By simply defining jobs with skills, your organization can connect talent with work in a more modern, agile way — and better meet our changing business landscape.

For most organizations, the base unit of managing a workforce has traditionally been a job. Job descriptions and titles defined how we thought about work, set salaries and made critical decisions around talent and workforce transformation.


Work has experienced seismic disruptions as we have become more interdependent, knowledge-focused, specialized and flexible about where, when and how we work. As a result, the base unit of work has fundamentally evolved: from jobs to skills.

Skills are now the primary way to define work: how we deploy talent, manage careers and even reward employees. By knowing how work will change and the resulting impact on skills demand, your organizations can upskill and reskill to be ready, and if necessary, locate the right external talent to fit future needs.


When you use skills as a common currency across various HR programs, they become the framework for managing work itself. Employers and employees come together to understand the potential contribution of talent and use that as the basis for pay practices and other talent decisions.


With Mercer’s three simple steps, you can build flexibility and resiliency into your talent practices:


  1. Develop the use case(s)
  2. Identify a skills data set that will meet your needs
  3. Apply a skills framework to your use case


Skills based talent and reward practices


Example skills-based use cases

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