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How data-driven career development could be the answer to modern workforce challenges

By Shandel McAuliffe | |6 minute read
How data-driven career development could be the answer to modern workforce challenges

Korn Ferry’s The Global Talent Crunch study shows that there’s a growing talent deficit in the APAC region, which is expected to rise to 47 million by 2030.

Organisations looking for ways to mitigate this by up-skilling are confronted with challenges of their own, including difficulty hiring from within, attrition, and adapting to new technology.

It may sound easy, but up-skilling and re-skilling current talent can be tough, especially when it involves creating career development opportunities in a large enterprise. This, coupled with the challenges of running a hybrid workforce, can result in career progression taking a backseat. However, given that job dissatisfaction is at an all-time high, career development is essential for staff retention.


Engaging and connecting with employees

Employers can address this by building loyalty and a sense of belonging, whether through ongoing career opportunities, skills development programmes, increased spending on external learning opportunities or working closely with managers to identify gaps.

There are several methods to effectively connect with candidates in today’s working environment. Referrals, expanding your tech stack, and investing in recruitment teams, including using sourcing tools to deal with talent shortages and proactively attract the right talent, is a good start.

Developing employee training activities and programmes that are suited to a hybrid-working environment, and scheduling regular catch-ups between employees and managers using an employee performance management software, is also beneficial. This can give organisations insights into how staff are feeling and help them take the appropriate steps to offer support as needed.

Organisations can also introduce thoughtful initiatives, like delivering surprise care packages and establishing a working-from-home stipend to help employees on the home front while home working. Additional holidays, like a global wellness day every quarter to mitigate burnout and giving employees a bit more time away from work in an age where unplugging is a perpetual challenge, can also make a big difference.

Using graph technology to futureproof your business

Equally, incorporating learning and skilling into organisational strategy to futureproof the business can be a win/win for both employers and employees. Graph data technology can provide better insights on employees’ skills, learning and development trends. These automated recommendations can help HR leaders and employees manage their career development pathways and mobility, including talent up-skilling.

Graph data technology has rapidly become an invaluable tool to help map out skills gaps, find hidden talent, and identify connections to other people working in a company. It also effectively connects disparate data that adapts to changing requirements.

For example, employee A and employee B could be working on similar datasets for a single project in two completely different departments, with no knowledge of what the other is doing. With graph databases, organisations can leverage data relationships to generate competitive advantage and significant business insights for different purposes.

A combination of employee-centric programmes and data management tools that capture and organise relationships and associations between concepts, can be a boon for organisations as they navigate talent shortages in the future.

Not only can up-skilling and re-skilling save time and money, it can boost employee satisfaction and retention in the long term. It’s a great way to reassure employees during a time of accelerated tech adoption when everyone fears their job runs the risk of becoming redundant. It also eliminates stagnation and fosters a culture of continuous growth and development. By combining cutting-edge technology with employee-focused policies, organisations can safely navigate workforce challenges that lie ahead.

Peter Philipp is the general manager for Australia and New Zealand at Neo4j



The practice of actively seeking, locating, and employing people for a certain position or career in a corporation is known as recruitment.


Training is the process of enhancing a worker's knowledge and abilities to do a certain profession. It aims to enhance trainees' work behaviour and performance on the job.

Shandel McAuliffe

Shandel McAuliffe

Shandel has recently returned to Australia after working in the UK for eight years. Shandel's experience in the UK included over three years at the CIPD in their marketing, marcomms and events teams, followed by two plus years with The Adecco Group UK&I in marketing, PR, internal comms and project management. Cementing Shandel's experience in the HR industry, she was the head of content for Cezanne HR, a full-lifecycle HR software solution, for the two years prior to her return to Australia.

Shandel has previous experience as a copy writer, proofreader and copy editor, and a keen interest in HR, leadership and psychology. She's excited to be at the helm of HR Leader as its editor, bringing new and innovative ideas to the publication's audience, drawing on her time overseas and learning from experts closer to home in Australia.

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