Spotlight on Deutsche Post DHL and Alstom: Delivering skills-first careers powered by AI
January 12, 2022
Historically, skills development has been taught through classroom-style teaching sessions which are often broad and generalised to increase their appeal across multiple sectors. This single learning approach doesn’t work for the world of today – we need faster upskilling and reskilling, we need them at the right time in the right context, and we need these skills to be applicable to our roles now and in the near future.
French multinational mobility company Alstom and logistics giant Deutsche Post DHL (DPDHL) have both used artificial intelligence (AI) to prepare their workforces for the future. They are focusing on targeting the skills gaps within their workforces, aiming to encourage their current employees to upskill and take charge of their own careers.
What are the challenges, and why choose AI for HR to solve them?
For both DPDHL and Alstom, the main challenge is two-fold:
- Trying to manually curate an internal marketplace is time-consuming and hard to scale. Inputting such a vast amount of people data manually meant it would be quickly outdated.
- The distribution of their workforces makes traditional training cumbersome. Trying to connect to, and offer training to, so many employees in both different roles and different countries was near impossible.
Using the AI-powered talent platform from Cornerstone is enabling these companies to rationalise their people and skills data, to make it tangible and usable. Using the platform, the organisations have created an internal marketplace, where employees are able to create profiles highlighting their skills and competencies, as well as those they wished to acquire.
Through the data inputted into the platform, both organisations could then offer personalised training, prepare development programmes, give visibility and a clear career path with opportunities for movement within each business. These employees’ profiles will also enable the two HR teams to easily identify skill gaps within their workforces, as well as find the appropriate employees to train to fill them.
“One of the big challenges we have faced was how do we bring in a skills ontology,” says Meredith Wellard, VP, Group Learning, Talent and Platforms at Deutsche Post DHL. “I think here's where some of the AI-based tools have really changed the world for us in that we can now start to — at the click of a button — identify what might be the next career move for an airside handler or a supervisor in a warehouse, and what skills do they have, that might actually be transferable to other parts of the business.”
How do employees benefit from an AI-powered talent platform?
Using an AI platform enables employees to create profiles that clearly outline their strengths, as well as identify areas for potential development. Employees are also able to see career opportunities within their given company, including the skills they need to advance in their careers, and the development and training options available to help them to acquire and master those skills. This visibility into talent mobility and growth opportunities increases motivation and engagement amongst employees as they are able to self-assess against different job roles and create their own, personalised career plan.
The use of employee profiles also removes early-stage biases from the hiring and promotions processes, as employees can be viewed according to their competencies, rather than any demographic information.
How did employees react to the introduction of the AI-powered talent solution?
At Alstom, employees were initially cautious of AI. The notion of “artificial intelligence” was unfamiliar and daunting. To overcome this initial caution, the HR team conducted a proof of concept to show employees that AI isn’t the ”big tech monster” from Hollywood films, but rather an opportunity to support their own development. Employees were also given ownership of their data and had the choice whether to input that data or not.
At DPDHL, employees were excited at the prospect of their skills becoming more visible across the organisation; and with machine learning improving personalisation, employees felt more valued because suggested development and career opportunities were tailored to their individual needs and interests.
What is the ultimate goal for Alstom and DPDHL?
At Alstom, the HR team believes skills need to be the focus from hire to retire so that employees see that personal development and career growth no longer has to be achieved by moving from company to company. Instead, by tapping into the power of AI, Alstom can facilitate the growth and development of individuals within a company.
“One of our main goals using AI and skills management is to provide employees with a transparent market where they have the right level of information and tools to prepare their long-term career aspirations,” says Julia Maria Carvalho, HR Project Manager HRIS at Alstom. “AI helps us to prepare for future challenges by rationalizing the HR information, data and insights to make it tangible and accessible for employees everywhere.”
DPDHL hopes that, with the opportunities AI offers, employees see a job for life, where the internal market is stronger than the external. The company is excited to enhance its approach to recruitment with targeted, competency-based hiring through the AI-powered platform where skills are the new currency, and data is the price of entry.
Hear more about AI-powered skills development at LearnTech 2022, 4th – 5th May in London Register for the conference to hear Meredith Wellard and others discuss why a clear understanding of skills can help organisations to better define what they need to succeed, how employees can know and manage their own skills better and where they can develop to fulfill organisation, career, and personal goals.