Upskilling and Reskilling in Uncertain Times:, Second Nature and On Why It’s Time to Double Down (Part 2 of 2)

In a recent panel discussion, Dr. Eli Bendet-Taicher, Head of Learning and Talent Development at, Ariel Hitron, CEO of Second Nature, and CEO Dr. Shay David shared insights into current upskilling and reskilling trends and challenges, the transformative nature of AI, and what it all means for the future of learning and development in HR. 

In part one of this blog series, we shared their thoughts on the importance of investing in talent development, mapping skills and unifying skills language across disparate HR tech systems within organizations. Here are more highlights:  

To see the full session on-demand, click HERE.


Ariel Hitron: How do you consolidate between the macro and micro, especially for a large enterprise that has thousands of employees? On one hand we’re thinking of skills in terms of capabilities, tasks, roles, etc. in the macro environment, then there’s the day-to-day. Where do you spend most of your energy, time and effort? What are the strategies and tactics? 

Shay David: That’s a great question because it’s kind of global versus local. In our system, we have a process we call calibration. We’ve trained our system to basically help automate the building of that job infrastructure, of that skills taxonomy, and we allow organizations that use that intelligence layer to begin to build their job architecture. 

Our system has learned through natural language processing and has analyzed tens of millions of job descriptions and hundreds of millions of CVs to learn, for example, what are those jobs in practice? From that layer, our system can be calibrated for a specific company–different equipment, different locations, different values, etc. We allow customers to start with a labor market data-fed template and then go through a process of validation. Further input to the system then provides more for it to learn and the process can replicate at every level. We want to get tools to the people that are actually in the field–that need to hire people and train people–so that they can use sophisticated AI not to replace themselves, but rather as decision support.

AH: What do you see when you think about the skills gap in broad strokes like corporate level, and then the people who are actually being hired or reskilled into new roles? How do you connect the two?

Eli Bendet-Taicher: Companies really need to first understand what kind of roles make the most impact and what kind of roles they see changing the most. They need to focus on the problematic roles, the revenue-generating roles—all the roles that make a big impact. We started there because it pains more to lose people there than in other departments. The end goal is to cover everything, but when you have a huge monster like Wix or other big companies, it’s a bit difficult to do all the mapping of roles very, very quickly.

You have to understand what the heat map is–where you really need to focus–and start there. Once you do that, and it’s an exercise that works well, then you can implement it for other roles using a similar methodology. Tools really help you do that. AI is a great tool, but you need to do the fine-tuning through continuous calibration. Once you do that, you’re on a roll.

AH: So after you’ve done the mapping, and know where those skill gaps are, how do you actually deliver in a way that drives change? Making a change in behavior within how people do their day-to-day job is really really hard because people generally don’t love change.

SD: The overall digital transformation and disruptive landscape mean that the environment is changing. And when the environment is changing, the question is, how do we respond to that? The customer-facing teams are probably the first to change, so sales and customer service, which use a lot of soft and hard skills. Second is that there are big gaps, generally speaking, in the market around digital skills, particularly for the older generations. If you were a shift manager at a manufacturing facility and your line of business is changing–maybe because it’s now automated or because some manufacturing was shifted abroad or something like that–what do you do next? We think about skills as a ladder and for a lot of people displaced by automation, digital transformation, or now recessionary pressures, without help they’re at risk of falling too many steps down the ladder.

But what if you could learn some of those new digital skills? It doesn’t mean you become a Python programmer and start building robots yourself, but it could mean you learn how to operate drones, which is an emerging job of the future. There are jobs in moving from old energy to new energy, or from old banking to new banking. Those are all a combination of soft and hard skills but mostly focused on digital. And the good news for learners is that many of those skills can actually be learned online using free content from public sources like Coursera, Udemy, or corporate learning programs, all of which could be made to fit those specific roles and those specific skills.

AH: The acceleration of Covid does put a lot of pressure on salespeople, for example, who have these amazing soft skills they’ve honed over many years like empathy and relationship building. You have very tenured employees having to reskill into this new environment. What do you see in your organization? 

EBT: We always listen to our people in action. So if we see issues with active listening or asking powerful questions, for example, we say okay, we need to create training that is specific for that. We also need to understand whether these behaviors are changing post-training. Then we need to really measure that behavior change to understand, will we be able to move the needle there? How does that translate to more revenue? 

We’re trying to correlate our learning data to performance data to revenue data to show ROI. It’s challenging for every L&D professional to correlate their work to business success, but if they’re able to do it, and they have the tools to offer enough insights and data to show it, they’ll get the budget, they’ll get the headcount. We’re not usually viewed as a revenue-generating department but if my KPIs are derivatives of the business KPIs, I can connect myself to the success and show ROI. is a Talent Intelligence Platform designed to help enterprises hire, retain, and develop their workforce, intelligently. Leveraging Responsible AI and real-time labor market data, enterprises unlock talent insights and optimize their workforce effectively to lower attrition, win the war for talent and the great resignation in one, data-driven solution. To learn more book a demo

Upskilling and Reskilling in Uncertain Times:, Second Nature and on Why It’s Time to Double Down

Economic shifts are causing some companies to slow down, lay off or cut back on employee services. Does that mean it’s time to hit the brakes on talent development? 

