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Exclusive: Curbing staff and skill gaps with AbilityMap
Fri, 4th Nov 2022
FYI, this story is more than a year old

With chronic staff and skills shortages plaguing industries across the globe, having a good overall understanding of the people within a workforce is crucial.

AbilityMap is an Australian-based company that sets out to help address these challenges with its next-generation human assessment technology.

Founded as the result of an earlier idea, 'Talent House', in 2004 by CEO and Co-Founder Mike Erlin, the company has evolved to become a one-stop shop for enterprises wanting a cohesive and well-adapted workforce.

Since partnering with Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer Kevin Chandler in 2014, Erlin has grown the business to serve clients across the Eastern Seaboard, with the two combining their skills in recruitment and HR technology.

"We look at a job, a function, a team and identify the degree to which a person – or group of people—  have or don't have what is needed," says Erlin when explaining the purpose of AbilityMap.

"When you do those things, you are then in a position to determine where your peoples' strengths should best be placed and whether they can do it easily or if they need some extra support. With AbilityMap, you know how to place people that thrive in their work."

Erlin says he likes to say the company has three distinctive solutions as part of its offerings. 

A Build solution can be used for somebody who is building a new team or expanding their team, and this acts as the internal/external talent-acquisition side of AbilityMap. Erlin says it is about defining what a successful 'new' looks like, and then comparing people to see how well they suit the role.

Another solution is Optimise, which focuses on an existing team. This helps organisations take stock of their existing talent and abilities, and comes in to identify where the friction blocks are so they can be hit head-on and raise productivity.

This is further enforced by understanding the drivers of success within that team and how an existing group of people compares to it.

Finally, Transform is the solution where Erlin says they are seeing the most traction. This relates heavily to career transitions when people are looking to move from what they've been doing to what they could do. AbilityMap will show them the array of capabilities where they can apply their strengths successfully and also enjoy doing it.

"It's about moving people within your organisation; it's about realigning the internal capability to the requirements of the business by knowing what's actually needed, but finding people who naturally – inherently— dig doing it," says Erlin.

When looking at the state of staffing in the tech industry, Erlin says he believes the most important thing for a business is to realise the liquid gold they have in their existing team and then engage them as a partner.

He says that AbilityMap can help create more insightful outcomes as they are backed up by human-centric research and development.

"AbilityMap changes the conversation by 'mapping' the actual criteria for success in a role, function or team with the strengths of a person – in the role, in the business and considering a change or, outside the business looking to spend their valuable time elsewhere.

"It's really important to recognise that our employees have more options than ever before. It's the candidates who are now driving the bus."

On top of this, Erlin says that in order to move forward, companies need to invest in finding out employees' purposes and passions and see how it lines up with the purpose needs of the company.

"That's the mindset that I believe companies need to win today. They need to shift from a top-down mindset to one of partnership. AbilityMap gives companies the opportunity to walk that talk."