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Jobs and skills ontologies: operating principles and key impacts

A jobs and skills ontology interconnects the company’s entire range of HR actions. By creating a common language, it brings together HR elements that previously seemed to belong to different worlds. This helps the HR function fulfill its mission, including recruitment and internal mobility, as well as address the challenges of HR software publishers (ATS, HRMS, LMS, etc.). In this post, we take a closer look at the jobs and skills ontology.



What is a jobs and skills ontology?


Ontology is a very popular concept in HR Tech. How does it apply to jobs and skills?


Defining ontology


In general, ontologies provide a set of concepts and relations for the purpose of modeling a given domain. Thanks to this standardization, ontologies establish a common language to interconnect the domain’s various components. There are computer and mathematical ontologies, as well as ontologies applied to the world of business, such as the jobs and skills ontology.



The jobs and skills ontology


A jobs and skills ontology is a system that describes concepts such as jobs, skills, training and candidates and reveals the relationships between these elements by freeing them from hierarchical considerations. Indeed, jobs are generally described as sets of skills, but you can also present skills through the jobs that require them.


Thanks to this approach, the jobs and skills ontology makes it possible to make each concept the starting point, depending on task at hand. For instance, a professional training organization will focus on skills (and their availability), while a recruiter will be looking at jobs.


Related: Why and how to implement a skills-based approach in your organization?



Why adopt the ontological approach?


How do jobs and skills ontologies help companies? What are the benefits of this approach?


Make it easy to identify skills


A jobs and skills ontology is a strategic asset. It enables companies to build a database of the skills held within the organization. This gives HR teams an exact inventory of all the skills available to employees.


The jobs and skills ontology remains useful over time because it is a dynamic tool. Unlike a fixed inventory at a given date, made obsolete by changes in the company, it adapts to change by enabling new skills to be categorized as they emerge.


The jobs and skills ontology also helps to improve recruitment and training. Indeed, it identifies and measures the skill gaps that exist between the company’s needs and the know-how and interpersonal skills currently held by employees.


In addition, the jobs and skills ontology keeps track of the labor market’s dynamics and the most sought-after skills on the market.


Make the connection between occupations


The jobs and skills ontology maps out the correspondences between your company’s various professions. This makes it an asset for internal mobility. It enables the identification of possible areas of mobility within the organization by revealing the bridges between jobs. Indeed, considering each job as a set of skills makes it possible to evaluate opportunities for internal career moves by observing the proximity between the skills necessary to do different jobs.


The jobs and skills ontology also helps organizations work in project mode. Indeed, it helps identify the most qualified employees based on the project’s needs. This increases companies’ agility by matching the most appropriate skills and profiles to collaborate internally.


Related: [Video] Jobs and skills ontology: Why do HR and HR software companies need it?

Illustration credits: https://www.istockphoto.com/fr/portfolio/Bahau