Visier acquires Paris-based employee skills startup

People analytics company Visier acquired Boostrs, a Paris-based skills mapping startup. It's part of an HR industrywide shift to understand employees by their skills.

The drive to understand employee skills is leading to new product development and acquisitions. In the latter category, Visier Inc., a people analytics company based in Vancouver, said today it is acquiring the assets of Boostrs, a Paris-based startup founded in 2017 that makes a skills mapping engine. The purchase price was not disclosed.

HR vendors, such as Workday, which recently announced a tool for translating skills defined differently by third parties, are trying to index and organize employee capabilities by their abilities. One of the reasons for this push is a rapid change in what skills are in demand. LinkedIn found that skill sets for jobs have changed by about 25% since 2015, in research published earlier this year.

Since 2015, some job skills have either increased or decreased in importance, while others are entirely new, according to LinkedIn. For example, in 2015, the top software and IT services skills in the U.S. were software development lifecycle, enterprise software and software as a service. By 2021, AWS developer, SQL and Python became the leading skills for software and IT services, and entirely new skills not on the list seven years ago include React, Jira and Microsoft Azure.

Boostrs uses natural language processing to discover the skills from job descriptions, resumes, performance review systems and other sources, and maps the skills to a standard taxonomy, said Dave Weisbeck, CSO at Visier.

The Boostrs system can help a recruiter, for instance, match a resume to a job description to see if there's a good fit, Weisbeck said. He added that companies pick and choose what information they want to put into a system.

[Employees] should have better visibility into opportunities that fit their skills.
Stacia GarrCo-founder and principal analyst, RedThread Research

The current labor market, where there are more jobs than people, is helping with employer interest in skills management, Weisbeck said. Employees have to reskill to keep up with technological changes, which means finding out what skills employees have and what skills a company might still need.

Skills development also requires an employee investment, and employers need to consider how the employee benefits, said Stacia Garr, co-founder and principal analyst at RedThread Research.

Employees "should have better visibility into opportunities that fit their skills," Garr said.

Employers will better understand what skills they have, which can help with strategic workforce planning and learning strategy development. She said it could also enable the mobility of employees to help guide where they are needed.

Patrick Thibodeau covers HCM and ERP technologies for TechTarget Editorial. He's worked for more than two decades as an enterprise IT reporter.

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