Skills Inventory: How To Conduct One and Why It’s Important

A skills inventory is an internal company resource used by the human resources department. It’s a database that documents and tracks the capabilities and experience of employees within a company. Typically, it’a a comprehensive and fluid list of skills, education, experiences and capabilities.

Although no one can predict exactly what skills a workforce will require in ten, five, or even two years, it is obvious that businesses and employees alike must be flexible. Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic has made this point very clear. Business leaders are rapidly fashioning new ways of serving customers. Employees at crucial work locations must face the realities of social distance Or teleworking from makeshift home offices. Today, the majority of us employ abilities that were underdeveloped or underutilized only one month ago.

A skills inventory can assist you in coordinating business objectives with workforce performance whether you’re managing through a business disruption or conducting business as usual. This pandemic may provide the ideal opportunity to advance your skills inventory effort, if you’ve been putting it off.

An employee’s skills, education, and experiences are compiled into a skills inventory. Skills inventories record the qualifications, characteristics, and aptitudes of your workforce. A centralized skills inventory offers a point-in-time perspective of the workforce’s skills (and skill gaps). However, the system should be dynamic and updated frequently to take into account changes to the team, skills, and credentials.

Businesses that have a thorough understanding of the skills and talents of their workforce are better able to equip leaders with strategic information that can guide short- and long-term planning and decisions. The company – and its workforce – are better prepared to thrive as new employees are hired and current employees gain skills that support the company’s goals.

Knowing what a skills inventory is and why they are crucial will help you create one, so keep reading to learn how. Determine the competencies and skills that are crucial to your organization by starting there. Determine the levels of expertise (beginner, intermediate, advanced proficiency) that you require as well. Ideally, you have a competency management system to record your list of skills and competencies, like Avilar’s WebMentor SkillsTM. You prevent inconsistencies that may result from staff members using their own labels to describe roles by starting with your list. For example, “computer programming,” “engineering,” or “coding. ”.

Then have employees complete a self-assessment. The most effective way to give employees the flexibility of accessing the assessment around-the-clock is through an online skill assessment based on their role. You should probably add manager assessments to the self-assessments because we all have a tendency to exaggerate our abilities. Also consider expert competency assessments.

You’ll have centralized results for simple access and analysis once all skill assessments are finished. A good competency management system will accommodate various data interpretations. Your entire workforce, particular departments, a certain job role, a certain geographic area, a certain product line, or other factors that are significant to your strategy may all benefit from skill analysis.

Before Disaster Strikes: Building Your Crisis Management Plan From Your Skills Inventory is a white paper we invite you to read if you’re considering creating a skills inventory to support business continuity efforts. Alternatively, get in touch with us to talk about how WebMentor Skills can assist with skill inventories in both routine business operations and a crisis.

Skills Inventory

Why is a skills inventory important?

A skills inventory can benefit a company in a number of ways, including:

Learn more about your employees

You can learn more about your employees and their capabilities with the aid of a skills inventory, which may reveal abilities you were previously unaware of. When it’s time to hire new employees or when you’re looking internally to fill a position, this information may be crucial. Additionally, you may have the chance to get to know your staff members better personally, strengthening the bonds that exist between them and the company.

Find potential skills gaps

The ability to compare the skills of your employees to the skills you need to develop is perhaps the biggest advantage of a skills inventory. You have now identified a gap between the skills you have and the skills you need, for instance, if your company wants to invest more in social media marketing but all of your marketing personnel only have traditional marketing skills. Knowing where your business’s skills gaps are will help you make better strategic decisions about how to grow and who to hire.

Better employee assignments

Knowing each employee’s skill set will help you make sure they are working on tasks that are appropriate for their abilities. When a new project for your company is about to begin, you can make a list of the skills you’ll need, then look through your database for the candidates who have those skills the best. Better employee assignments could boost output and productivity throughout your entire company.

Find training opportunities

A skills inventory also identifies business-wide training opportunities. You can determine which of your employees need to acquire particular skills and which employees could do so. You can then hire someone from outside to lead training sessions for your employees if no one on your staff has the necessary experience. Finding these training opportunities is particularly crucial for fundamental skills that may be necessary for your line of work.

What is a skills inventory?

An assessment of a company’s employees’ current skill sets is done through a skills inventory. It frequently lists the key competencies needed by the business, the employees who possess them, and the level of proficiency for each employee in each competency. Skills inventories are frequently used by businesses of all sizes to guide their strategic decision-making.

How to create a skills inventory

You can follow these five steps to create a skills inventory for your company:

1. Create a list of desired skills

Consider the skills you want your staff to possess, and make a list of as many skills as you can across various departments. The more complete your list of desired competencies, the more useful it will be. When making your list, take into account the range of projects your company works on and any skills you might need to advance your company. Make a list that is as specific as you can as well. For instance, instead of identifying which employees are proficient in computer programming, identify the specific coding languages they may be familiar with.

2. Separate skills based on competency

Sort the special abilities on your list according to their level of proficiency. For instance, you might list “Novice,” “Intermediate,” and “Expert” ratings under each skill. This might make it easier for you to tell who is just familiar with a skill from who is very knowledgeable about it. Then, when you need someone who is skilled in a particular area, you can focus your search on those with the greatest level of competency.

3. Choose a method for tracking

You have a few options for tracking your skills inventory, depending on the size of your company and the number of employees. Smaller companies might prefer to utilize a straightforward spreadsheet or even just a typed document. For a company with hundreds or even thousands of employees, this system probably wouldn’t work. Businesses of a larger size can track their results much more effectively by using specialized database software.

Whatever method you decide on, find a system that enables you to easily organize and search through your results. An efficient skills inventory is one that you can quickly search and update to find the data you require.

4. Begin contacting employees

Establish a schedule and procedure for gathering information from your employees. Direct manager-employee interviews are an option for smaller businesses. This task will probably need to be assigned to different managers or the HR department in larger businesses. Also available are self-assessment questionnaires and tests for skill assessment. Some questions you can ask your employees include:

5. Update your skills inventory regularly

The requirements of your company and your employees’ skills evolve over time. Employees could learn new skills, or you could hire fresh talent. To ensure that your skills inventory accurately reflects the current skill set of your employees, it’s critical to regularly update it. Prior to beginning a major project or when you are looking to hire someone is when you should update your skills inventory.


What are skills and management inventories?

How Do I Create a Skills Inventory?
  1. Step 1: Determine Skills to Be Included. Work together with executive leadership to determine the skills that are essential for the company to have in order to achieve its objectives.
  2. Step 2: Assess Skills. …
  3. Step 3: Build a Matrix. …
  4. Step 4: Create a Plan to Strengthen Weak Areas.

Why is it important to take inventory of your skills?

An organization’s employees’ skills, education, and experiences are compiled into a skills inventory. Employees are an organization’s greatest assets.

What are talent inventories?

A skills inventory gives you a quick snapshot of the abilities and skills your workforce currently possesses. It can assist you in identifying skill gaps and give you a clear picture of how your workforce needs to develop or change. Skills inventories are meant to be dynamic. As your company grows so should your skills inventory.

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