Skills Inventory - A Detailed Guide in Workforce Management

Workforce management

Is your organization missing a specific skill set to meet project needs? Are you finding it challenging to assign tasks to the right person? Do you think your recruiting strategy needs to address these skill gaps? If the answer is yes, then these are some serious issues that need to be addressed for the success of any organization. Don't worry. There is one tool to solve all these concerns and many others related to workforce management - Skills inventory management software.

With the advent of technology, the need for organizations to possess all the latest skills has arisen. Understanding future abilities and how to cultivate them internally is equally important. The first step in this journey is to create a skills inventory. 

A skills inventory is a strategic workforce management practice critical for every high-performing firm to thrive. It is not merely an administrative exercise. So, what exactly is skills inventory, and how does it work? Read more to learn everything about it and enhance your company's output.

What is Skills Inventory?

A skills inventory is a comprehensive record that outlines the range of skills, qualifications, and expertise of individuals within an organization. This inventory assists in evaluating the collective skillset, identifying strengths and weaknesses, and making informed decisions related to talent management and strategic planning.

Skills inventories assist organizations in estimating whether the existing skill set of employees is adequate for achieving their objectives and identifying areas where skill gaps exist.

Furthermore, they enable HR professionals to direct the organization's attention to crucial aspects of recruitment, talent management, learning and development, and strategic workforce planning. 

Skills Inventory Purpose

The purpose of a skills inventory is to provide a comprehensive and organized record of the skills, competencies, knowledge, experiences, and qualifications possessed by individuals within an organization. This inventory serves as a valuable tool for various purposes, including:

  • Talent acquisition

    When you keep track of candidates' skills, qualifications, and achievements, it will allow you to acquire the right people for your organization. During the employment process, hiring managers might choose prospects based on statistics. Additionally, businesses can hire personnel that will be beneficial for their future requirements.

    Moreover, employing managers can hunt for people with talents that the organization lacks using a skills inventory. Employers may create job descriptions that are more detailed and more likely to attract the correct kinds of people by having an upfront knowledge of the skills gap. It is crucial if a business is growing rapidly and needs applicants to fill open positions.

  • Training and development

    Managers can find out where their employees' abilities are lacking and then provide the necessary training accordingly. Organizations can predict and plan any training activities, which is quite advantageous.

  • Project Management

    Project managers can use a skills inventory to assemble project teams with the right combination of skills needed to complete tasks and meet project objectives. These tools help delegate tasks to the right employee and keep track of project processes.

  • Internal mobility

    A skills inventory offers a dramatic perspective on an organization's competencies. It fosters internal mobility, enabling employees to work across various departments and projects seamlessly.

    Additionally, it aids in identifying skill adjacencies, wherein employees acquire proficiencies closely linked to their current roles. For example, if a social media manager excels at promoting content on Tumblr, they can be easily trained for content promotion on Instagram .

Skills Inventory

Why is a Skill Inventory Necessary for an Organization?

The need for a skills inventory will increase as businesses work to become talent-based organizations. With the help of these tools, management may assess the skills and abilities of their staff and decide which employees should be given additional responsibilities and chances.

Skills inventories additionally aid HR leaders in formulating upskilling and reskilling programs that correspond to the knowledge gaps their organizations aim to address. Ultimately, having a comprehensive skills inventory empowers HR teams. It helps to make well-informed decisions regarding strategic workforce planning. Also, it helps avoid external recruitment when a qualified individual with the required skills exists within the organization.

Advantages of Using the Skills Inventory Management Tool

Creating an inventory from scratch can be challenging, especially for large enterprises. Thankfully, many resource management tools are available on the market to streamline the inventory management process for businesses. From identifying skills gaps to workforce planning, these tools help with almost every aspect of resource management.

An evaluation of employee talents provides a company with crucial knowledge of the potential of the staff. Here are a few advantages of such an inventory:

  • Identify the skills gap

    Businesses can compare the skills of their current personnel to the skill set needed for expansion using skills inventories. For instance, if a shop wishes to launch an online store but none of its current staff has experience in digital marketing or e-commerce, there is a gap between their current skill set and what is needed to operate an online business. The store may decide whether to hire new staff or train existing ones strategically by detecting this skills gap.

  • Assist in workforce planning

    With data-driven insights from a Skills Inventory Management Tool, organizations can engage in more effective strategic workforce planning. Understanding where skills, strengths, and gaps exist enables managers to allocate resources efficiently, develop leadership channels, and foresee the skill sets that will be needed.

  • Helps in initiating upskilling and reskilling plans

    New recruits are not always an option. At times, there is not enough budget, no time, or HR availability to take on another open position. But there is a trustworthy skills inventory that can do the job for you. When you have access to all the available skill information, it is simple to determine which resources currently possess the abilities you need and only require more training to reach the appropriate seniority level.

    At the same time, it's simple to locate someone who already possesses comparable abilities, and they could find it simple to broaden their skill set even more and become retrained for a different function. Resource optimization is a resourcing tactic used by companies looking to surpass their rivals.

  • Fill vacant roles in an organization

    Filling vacant roles within an organization is a critical task that requires careful consideration and strategic planning. Skills inventory is an invaluable tool that can significantly aid in this endeavor. It acts as a compass, guiding HR professionals and decision-makers toward making informed and effective decisions while recruiting and onboarding new talent.

