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Skill development

Skills assessment: what approach to adopt for a successful career

eye 692 Published on 10 Aug. 2022
tag ##SkillDevelopment

The world of work is changing at breakneck speed these days! This madness is also found in skills. These are called “mad skills”. These are atypical, rare and original skills that characterize each of us.

Revealed during the crisis, these skills, previously classified as marginal, are becoming the new norm. Ditto for the famous "soft skills", which have recently dethroned the "hard skills". Ditto also for the way of conducting a skills assessment, where the business approach, once the reference in this support process, is now no longer in tune with the new realities.

A drastic change has taken place. In response to these upheavals caused in such a short time, there is a vital need to (re)focus on the human being, which inevitably pushes us to review the landscape of evaluation.

Let's look at some facts that illustrate these changes and that testify to the need to switch to a competency-based approach.

The front: centered on trades

For some time now, there has been a great movement in trades. For example, it is predicted that 85% of the professions of 2030 would not yet exist today. On the other hand, 2 billion jobs should disappear by 2030. These changes and the uncertainty they create, no longer make it possible to have reliable benchmarks for properly analyzing trades. Moreover, among HR professionals, 65% expect major transformations in 2022, an increase of 11% since last year.

These realizations reflect the break that is taking place with the world before. New priorities are asserting themselves, including the need to assess people differently.

To further support these facts, we observe that almost one skill in three that was necessary to obtain a job in 2018 is no longer necessary in 2022. In this short interval, new ways of working have imposed themselves and have quickly become the new normal.

Finally, another observation is the lifespan of technical skills, the “hard skills”, which is currently limited to 12-18 months. Before, we measured these “hard skills” because it was concrete, it was easy, and they were often valid for 20 or 30 years. Someone could easily pursue a career in the same trade for several years, without having to renew their skills. Now, this is no longer possible, these technical skills become obsolete very quickly.

Today, we therefore no longer want to know whether the individuals have mastered a particular technical skill associated with a particular profession. Rather, we want to know if these individuals will be able to unlearn the technical skill and learn another one, if they will be proactive in updating themselves, and if they will be able to quickly transfer their new skills to their missions. And that, it is by the skills approach that we can measure it.

The aftermath: centered on skills

These figures show us that the approach by profession is set to disappear in favor of that by skills. It is therefore no longer what the individual knows “how to do” but what “he knows and how to be that” becomes central in the balance sheet.

And this skill, which is at the heart of the balance sheet, which gives people back the power to act, which allows them to have a foothold in a world undergoing great change, is the transversal skill.

Dynamic and evolving by nature, cross-curricular competence offers a complete vision of a person by enhancing their varied knowledge: life skills, thinking skills, know-how and even knowledge of becoming, since this skill can be improved. We thus take into account the whole of the person, in order to give meaning to the journey through a more human accompaniment.

The advantage of a skills-based approach is that it values atypical profiles. By recognizing all experiences, both personal and professional, the value of an individual is finally expressed. In addition to the “soft skills”, the “mad skills ”, which have recently been praised, make each of us unique and create added value on the labor market. For the individuals, it is finally the opportunity to see their course recognized, but also to consider the extent of their knowledge in order to transform them into power.

Finally, the skills-based approach makes it easier to transition to another job, sometimes even very different, because the transversality of a skill means that it is valid in several sectors. This approach also facilitates integration and allows you to move towards a project that is more in tune with yourself. We no longer start from a profession to measure its suitability with a person. We start from the person and use all their knowledge to open up a range of possibilities, current and future.


In view of these changes, it becomes imperative for the consultants to adjust their posture and review this notion of competence in order to exploit it perfectly, to support each beneficiary as much as possible, and to co-construct with them a project that matches them. Because for the consultant, the skill is more than just a working tool and for the beneficiary, it is the challenge of a lifetime.

Helen Simard

Consultant psychologist

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