skillstx brand green with TAG

SFIA Digital Badges: The Future is a Skills-Based Organization


The world of work is changing. In the past, companies had to find the right talent to fill job openings; today, as skills shortages and excessive demand mean that suitable candidates are not always in ready supply, they need to develop that talent from within their workforce as well, even more than in the past. This requires a new way of thinking about hiring and onboarding employees and developing new and existing employees, which leads us to the concept of skills-based organizations. A skills-based organization is one where employees are evaluated not only on their current role profile or job description but are recognized and valued for their previous experience and unique mix of acquired skills and competencies.

What Is a Skills-Based Organization?

A skills-based organization is an organization that focuses on the skills and competencies of its employees. The skills of the employee are the most important factor in determining the value of that employee, and this is true regardless of what job title they have. A company that uses a traditional hierarchy with titles like “manager” or “director” sees its employees as cogs in a machine, performing tasks based on what is required by their job description. However, with a focus on skills and competencies instead of titles and hierarchies, companies can elevate themselves from being just another cog in the machine to one where every employee contributes directly to creating value for customers by developing their own unique set of skills which may be combined with those already present to create innovations or solve problems within an organization.

How SFIA Digital Badges Can Help

As you search for new employees, you probably have many questions: What skills do I need in my workforce? How can I ensure that all my team members have the needed skills? How do I ensure that not too many people are hired for positions they’re not qualified for?

If these questions sound familiar, then you’ll want to consider SFIA digital badges.

SFIA digital badges are a new way to earn recognition for skills and achievements in the digital economy. They’re based on the trusted SFIA framework. This is a huge advantage, as it means you can be sure that the skills demonstrated in your workforce have been verified by an Accredited SFIA Assessor. You can have your own internal Assessors trained and accredited or utilize external Assessors.

SFIA digital badges are a great way to create a skills-based workforce. They ensure that every team member is recognized for their unique set of specialisms, that they have the right set of skills for their role, and that not too many people are hired for positions they’re not suitably experienced for. This will help you build a more productive workplace!

SFIA digital badges are globally recognized—meaning that your organization will attract candidates from across borders, which will help you grow at an unprecedented rate!

Examples of Skills-Based Organizations

Here are three examples of skills-based organizations that we can learn from IBM, Microsoft and Cisco.

IBM: IBM’s Chief Diversity Officer Lindsay-Rae McIntyre said that their organization has been hiring for “a range of skill sets, not job titles” for years. They have a high demand for diverse talent across departments and locations—so much so that they created an internal talent pool within the company to help support diverse hiring efforts throughout the year.

Microsoft: Microsoft is also known for being a skills-based organization. When they need someone with certain expertise to solve a problem or create new products, they look beyond standard HR practices to find them—even if they don’t fit into a traditional job description or title. For example, when building new features on Bing Maps (a mapping service like Google Maps), developers are encouraged to “think outside the box” when it comes time to hire new team members who bring skillsets outside those typically associated with software engineers or data scientists—such as UX design or project management experience!

Cisco: SFIA has allowed Cisco to look beyond traditional training courses. Regarding employees and their skill development, 66% of Cisco-certified professionals prefer self-paced eLearning for training, which makes sense since self-paced learning is fast becoming the most popular method for everyday job training and skill building. In fact, Cisco is investing in training as a recruitment and retention benefit, which means that they’re helping employees get better at their jobs and making it easier for them to build careers while staying at Cisco. This is an important step forward toward a dynamic company culture, where training and development are seen not just as fundamental components of the company’s success but also as benefits that keep existing employees happy and on board through the long haul.

The Need for Skills-Based Organizations

In a skills-based organization, employees and job applicants are measured based on their skills and competencies, not just theoretical knowledge. A candidate’s skill set is evaluated before being hired for a particular job. If a person has the necessary experience for the position, he or she will be given a chance to impress during interviews. If not, then that individual’s resume moves down on the list of potential candidates until it reaches an acceptable point where they won’t be considered anymore. This process helps ensure that talent is matched with positions in which they can thrive—and helps eliminate waste in hiring processes by eliminating hires who have been determined not to possess enough proficiency for specific roles (or who would require too much training and development).

While this system may seem common sense today, it was revolutionary when it first emerged in the early 20th century due to its focus on employee development instead of just acquiring new people every time there was an opening at work or school (as had previously been done). It also gave managers more control over their teams by allowing them greater flexibility when deciding how people were developed based on their needs rather than relying solely upon what someone already knows when determining whether someone should receive additional training and development.

The ability to consistently confirm not just knowledge but skills proficiency and fully developed professional competency, offered by the SFIA Assessment Scheme and the award of SFIA Digital Badges or Credentials, is a further revolution for an industry that has previously relied on training certificates that demonstrate only a theoretical understanding of a subject and not real working experience.

The workforce of the future will be created for those with the right skills and competencies.

The skills gap is a problem for both employees and employers. Employers need to prepare for this shift in how we think about skills by updating their hiring practices and making sure their development programs are up to date, but individuals also need to update their thinking on what it means to be successful in today’s job market. We need an evolution in how we think about skills, which is why Digital Badges are so important: they allow individuals to demonstrate their experience (skills and competencies) and what they know (knowledge). Many university degree programs include work placements as a way of moving beyond knowledge and starting to develop skills – the Institute of Coding utilizes SFIA for this purpose so that graduates from these types of degrees come out with SFIA-based digital badges.


As the workforce of tomorrow becomes more skills-based and technology-focused, organizations will need to adapt. This means recognizing that employees aren’t just workers—they’re also learners who must be supported in their development, and this development needs to focus on experience to turn the knowledge into skills and competencies.