Embracing a Revolution in Talent Data Management
In the ever-evolving landscape of education and employment, the Learning and Employment Records (LER) ecosystem has emerged as a transformative force. It promises to reshape how we perceive talent, learning, and work. As we stand on the cusp of a new era in talent data management, the question that looms large is how to achieve mass adoption of LER Wallets.
The LER ecosystem’s major assumptions aren’t rooted in technical challenges; the viability of verified credentials, the establishment of governance bodies, and development within the ecosystem have demonstrated that the design is technically feasible. Educational institutions, feeling the pressure to prove their value, have been among the first to embrace this technology with initiatives like badging, micro-credential pathways, and Comprehensive Learner Records (CLRs) gaining momentum. In contrast, many employers have adopted a wait-and-see attitude, essentially saying, “We’ll evaluate the benefits when the LER data starts arriving at our doorstep.”
However, 2024 marks a critical juncture. Either LERs must begin to unequivocally demonstrate their value, or schools may start losing their enthusiasm, leading to a plateau in adoption. Businesses, too, are at a crossroads – they must either begin making decisions informed by LERs or lose interest. The transition to LERs must offer compelling advantages for individuals and employers, sparking a surge in adoption by 2025.
While encouraging and enabling organizations to issue as many credentials as possible is one approach, it lacks a cohesive value proposition and leaves individuals to decide how to collect and utilize and share those credentials. Many will simply add them to their LinkedIn profiles, which, while useful, doesn’t represent a quantum leap in hiring, management, and growth that would drive mass adoption by employers. The crux of the matter lies in the utility of the Wallet or Passport within the ecosystem, providing enough value through data combination and return to entice organizations.
To successfully navigate this new terrain, organizations, especially employers, should be able to build and manage their LER solutions in a way that interoperates with 3rd-party, organizationally agnostic Wallets or Passports. This eliminates redundancy and fragmentation while promoting a unified approach.
However, a significant hurdle is the lack of organizationally agnostic Wallets or Passports capable of generating the necessary data. This predicament stems from a combination of technical challenges and product/user experience challenges. Technical advancements, like standardized protocols and Linked Data formats, are still evolving, and employers are looking to us, the pioneers, to create the common standards used commercially viable products they can adopt.
So, in 2024, commercial solutions for employers must emerge as organizationally agnostic Wallets or Passports that provide better, verifiable data that seamlessly integrates with their existing processes and systems. These solutions should not just be beneficial to organizations but must also independently assist individuals in the hiring process. Employers need to see Wallets or Passports in action, demonstrating that both talent and employers benefit mutually, convincing them that their people would choose to use this tool even if they weren’t required to.
This dynamic mirrors the adoption curve of tools like Slack. Slack gained enterprise adoption after independent teams had embraced it due to its genuine workflow-enhancing qualities. Wallets and Passports must follow the same trajectory, with employers only fully embracing LERs once individuals have willingly adopted effective Wallets or Passports. This highlights the catch-22 scenario – organizations are waiting for people to adopt great Wallets or Passports on their own, while individuals won’t adopt them unless they see organizations leveraging LERs to their advantage.
From a technical standpoint, we believe that ‘Wallets’ basically just help individuals collect and share verified credentials, while Universal Talent Passports (UTPs) leverage credential wallets’ verified credentials along side talent data translated by AI from stories and other evidence, creating a complete talent profile. UTPs are the key to global LER adoption. However, it’s not just about their technical existence; it’s about offering a marketplace of diverse UTP options that cater to both individuals and businesses.
Each UTP should have a distinct focus, design, user experience, and monetization strategy, but they must all deliver rapid value to individuals, becoming an integral part of their daily lives. To achieve mass adoption, these apps must transcend the role of mere career path matchmakers. They need to resonate with the primarily Gen Z and Millennial audience, which often pursues non-linear career journeys, blending work and passions.
A successful UTP should help users explore their interests, passions, and talents, transcending the traditional career mold. It should empower users to collect and curate their unique life stories, weaving together experiences, aspirations, and cultural influences. Collecting talent should become an exhilarating endeavor, akin to collecting treasures, with a clear visualization of one’s value.
The essential component making this possible and accessible for everyone is conversational AI, serving as a guide throughout the app. This makes the app user-friendly and adaptable to each individual’s pace and needs. Using a UTP should become as routine as journaling, a practice that not only fosters self-reflection and planning but also ensures preparedness for future opportunities.
The UTP, in this vision, transcends a mere career tool; it becomes a companion on life’s journey, helping individuals uncover and harness their unique talents, thereby transforming how they perceive themselves. The road to mass adoption is about making these apps indispensable to users’ sense of security and well-being, providing tangible, ongoing benefits, self-worth, and a sense of progress.
In conclusion, the mass adoption of LER Wallets and Passports hinges on creating applications that people want to use independently of any external pressure. They must offer value by empowering individuals to know themselves better, weaving together their life stories, passions, and talents into a compelling narrative. In this pursuit, we have the opportunity to revolutionize not just how we perceive talent but how we perceive ourselves.