Accenture’s Skills-First Approach is Paving the Way for a Diverse and Agile Workforce

During the tumultuous times of the COVID-19 pandemic, Accenture, the renowned consulting giant, embarked on a remarkable journey of transformation. Embracing a skills-first approach, the company shifted its focus from qualifications to the prowess of individuals, recognizing the value of digital and learning agility in an ever-evolving world.

Amidst the pandemic's challenges, Accenture managed to hire an impressive 100,000 people. A noteworthy revelation was that half of these new recruits—a staggering 50,000 individuals—didn't possess academic degrees. Instead, they exhibited a hunger for learning and a passion for career growth—qualities that resonated with Accenture's vision for building an agile, future-ready organization.

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Fueling this success was the result of a decade-long HR reset, wherein Accenture transformed into a skills-first company. The critical component of this transformation was their collaboration with Workday and their cutting-edge Skills Cloud platform. For the past seven years, Accenture has been co-investing with Workday, actively participating in product enhancement, and implementing most of Workday's HR products for its clients.

One of the key advantages of the Skills Cloud platform is its ability to create a targeted skills taxonomy to manage a whopping 12 million skills across the organization. For a company with a staggering 750,000 employees, innovation and automation became vital in creating skill profiles and career trajectories for each individual. Skills Cloud expertly assigns skills to employees based on their CV, project work, learning and development records, meetings, and even chat interactions. This holistic approach ensures a comprehensive and accurate skills profile for each employee, facilitating efficient skills-to-job matching.

Job titles are no longer the sole determinant of an employee's capabilities. Accenture's Managing Director, Filip Gilbert, emphasized that talents and skills for a particular function or project hold far more weight. As employees progress in their careers, change professions, or get promoted, their profile evolves to support their future roles within Accenture.

Beyond building an agile workforce, Accenture's focus on diversity and inclusion is equally prominent. With a commitment to achieving 30% female managing directors by 2025 and providing equitable benefits such as shared parental leave, trans-inclusive health care, and disability accommodation assistance tools, the company places high importance on fostering an inclusive environment.

In line with their goal of being the most diversified organization, Accenture places great emphasis on employability and skills development. The HR team diligently strives to keep all 750,000 employees happy, relevant, and employable. For the vast employee base in India, this takes on even greater significance, as Accenture impacts entire communities and families as a major employer.

Furthermore, Accenture's genuine commitment to diversity extends beyond the mere tick-box exercise. The company prioritizes creating an environment where every individual feels at home, a place where their uniqueness is valued and they can be themselves without reservation. The focus on diversity and inclusion supports the company's skills-based approach, where varied perspectives and opinions enrich teams and the organization as a whole.

As the world continues to evolve at a rapid pace, Accenture's unwavering dedication to a skills-first approach and diversity will undoubtedly position the company for continued success. In an era where adaptability and innovation reign supreme, Accenture's journey stands as a shining example of how prioritizing skills and embracing diversity can create a resilient, future-proof workforce ready to face any challenge that comes their way.