Human Resources

7 ways a skills inventory can transform organizations

September 26, 2023
3 minutes

In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, organizations are finding new and innovative ways to harness the power of their most valuable asset: their employees' skills. The concept of a skills inventory has emerged as a game-changer, allowing companies to tap into a wealth of knowledge and potential within their workforce.

After working closely with tilr’s customers over time now, and speaking to organizations across the world about their approach to workforce management, we have seen a lot of different ways that a skills inventory can benefit companies. 

Let’s have a look at the top 7 ways organizations use their skills inventory.

1. Strategic Workforce Planning

We see this becoming increasingly common, especially among technology companies and firms that service the technology sector. With the emergence of automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence, the skills required are rapidly changing. As a result, these companies need to anticipate the future skills needed in order to develop strategies to address them.

A skills inventory of the current skills is one piece of that puzzle. But the other piece is anticipating the future skills needed and evaluating the gap between the skills the organization has today and the ones it will need in the future. Having a modern tool that is integrated with real time market data about skills trends is extremely valuable when doing this planning.

2. Succession Planning

Succession planning goes beyond simply finding someone to fill a vacant leadership position when it becomes available. Succession planning involves cultivating a pool of high performers and talented employees who have the potential to step into Managers’ and Executives’ shoes when the time is right and drive the team and department forward. The process of succession planning ensures stability, long-term success, and continuity of an organization.

A skills inventory is a key component of this exercise. Skills-data points to the high performers who exhibit the qualities and potential required for leadership roles in the future.

Knowing the skills of your high potential team members and the skills required for your leadership roles, you can deduce the skills gap. This skills gap informs the development plans you can assign to your burgeoning leaders to support their leadership development. These plans can include targeted training, mentorship, and hands-on experience to bridge the gap between their current skills and the requirements for leadership positions.

By harnessing the power of skill analysis and personalized development plans, you can ensure the long-term stability and success of your team and department, ultimately benefiting your organization as a whole.

3. Learning and Development 

This is by and far the most pervasive use case for a skills-first approach for our customers at tilr. The skills data enables companies to design highly targeted, strategic and personalized training and development programs. This helps employees improve their skills, stay up-to-date with industry trends, and grow professionally. At the same time, it enables organizations to manage skills gaps.

4. Compliance and Certification

It’s hard to talk about learning and development without thinking about training related to compliance and certifications. Ensuring that each person in a workforce is up to date with their regulatory requirements is mission critical. 

A skills inventory can help ensure that the organization meets these requirements by tracking employee qualifications and certifications. It’s even more valuable when all the critical data lives in that system. Data like employees’ progress in training content and push reminders to employees.

5. Resource Allocation

For our customers in the professional services industry, a skills-first approach is the key to efficient and accurate resource allocation. Some of our customers use models like:

Technical skills + professional certifications/designations + industry-knowledge

To categorize their people and assign them to accounts. 

What is most important to these customers is the ability to search along different criteria in order to quickly identify people or skills.

So searching the employee directory for skill. 

And searching the skills library for people.

Being able to very quickly identify the right person to assign to an account is the criteria for success. 

A skills library ensures that people, a service firm's most valuable resource, is invested where they will have the greatest impact.

6. Mentorship

Knowing an employee's skills and the skills they want to develop is all the data required to fuel a healthy and productive mentorship program. That skills inventory can be the key for mentorship matching. 

Mentorship matches can occur in a number of ways. Employees can self-discover mentors based on this skills formula. Or mentorship matches can be facilitated by Managers or Human Resources.

The point is that skills transfer at the employee level can fuel collaboration and innovation.

7. Employee Engagement

Employees may feel more valued and engaged when their skills and potential are recognized and utilized effectively within the organization. That’s why in tilr, we go beyond the professional skills of employees. Our onboarding also gives employees the chance to add skills they’ve developed throughout their life to their skills profiles. 

Empowering employees to be seen for their entire skill set from all realms of life can lead to high general satisfaction and happiness at work. It also allows organizations to uncover and discover those hidden skills that might exist in their organization, and foster them in unexpected ways. 

It is one thing to talk about ‘bring your whole self to work’. It’s another to build that approach into your talent strategy and support it.

A comprehensive skills inventory is not just a tool; it's a strategic asset that empowers organizations to thrive in the face of change. From strategic workforce planning and succession management to learning and development, compliance, resource allocation, mentorship, and employee engagement, the benefits are far-reaching. By recognizing and nurturing the full spectrum of skills that employees bring to the table, companies can foster innovation, drive efficiency, and create a workplace where everyone's unique abilities are not only valued but also harnessed for the greater good. As organizations continue to evolve, embracing a skills-first approach will be key to their long-term stability and success, ultimately benefiting the entire organization and its people.

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