Growing Market for Skills-Based Talent Strategies | 2022 in Review

Organizations are craving validated operational skills management data to bring certainty in uncertain times.

2022 was an unbridled success for Kahuna and cemented the importance of operational skills management as a mission-critical process within our core verticals of Field Services, Energy, Healthcare, and Manufacturing. A huge thank you to our new and existing customers for the opportunity to work with you on these important initiatives. In addition to strong customer acquisition, we saw solid expansion and engagement within our install base. I wanted to provide some personal reflection on the state of the market and our performance as we reflect on 2022.


Operational Skills Management is an Essential Business Imperative

Learn why the traditional approach to skills and competency management won’t work for environments with highly technical skills. 

State of the Skills Management Market

Throughout 2022, the conversation around skills-based talent strategies grew exponentially. Red Thread Research released a new report on the skills-tech marketplace; G2 added a new “Skills Management Software” category; McKinsey, Deloitte, and Forbes have all published multiple articles on skills; and Kahuna’s Skills Matrix Template and Guide for building a sustainable skills management program continues to receive record downloads.

As the topic of skills and skills-based talent strategies has grown throughout the market, we’ve sharpened our focus to align with operational outcomes, emphasizing the importance of operational skills management. Operational skills are those that are essential for an organization to operate the business and must be validated think of operating heavy machinery on the manufacturing plant floor, caring for patients in the ICU, or drilling for oil on an offshore rig.

In our conversations with customers and prospects alike, operational skilling proves to be a real need. The impending effects of COVID, talent shortages, the economic state, and countless supply chain disruptions are causing business leaders to be more strategic with operational needs. They are eager to understand how validated workforce skills can impact operational success, and better equip them to build operational capability and resiliency.


Competency and Skills-Based Staffing Models in Healthcare

We’re seeing notable growth in operational skilling among our healthcare clients and prospects as nursing shortages increase significantly. Across healthcare, nursing is the nation’s largest profession and is experiencing exponential rates of burnout and labor turnover. Nursing World reports 89% of healthcare organizations are experiencing staffing shortages, with over 50% saying it’s a serious problem. Wolters Kluwer’s research shows that the U.S. will need 1.1 million nurses by 2030. Yet by 2025, it’s expected there will be a nursing shortage between 250,000 to 400,000 nurses. For this reason, organizations are placing more emphasis on competency and skills-based staffing models. This ensures the right number of nurses with the right mix of skills are taking care of their patients, and helps provide nurses with a more defined path for career growth and development.

Healthcare organizations are using modern competency management and evidence-based clinical information solutions to ensure a safe work environment and provide a rich learning and development experience for nurses. Learn more in this joint webinar with Kahuna, Wolters Kluwer, and Intermountain Healthcare.

Skills-Based Strategies Enable Resiliency in Heavy Industry

Throughout 2022, we saw an increased focus on operational skilling across manufacturing, energy, and field service organizations. As market conditions, new technologies, and an aging heavy industry workforce threaten operational capabilities, leaders are becoming more aware of how implementing a skills-based talent strategy can enable more resilient operations. At the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC), competency assurance and safe operations were key conversation themes. At the American Manufacturing Summit (AMS), building a more resilient manufacturing workforce, engaging the frontline worker with more clear career development, and training more effectively were key messages. No matter the industry, operational skills management validates workforce skills, knowledge, abilities, experiences, and certifications, ultimately enabling the business to meet the needs of the business today, and as they plan for the future.

Kahuna's Continued Growth in the Skills-Based Tech Market

The focus on Operational Skilling described above was reflected in Kahuna’s performance throughout 2022. Q4 marked the 5th consecutive quarter at or above forecast for the company, demonstrating real momentum in the wake of uncertainty experienced throughout COVID.

It was the responsible growth in our core verticals, each satisfying mission-critical use cases, that was most satisfying for me. It takes three elements to make this possible: strong customer advocates who want to make a difference for their organizations, a complimentary strong go-to-market and customer success team from Kahuna, and a reliable technology platform that is delivering on customer expectations.

In 2022 we doubled down on our historical approach of working with leading organizations in specific industries. A few highlights include:

  • Powering a leading Field Services Organization in automating the dispatch of technicians based on validated competence for specific equipment and customer environments.
  • Digitizing Nursing Orientation and Annual Competency Validation for a leading Healthcare Organization across a large multi-state system.
  • Empowering a leading Renewables Organization to validate the operational skills required to meet current and future demand for specific capabilities.
  • Partnering with a global multi-brand Veterinary Organization to build a business case for digitizing the collection and use of validated skills data.

Strong customer acquisition was accompanied by strong employee growth within the Kahuna Ohana. We were able to attract some amazing talent across the organization as well as recognize professional development within our ranks. Again, this only happens because we are fortunate to provide exciting opportunities to work on important initiatives with the who’s who within respective industries.

Finally, recognizing the dynamic nature of technology and the tremendous opportunity ahead, we continued to invest heavily in our Engineering team as they modernize the Kahuna platform. Hitting major milestones in our Maui UX development journey in 2022 was a tremendous accomplishment for the Kahuna Engineering team. Additionally, the foundation for “Insights” (Kahuna’s next-generation Analytics) has been deployed. The impact of these advancements will be felt throughout 2023 and beyond.  

I am very proud of what we accomplished together in 2022 and more certain than ever about the relevance of our mission at Kahuna. Talk with an expert to learn more about operational skills management with Kahuna. 

Cheers to the new year! 
Jai Shah, Kahuna CEO and Cofounder