A skills assessment determines which skills you have in-house – as individuals or as an organization as a whole. This article takes a look at everything you need to know about skills assessments, as well as benefits, tips, and tricks!
But what is a skills assessment?
Simply expressed, a skills assessment is a thorough evaluation of an individual’s knowledge, skills, and competences. The aim is to determine as accurately as possible whether someone is capable of performing a certain task or job properly. What’s more, there are several types of assessment. For example, assessments can form part of your recruitment and selection procedures or an external audit.
But you can conduct skills assessments yourself to provide greater insight into your organizations’ skills and competences. This then makes it possible to see at a glance who can do what and who can’t, including both the hard and soft skills existing within a specific team, department, or your organization as a whole.
Similarly, you can also conduct skills assessments in one of several ways, for example:
- Tests or roleplay paint a clear picture about how someone responds in a certain situation and uses their skills to find a solution.
- Surveys and questionnaires also provide insights into individuals’ proficiency levels or a team’s collective skill level.
- Skills matrices, however, are probably the quickest and easiest way to see at a glance who can do what and who can’t.
This article focuses primarily on organization-wide skills assessments.
What are the benefits of mapping skills?
Mapping your organization’s skills has numerous advantage. Below, you’ll find a few of the major benefits:
- It becomes so much easier to find the right person for the right job at the right time once you know who can do what and who can’t. Knowing this also saves you time and money when recruiting and selecting new employees.
- It simplifies finding and closing skills gaps. These are the discrepancies in the skills needed and skills present within your organization.
- It becomes easier to tailor your training efforts (courses, workshops, programs …) to individuals’ needs and your organization’s most urgently required skills and competences.
- It’s much faster finding suitable replacements for employees off sick or on vacation.
- You get an objective picture of your staff’s abilities, making planning and deployment decision-making fact-based rather than intuition-based.
- It’s much easier to monitor your staff’s progress.
- You can identify who has a particularly varied or extensive skill set and who are your high performers.
- It provides greater insights into the skills within your organization and which employees are versatile and flexible for purposes of planning.
How to conduct a skills assessment
Follow the steps below to find out how to conduct a skills assessment:
1. Determine which skills you’re going to assess
Conducting a skills assessment starts with taking stock of your current situation. So, begin by determining which skills you actually want to map and monitor. You can use your organization’s job descriptions or roles for this purpose. Select the most important jobs and roles to begin with and then work your way down the list.
2. Communicate your positive intentions
Skills assessments only provide useful results if you have grassroots support for conducting such a survey. So, communicate your intentions and objectives clearly and concisely. Make it clear to everyone involved that a skills assessment is designed not to find the weakest link, but to find and close any skills gaps within the organization as a whole. Also let everyone know that you’ll handle their responses confidentially.
3. Collect your data
Now it’s time to start collecting your data. But what’s the best way to tackle this? One-on-one conversations, surveys, observations, tests … there are countless ways to gather information about skills and competences.
4. Analyze your data
Once you’ve gathered your information about your staff’s and organization’s proficiency levels, it’s time to analyze this data. Are there any discernible trends within the data? Can you deduce anything about your recruiting and training policies? Thorough analysis allows you to create sounder strategic policies and make your company more competitive and ready to face the future.
Tip: Use skills management software!
As with most things, using the right tools can make skills assessments a lot easier.
Using a spreadsheet such as Excel is a good way to get to grips with skills matrices. They help you map your staff’s skills and competences clearly and concisely. What’s more, you can also enter individual proficiency levels for each employee and skill listed. This then allows you to see at a glance which skills are missing or scarce, and which employees are most versatile and flexible.
Read our article, ‘Everything you need to know about skills matrices’, for more information.
However, chances are that after a while you’ll want to take your skills management system to the next level. AG5’s skills management software replaces all your spreadsheets with information about your employees’ skills and competences and stores them centrally in the cloud. Authorized individuals, teams, or departments can then access and update this information.
AG5’s software provides numerous features and benefits to get even more out of your skills assessments:
- enter updates and training results from the shop floor in real time
- assign staff to projects based on current skills, expertise, proficiency level, experience …
- configure notifications for individuals, groups, or qualifications
- find qualified replacements quickly and easily to retool production lines
- find the best replacements for employees off sick or on vacation in a single search
- map which skills and expertise are available at other sites to save time and money on long-winded recruitment and selection procedures
- replicate organizational structures and link employees to skills and qualifications using our easy-to-use drag ’n’ drop functionality
Let’s get assessing!
As you can see, conducting skills assessments is a great way to map which skills and competences are present within your organization. Especially if you have the right tools to help you. Don’t miss out on all the benefits – let’s get assessing!