What is a skills audit? All you need to know
The management of workplace skills is an indispensable element of an organization’s performance.
There is an expectation from employers that demands employees possess a diverse array of skills and capabilities.
Conducting a technical skills audit is the first step to harnessing the best in your employees.
When talent is scarce, organizations can complete a skills audit to gain insight into their employee’s skills and the required skills that must be developed or obtained.
What is a skills audit?
A skills audit is the process of evaluating, assessing, and measuring the skills and abilities of individuals or a group of people within a company.
It involves identifying the skills required (technical skills and interpersonal skills), knowledge, and competencies needed for specific job roles and evaluating whether specific employees can perform their jobs effectively.
The data can then be analyzed to focus on areas where individuals or teams need to improve their skills.
Above all, the process enables organizational leaders to build a comprehensive skills map or skills inventory for their workplace.
Not only is it essential for a company to know each employee’s skill set and skill levels, but it is also essential to gain a better understanding of how these relevant skills are utilized as a part of their role.
These assessments typically come in a self-assessment, questionnaire, or one on one interviews. From your organization’s skills audit, you can start to take some critical steps in the performance management process:
- Identify an employee’s skill gap
- Conduct a training needs analysis
- Create customized learning and development (L&D) programs
Aside from L+D programs, the results of a skills audit can be used for creating other training programs like succession planning, career and personal development, and recruitment strategies.
In many ways, skills audits are only the beginning; what follows and the learnings to take from it, make the process intrinsically invaluable.
Source: Deakin University via Future Learn
What are the types of skills audits?
There are several types of skills audits that an organization or employee can conduct, depending on their goals, needs and resources.
Each assessment report will offer a comprehensive review and a better understanding of the necessary skills to perform a specific role.
- Personal skills audit: This type of audit is focused on evaluating an individual’s skills, competencies, and abilities. Personal skills audits are helpful for an employee when identifying what job is best suited for them. It helps individuals assess their strengths and weaknesses for creating a career plan to achieve their goals.
- Group skills audit: This type of audit evaluates the skills and competencies of a team. It helps to focus on the workplace’s current strengths and weaknesses and areas where the team needs to improve its skills to work more effectively and efficiently.
- Job skills audit: This type of audit helps to assess the skills and knowledge needed to perform the role with aplomb, looking at areas where the job holder needs to improve their skills to perform their job better.
- Industry skills audit: This type of audit helps to determine the skills and knowledge needed to work in the industry or sector effectively and areas where the sector needs to develop its skills to remain competitive.
Beware of using templates for skills audits; they are ineffective as often, no action follows.
Dedicated skills management software provides an all-in-one solution for skill mapping and skill development features (including learning programs) to give meaning to your metrics.
What are the key steps of conducting a skills audit?
Skill audits work best when it’s a continuous and structured analysis.
Once audited, skills must be visually represented and stored to allow organizational leaders to act on the insights (skills mapping).
Skills audits are a joint venture. They’re crafted to gain an employee’s perspective and understanding of their role, validated by their managers or supervisors, and used to support the growth of both the employee and the company.
DevSkiller TalentBoost works great because it gives you an advantage over other auditing methods. It’s more objective and provides actionable information that enables continuous growth for a future-ready workforce.
Here’s a seven-step process you can use for various kinds of skills audits.
- Define the purpose and scope: Decide the purpose of the skills audit, the scope of the audit, and the specific skills and competencies that will be evaluated.
- Identify the methodology: Determine the methodology for the skills audit, such as surveys, interviews, or self-assessments. Choose the appropriate methods based on the purpose and scope of the audit.DevSkiller can offer a 360° view of your company’s digital skills to help your organization in real time.
- Select the participants: Identify the participants involved in the skills audit, including the employees, their managers/supervisors, and specific departments. Ensure that participants are representative of the organization or group being audited.
- Collect data: Use the selected methodology to gather data and the competencies of the participants to create a skills map of your organization. It can also involve collecting information on qualifications, experience, and other relevant factors.TalentBoost is designed to help organizations get a clearer picture of the industry, and employees’ skills, as well as to assess any new skills that might be required.
- Analyze the data: Analyze the data to see where training and development are needed based on the skills gaps identified. The process is also known as a strategic needs analysis.
- Develop an action plan: Based on the skills audit results and analysis, develop an action plan that outlines specific steps to address the identified skills gaps and areas for improvement. One solution may involve developing training and development programs or career development plans.
- Monitor progress: Monitor progress to ensure the action plan achieves its objectives. Evaluate the effectiveness of the action plan and adjust it as necessary.By following these steps, organizations and individuals can conduct a skills audit that helps to identify the skills needed for improvement and develop strategies to address them.
Skills audit vs. skills management
We already know that a skills audit aims to identify skill gaps and opportunities for future development. It is a one-time or periodic analysis of an employee’s existing skills.
In summary, a skills audit is a focused assessment of an individual’s skills.
Skills management, on the other hand, is a broader process encompassing various activities to manage and develop an organization’s workforce. It is an ongoing conduct that helps departments build and maintain a skilled workforce.
While a skills audit can provide valuable information to support skills management, it is just one part of a comprehensive approach to workforce development.
Skills management software facilitates organizations to act on all skills-related insights, including those from the skills audit.
DevSkiller’s skills management software TalentBoost helps organizations make objective skill management decisions to maximize training budget dollars. Learn more here.
Why do companies audit skills?
By identifying areas where individuals or teams need to improve their skills, a skills audit can help organizations to become more efficient, productive, and competitive.
The data is used to better align workers with specific roles and to create training, development, or succession plans to benefit their organization and its staff.
Some benefits to come from a skills audit include:
Identifying skill gaps: A skills audit helps to identify gaps in an employee or team’s skills and knowledge. This information can be used to create a training plan that addresses the areas where improvement is needed.
Improved productivity: By identifying skills gaps, a skills audit can help employees to work more efficiently and effectively, leading to improved productivity.
Better alignment of skills and job roles: A skills audit can help ensure that individuals are placed in positions that match their skills and expertise, leading to better job satisfaction and performance.
Career development: A skills audit can provide valuable insights into an individual’s strengths and weaknesses, helping them identify personal and professional development areas.
Succession planning: A skills audit can identify potential successors for key roles within an organization, ensuring a pipeline of talent to take on important positions.
How to close the skills gaps you discover in the audit?
Once your skills audit has been finalized, and the data has been used to provide metrics, you should clearly outline any skills gaps within your workplace.
The next step is to guide the employees through a supportive process of celebrating their strengths and identifying opportunities to improve their abilities.
Some ideas to help close the skills gaps following the audit include:
- Conduct a training needs analysis to create a customized learning path for the employee so they can fill in their skills gaps. One option can include upskilling sessions or a reskilling program if they change roles or require training that replaces or updates their current topic knowledge.
- Partner employees with a mentor or career coach who can help employees improve some of their soft skills and team skills, including problem-solving, listening, and communication. It can also improve self-confidence and provide self-accountability during their training program.
- If an employee has outgrown their role or voiced the desire to progress, consider starting them on a succession plan or a leadership development course in case they seek a career change.
- Expanding your team is the final solution to closing your skills gap when all other internal development options have been exhausted. It may be necessary to fill a recently vacant position to support the team while other team members complete their required training.
Source: Dealer Support
A skills audit can be like opening Pandora’s box when streamlining your workplace’s abilities.
A more straightforward path to workplace development is in sight by following these steps and implementing skills-management software.
Source: Access Science