guys. To get that feedback firsthand, and then we're going to build the integration accordingly. Last question. You want to take that one?

You want to go ahead and read it? Yeah, sure. Asking you, regarding benchmarking skill proficiency, is there an initiative to incorporate observed, applied skills into that process? Metrics like education and tenure can overlook a lot of skilled workers who built their skills through alternative or And more often relevant needs.

So this is a really good one. I like this one actually came up to you and I when we were at Gartner. Do you remember that woman asked about micro credentials? 

Elizabeth Crofoot: 

In practice again, you know on the consulting side we have seen Companies that come to us and say, Hey, I have actual proficiency levels from a third party.

Can we use this in conjunction with your data to benchmark our actual proficiency levels within our organization to, a certain Slice of our competitors or to the market at large. So yes, it's definitely Something that we do. There's also other companies that we've worked with that have inferred their skills in other ways there's really a whole menu of options there but the bottom line is that you can definitely connect those assessments to our labor market information and to our skills taxonomies in order to drive insights into, where your organization needs to upscale, reskill and other learning and development initiatives that, might be relevant.

Jason Bartusch: 

Awesome. Thank you so much. All right. So you guys are looking at Ask Lightcast. Know that it's running on some internal resources, which is the reason why it's a little bit slow, but you can see how things are working. Ask it a question, get an answer, ask more information about that question, get another answer, and we will get you guys access to this tool for those of you that would like to play around with it and for how it's going to appear in broader Lightcast solutions and services.

Stay tuned for that. But it looks like we're almost three minutes left. I really appreciate the time that everyone spent with us today. Hopefully you enjoyed this kind of casual, off the cuff presentation. Elizabeth and I just wanted to have a conversation with you all, rather than go through a really scripted presentation.

So hopefully this worked out for you guys. For those of you guys that are looking for more information, I'm going to quickly toggle back to this slide. This QR code will give you the opportunity to get access to some Lightcast skills data, as well as get in touch with either Elizabeth or myself. Thank you all again for spending about 60 minutes with us.

We really appreciate it, and we look forward to having a conversation with you soon. Thanks again.

Our Speakers:

Elizabeth Crofoot:

Elizabeth Crofoot is a Senior Economist at Lightcast. With 20 years of experience assessing US and global labor market data, she researches business responses to labor and talent shortages and works with global enterprises to address this challenge. Most recently, her research has focused on worldwide demographic shifts and implications for global labor supply. She also works with companies to identify rising skills and occupations in their markets, build skills-based hiring and training plans, and help business leaders make geolocation decisions. In prior roles, Elizabeth was Senior Economist at The Conference Board and a Supervisory Economist at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. She has extensive experience in global labor market competitiveness, including evaluating labor cost competitiveness across countries.

Elizabeth’s work has been cited in the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and other national media; she has appeared as a guest economist on Yahoo! Finance and NPR’s Marketplace; and she has authored numerous reports and blogs on labor shortages and workforce training and development.

Elizabeth holds an MA in economics from American University and a BA in political science and economics from the University of Washington in Seattle. A West Coast transplant, she currently lives outside of Washington, DC with her husband and two young children.

Jason Bartusch:

Jason is a dedicated advocate of HR technology and data, driven by his passion for assisting organizations in unlocking the transformative power of superior software solutions. Throughout his professional journey, he has collaborated with various solution providers, ranging from well-established industry leaders to dynamic start-ups backed by venture capital and private equity. Initially embarking on his career in sales, Jason utilized his experience as a launching pad to explore diverse disciplines, including marketing, sales enablement, solution consulting, product management, and strategic partnerships. His multifaceted expertise reflects a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies and potential of the industry.