Skills are the new currency at BraveNewTalent.

There’s a new world of work coming. There’s no doubt that work is moving to the contingent model, with people bringing in skills for the short-term, completing projects and moving on. Jobs have changed, and so have their requirments. The skills an employer needs now, they won’t need in the future. The shift to the knowledge sector has created a recruiting problem. New types of work are creating new functions in organisations. When sourcing in the past, recruiters looked searched for job titles, and people who had done similar jobs for competitor companies, using number of years in the role as a differentiator between one candidate and another.

Here is the problem. Many of the roles being recruited for now didnt exist even 18 months ago. The shift to the knowledge economy has changed that, and outside of the knowledge sector, it’s been a jobless recovery. Even the jobs that have remained have added new skill requirements, that were not forecast by education, creating an acute skills shortage. What does all this mean moving forward?

Skills are becoming the new currency. The difference between a contingent workforce, and a permanent workforce is that new hires need all the skills required in the job now, rather than the potential to develop in the future. There’s also less concern for long term fit. Work is temporary and immediate. This changes the requirements on both sides. Hiring will become less about fit, potential and experience, and more about current capability. in this environment, skills are the new currency for people to market in the quest for employment.

Yesterday I got to get a look at the new developments on community platform Brave New Talent, and to talk about where the product is going. I know it has taken a few years for the platform to take shape, but last years investment has seen founder Lucian Tarnowski going on a hiring spree, concentrating on developers and programmers to build in new functions. I think the product still has a way to go before it’s fully finished, but I like the thinking behind the way they are going, and I think it is worth getting on-board with now.

Last weeks update introduced skills on profiles, both for members and companies. Profiles are built on skills, using a slider for self ranking, and peer ranking is coming, to make it even more valuable. The feature I really like about  Monsters beknown, is that recommendations are for skills rather than personal opinion on job performance. This is much more relevent from the love fest that is LinkedIn recommendations. It’s good to see Brave New Talent looking to develop this further.

The useful bit in Brave New Talent is the matching of people and employers by skills. Companies are recommended to individuals to follow based on the skills match, and their past hiring. People who work for this company have these skills, and this company have recruited for these skills in the past, while recommending follows to companies based on the same criteria. Following and connecting works both ways, between companies and people, and people and profiles.

The next phase for the skills feature is developing skills communities with real community features, that enable members to connect and communicate with each other, based on their skills. This way, micro-communities will be able to exchange information, advice, help each other or just connect. It remains to be seen how these skills communities will develop, and what shape they will take, but it is an interesting concept to watch evolve. Similar to Google+ circles, grouping people and filtering content according to relevance, recommendation or targeted sharing makes a lot of sense. It also enables employers to take an active part, concentrating on those skills communities with the most relevance to them, tailoring their employer brand message to audience. Relevance of audience and message being the all important thing here, determined by skills.

BraveNewTalent are trying to position themselves as the Talented Network. It might seem like playing on semantics, but whilst not everyone wants to be labeled as talent, they have no objection to being ranked as talented. Skills communities and networks are not for everyone, or every employer, just those who fit the criteria. My definition of skilled is talented, making the skills profiles the perfect place to start.

Profiles on BraveNewTalent are free for employers and candidates. You should go and have a look at what has changed, and keep track of the new features as they evolve over the next few months. They are all about skills, skills communities, skills connections and skills profiles, perfect for the new world of work. Having been featured as the lead story on TechCrunch on Friday, following Tarnowskis talk at Davos, all eyes are on the platform to see what is coming next from the Talented Network.