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Delivering Skills-First Careers Powered by AI

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Deutsche Post DHL Group (DPDHL) is the world’s leading logistics company. DPDHL is made up of a family of close-knit business divisions all working together to meet customers’ needs.

For DPDHL, it is important to focus on what excellence looks like in this digital world and how its people can adapt to that change. With the pace of change moving at incredible speed, and new skills becoming increasingly vital in today’s world of work, DPDHL turned to AI to help align skills with future challenges for the business.

A major part of DPDHL’s 2025 talent strategy is identifying the skills currently in the team today and uncovering potential skills that are relevant to tomorrow. One of the biggest challenges tied to this objective is how to bring in a skills ontology that can reflect the differences between desk-based roles and field roles, such as those handling and delivering parcels. This is where AI comes into play.

"Cornerstone is an AI-based tool that has really changed the way we look at the future world for us. At the click of a button, we will be able to identify what might be the next career move for an airside handler or a supervisor in a warehouse, and what skills they have that might be transferable to other parts of the business, or that they’d like to develop in order to be an interesting candidate for another division or another country. It opens up endless possibilities."
Meredith Taghi
VP Group Learning Talent and Platforms at Deutsche Post DHL

Why Cornerstone?

DPDHL turned to Cornerstone’s skills ontology offering – an AI-powered skills engine that identifies capabilities within the organisation, which can then be matched to jobs within the company and pinpoint potential skills gaps.

In choosing the right partner, DPDHL set out clear objectives to answer both the needs of its employees – fluid career paths – and the needs of the business – retaining its talent and futureproofing itself.

DPDHL is introducing Cornerstone’s technology to see what the next career move might be for an airside handler or supervisor in a warehouse, using AI to pinpoint the transferable skills. Once the skills are out on the table, the employee will then choose what they’d like to develop in order to move up or across into a new career path, opening up many possibilities and mapping out their future with the company.

Choosing this strategic skills-first approach to development means that employees at DPDHL are continually growing and learning, setting career paths that are not necessarily linear, and instead completely personalised to them.

The Results

A structured career path. Beyond matching employees to opportunities, DPDHL aspires to offer employees a way to keep career development in sight on an ongoing basis – from planning future roles to receiving suggestions to develop the necessary skills.

Millions saved on external recruitment costs. As employees are able to envisage their future at DPDHL, fewer are leaving and there is a decreasing need to hire externally. In fact, DPDHL anticipate a drop of more than 10% in external recruiting resources, saving millions.

More visibility to internal recruiters. DPDHL enables its recruiters better visibility of the wider internal talent pools beyond received applications for a position. That way, employees will have a way to “raise their hand” if open for new challenges and recruiters will be able to see their matches without a need for an active application.

Both a talent magnet and talent developer. DPDHL wants its people to grow, and for that to be celebrated. It may feel hard on managers when employees move teams and departments at first, but in the long-term, people are engaged, their experiences are improved and the business is overall more efficient and effective.

Sense of purpose. Thanks to AI and Cornerstone, employees will be engaged and feel like they have a sense of purpose in the workplace, which is one of the most important attributes that people look for in an organisation today.

Plugging the skills gap. From a HR perspective, AI allows DPDHL to identify skills gaps which otherwise would go unnoticed until it is a bigger problem. This better prepares the company for the future and as a result, DPDHL becomes a more sustainable business in the long run.

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