Absolutely not.

In fact, it’s the perfect time for enterprises to invest more in the reskilling and upskilling of their people. Doing so only helps to better address the new challenges of today’s financial crisis and prepare to fuel productivity when the economy recovers. 

In a recent panel discussion, Dr. Eli Bendet-Taicher, Head of Learning and Talent Development at, Ariel Hitron, CEO of Second Nature, and CEO Dr. Shay David offered insights into current trends and challenges, and what it all means for the future of learning and development in HR. 

To see the full session on-demand, click HERE.


Here are some highlights:


Ariel Hitron: To quote the World Economic Forum, “One in three global organizations is accelerating upskilling or reskilling programs in response to COVID-19. In doing so, they recognize the value of their people — the vast potential of each individual to leverage his or her existing skills to add value beyond their current role and learn new skills in response to changing needs.” 

Backing up a bit, why do you think some enterprises are accelerating upskilling efforts at a time when others are cutting back? 

Shay David: When we talk about acceleration, it’s acceleration of several secular trends that already started years ago–namely the capability to be flexible and work remotely, the capability of doing more knowledge work, the capability of having flexible teams. If we look at the larger trends in the market, a lot of it has been about the move into digital services, digital economy, digital transformation in general.  

COVID didn’t invent any of these trends, it was just the accelerator that forced a lot of people to rethink: What are we doing? What skills does our team need? Are we giving our teams those skills? All of the sudden, businesses found themselves needing to reinvent. And when you reinvent a business, you have to add new skills. At, we focus on understanding what that skills landscape looks like, and with a lot of our customers, we’re definitely seeing that trend. 

AH: Now we’re heading into a slowdown in the market. Hiring is definitely changing. Do you think this will also have an impact on the upskilling, reskilling and learning programs? What are your thoughts on that?

Eli Bendet-Taicher: A lot of companies have been downsizing in the past few weeks and months–but they don’t want to downsize their business. So they’re finding ways to be more effective and productive with fewer people. They may need employees to take on more responsibilities or change roles, which in turn means they need to be reskilled or upskilled through programs that are ready to go.

So I actually think this recession will make companies and organizations actually invest more in L&D, more in reskilling and upskilling programs, because they just have to. They still need to thrive, they still need to bring money to the table, and there may be other changes coming. They may even need to pivot the business at some point, and they’ll need to train their people with everything they have in order to do that.

AH: Okay, so as a business leader you have to do more with less, or more with what you have in terms of human resources. Picking up on that, what do you think learning and development leaders need to do to support that?

EBT: At Wix, we needed to really map the skill set and competencies for each role at the company. You have to be able to see what kinds of roles you have, what kinds of roles you need, and what it will take to deliver the expertise in each skill set for every role. It’s a full understanding of: This is what I want, this is what I have, and what is the gap. From there you can create programs specific to bridging that gap. 

We found we also needed to have a great interoperability policy. If I’m moving a person from one role to another, our organization needs to support that person with upskilling and reskilling so they’re able to do the job the best way they can. At the end of the day, you need to invest in people’s learning and development so they know they have that support. 

AH: Wow, a lot, a lot unpack there. So why don’t we start with the mapping of the skills for each role? Shay, you’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about this challenge. Maybe you can share some of your insights? 

SD: In our view, skills are the atoms that can help define what tasks are; tasks join into roles and roles join into occupations. You can also talk about an interesting hierarchy like capabilities and competencies–there are many different ways to skin the skills cat, if you will–but the bottom line is that you need to have a unified language that consolidates different systems within an organization that are otherwise siloed. 

Think about most of the organizations you’ve met to date. They probably have some sort of human resource information system or some human capital management system, most have learning management systems, probably some sort of onboarding system, employee performance systems, comp and benefit, and so on. Organizations, particularly global enterprises, have six or seven different systems to view their employees. The challenge that we have is that most of those systems don’t speak the same language. So the first order of business is to get the proper language in order to create a cohesive job architecture and skills taxonomy.

In our second post of this series, hear from our panelists about calibrating the macro and micro elements of skills mapping, the demand for hard and soft skills, and how AI can both transform data into actionable insights and enhance–not replace–the human experience of work. is a Talent Intelligence Platform designed to help enterprises hire, retain, and develop their workforce, intelligently. Leveraging Responsible AI and real-time labor market data, enterprises unlock talent insights and optimize their workforce effectively to lower attrition, win the war for talent and the great resignation in one, data-driven solution. To learn more book a demo