Plugging skills gaps with The Telegraph

Creating a unique competency tool, Digits enabled The Telegraph to assess employees’ skills and recommend learning for career development based on their competency framework.


In today’s ever-evolving society, L&D & talent professionals are challenged with upskilling and developing employees so they can thrive in their careers, and for busy news brands like The Telegraph, finding the capacity for this can be extremely difficult.

In their 2018 Employee Engagement Survey, only 48% of their employees responded favourably to the statement ‘The Telegraph has shown a genuine interest in my career aspirations’. It was also revealed that employees wanted to be more aware of the career opportunities and paths available to them.

Due to the busy nature of a newsroom, there had previously been limited opportunities to provide feedback needed for career progression, as well as little time to complete learning that enhances skills, with the majority being classroom-based.

Already using our glo™ learn LMS, The Telegraph enlisted Digits to design a new digital competency tool, ‘Career Builder’, allowing employees to more effectively understand their skills and manage their careers in line with their new competency framework.


More than just the average skills tool, The Telegraph required employees to be able to assess their own skills, invite managers and peers for 180º & 360º reviews and recommend personalised learning experiences that align with their competency framework.

Tailored to their business competencies, Digits firstly developed a self-assessment that asked employees to rate their skills from ‘not at all like them’ to ‘very much like them’ against a series of adjustable statements. To prevent users from rushing through the assessment without reading and answering the statements properly, they are randomised as well as some being reversed scored.

If learners fall below any of the benchmarks for a category, they will receive relevant learning in their report to help them close any skills gaps.

After completing the first assessment, employees can then invite managers or peers for 180º & 360º reviews. Integrating with their HR system, employees can choose to invite anyone from the system or can add external reviewers using their email address.

To ensure employees swiftly receive feedback, Digits programmed the system to send automatics prompts to the raters via email, with the added option for learners to manually send them out as necessary.

To capture both the learners and raters feedback, Digits created a Telegraph branded PDF report that can be downloaded after both parties have completed the assessment. In the report, learners can view a comparison displaying how they rank in each competency using spider charts, and based on the results, receive a mixture of relevant learning activities to aid career development. These recommendations incorporate a mix of blended learning activities including learning from experience, learning from others and formal learning.


The Telegraph first piloted ‘Career Builder’ to 24 apprentices within their organisation. To give them some context behind ‘Career Builder’, they created a welcome video with their Chief of People Officer, who explained the different aspects of the solution, why it was made and how it could benefit them in their careers. Alongside the video, they also designed a series of help guides, to explain each element of career builder thoroughly to make sure learners are getting the most value for the tool.

In addition, they also had an occupational therapist sit in on the first session to help the apprentices interpret their results and understand their development plans.

After piloting their new competency tool, The Telegraph asked the Apprentices to rate their experience of ‘Career Builder’, overall receiving extremely positive feedback.

Of the 60% of the group that took part in the survey, 70% said the assessments were simple to complete, demonstrating the usability of the system.

The unique feature that enabled learners to request reviews and gain feedback from colleagues for either 180 or 360 reviews was particularly valuable, with 80% saying that their career insights were applicable to their day-to-day job.

Overall 80% had a positive experience when using the solution and 85% said they would recommend to others.

Following the creation of this innovative skills and career management system, Digits and The Telegraph were shortlisted for the Best Learning Technologies Project- Commercial Sector UK at the Learning Technologies Awards.

After the initial success of the project, The Telegraph looks forward to launching their innovative carer solution to the entire organisation.