Human Resources in any organization requires a constantly evolving strategic approach to identify and fulfil gaps in the work, while also adapting to the latest trends and technologies of the industry. While we commonly resort to traditional methods like analysis, performance management, succession planning, Scrum, and Agile, we tend to overlook some obvious yet essential measures like skills audit.
What is a skills audit in business?
A skills audit is a simple and systematic technique where you assess your employee’s skills to identify the knowledge gaps in the work processes that could potentially impact the organization’s growth and success. A skills audit process could simply be a face-to-face interview or a detailed questionnaire to test the knowledge of an individual in the company, which helps identify the lack of certain skills. The differences can then be compensated by other individuals who possess the skills, training employees, or through new hires.
How to do a skills audit?
Performing a skills audit would vary between organizations depending on the goals and nature of services, but the process primarily comprises the following steps:
- Identifying the roles and responsibilities of your organizationStart by listing out the different job titles in your organization. Clubbing job roles that require a similar skill set would make it easier to identify the knowledge gaps. For instance, a financial planner and an accountant largely require a similar set of skills and can be assessed under the same category.
- Identifying the skills of each roleOnce the list of job categories has been identified, list out the set of skills that exist within these categories, along with the skills that are necessary to enhance the organization’s performance. Listing out the skills helps identify the strengths and weaknesses of the organization, thereby throwing light on where the focus needs to be emphasized for improvement.
- Evaluating the skills of your employeesEvaluating your employees can give you a better analysis of what needs to be improved. You can evaluate your employees in several ways depending on the depth of analysis, staff strength, and the number of teams by implementing any of the following methods:
- Having a one-on-one personal skills audit session with each employee where they can list out their tasks, strengths, weaknesses, and interests
- Discussing with the team leads to get a different perspective on their work
- Creating a skills matrix with details that include additional certifications and abilities outside their scope of work
- Conducting surveys through targeted questionnaires
- Using an efficient skills audit tool
- Processing the resultsCompile the results in an easy-to-use manner where you don’t just have a list of skills and abilities of each individual, but also a list of employees with a specific task. Once you have an organized list of the skills, you can easily identify the gaps in the skill set at individual levels as well as across teams. This also allows room for damage control should an employee not be available when a particular task takes a higher priority or is left unattended. You can also identify the areas of improvement for the performance of your organization as a whole.
- Revamping the systemOnce all the gaps are identified and in place after a thorough internal skills audit, you can plan out the next process of how to resolve them. Necessary training could be provided to candidates who have the potential and/or the need to take up a certain skill. You can alter roles or create completely new ones to accommodate an employee’s skill set to ensure the targets are achieved faster and more efficiently. It also allows you to evaluate the need of new hires as specialists to ensure all tasks are catered to.
In case you were still pondering over “why is a skills audit important for my organization?”, the strategy has benefits galore! From determining whether your organization can achieve the set targets and how to enhance the process to ensuring personal growth in individual employees that eventually leads to better retention rates, skills audits ensure a long-term and guaranteed set of results.