    When a role becomes vacant, it's essential to define the specific skills, competencies, and qualifications required for success in that position. A skills inventory provides an accurate overview of the skills available within the existing workforce. It enables HR professionals to match the job requirements with the skill sets of potential candidates within the organization before seeking external hires.

  • Better crisis management

    Managing a crisis demands rapid thinking and effective teamwork from all members. A skills inventory assists in locating feasible team members who could play various roles in crisis management. It enables businesses to identify substitutes for staff members who might not be available during the crisis.

    Sometimes, crises call for specialized response teams. With a skills inventory application, organizations can form crisis response teams composed of individuals with specific expertise relevant to the emergency. It ensures the response is well-coordinated, informed, and targeted, increasing the chances of an effective resolution.

  • Enhanced talent management

    Previously, it has always been challenging to get a clear view of employee capabilities since this data is separated between several HR systems. Employees constantly acquire new abilities. Thus, manual inventories won't work since the data they offer becomes rapidly outdated.

    Luckily, the rise of workforce management applications has simplified this process. Now, managers can view and compare employee skill sets from a single dashboard. With a clear understanding of your employees' skills, talent management becomes a streamlined process. You can effectively match the right individuals to projects and tasks, optimizing their contributions and boosting overall productivity. This proactive approach also aids succession planning, ensuring the organization can handle transitions and unexpected changes.

How to Create Skills Inventory for Workforce Management

about workforce management

Creating a skills inventory for effective workforce management involves several steps to assess and utilize the skills within your organization. Manually performing these tasks is daunting. Thanks to workforce management tools, they help organize skills inventory and manage resources adequately. Here is how you create a robust skills inventory:

  • Define the scope and purpose of your organization

    The first step is to determine the scope and purpose of your organization. Through this, you will be able to figure out the types of skills required to carry out the processes in your organization. Work with management to determine the talents most critical to the company's success. Sort into either technical, soft, or leadership categories. For instance, data analysis is a technical talent, but leadership qualities like negotiating and data analysis fall under the soft skills category.

  • Assess and Identify key skills of your employees

    There are many ways to assess your current employee's skills and identify their capabilities and competencies. Here are some:

    • Self-assessment tests:

      Develop a survey tailored to the essential knowledge, skills, and abilities required for a specific role. Encourage employees to assess their own proficiency levels in each aspect. Assemble questions using either a quantitative or qualitative scale (for instance, 1 to 5 or beginner to advanced) for rating. The results obtained serve as a foundational benchmark.

      This method initiates a discussion about capabilities among employees, HR, and management. However, a potential drawback is the possibility of employees inaccurately measuring their own skills. Alternatively, you can take a simple approach by directly asking employees about their preferred areas of development to excel in their roles.

    • Testing:

      Infuse a sense of enjoyment into the assessments by transforming them into engaging games. Otherwise, If you wish to measure technical or knowledge-based skills, conduct tests or assessments. However, it is best to inform employees that their skills are being evaluated. It's crucial for employees to comprehend the correlation between the games and their purpose, which is to measure their proficiency in the knowledge, skills, and abilities suitable to their roles.

      Maintaining fairness is vital; assessments should not unfairly affect specific groups, ensuring validity and reliability. To eliminate potential biases that could impact segments of your workforce, such as cast, creed, color, gender, or those with disabilities, adapt questions and activities accordingly.

      If you intend to base hiring or promotional decisions solely on test results, it is good to seek external advice to ensure legality and compliance.

    • 360-degree evaluation:

      A 360-degree evaluation is a method for assessing a worker's overall skills from several angles. Typically, a survey is sent to the employee, a group of other employees, their supervisor, and any other internal staff members they work with, asking them to rate the worker in the many skill areas related to the job they are currently doing.

      When sufficient (often more than five) views to consider have been collected, the procedure is usually quite accurate. The drawback of utilizing this technology is the time, effort, and usually the cost involved.

  • Collect all the required information

    Collect all the data from assessments and evaluation tests in one place. Create a spreadsheet to record your results. Alternatively, you may present the findings to your team of managers using PowerPoint. These two approaches show you what the facts regarding the abilities in your organization are trying to tell you.

    Use a numeric scale to "grade" each talent and demonstrate how it compares to the goals set by your management. You may add up and aggregate the employee self-ratings and use that information to propose training, for instance, if you used a five-point evaluation scale on a question concerning written communication abilities.

  • Record all the data in the workforce management tool

    Look for and invest in the best workforce management tool in the market. Upload the collected data on the application to create a skills inventory. Once everything is on the application, management can evaluate, assign tasks, review performance, and view the skill set of any employee using the resource management tool’s dashboard.

    Organizations can also give access to the skills inventory on their dashboard so they can keep tabs on their skill progress.

  • Frequently update the skills inventory

    The company's requirements and the competencies of its employees will evolve. Therefore, it's critical to constantly update the skill inventory to make sure it accurately portrays the employees' current skill set. Organizations may make sure that data on employees' talents is accessible by implementing an efficient system for collecting employee data. The ideal time to update skills inventories is before beginning a major project or employing new personnel.

How to Select the Best Skills Inventory Management Software

Accuracy is crucial when handling inventory since mistakes in monitoring, evaluating skills, and identifying skill gaps can affect business operations. It requires careful consideration of various factors to ensure the software aligns with your organization's needs and goals. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you make an informed decision:

  • Define your Requirements:

    Identify your organization's specific needs for skills management. Consider factors like the number of employees, types of skills, integration with other HR systems, and your long-term goals.

  • Assess Features:

    Evaluate the features offered by different software solutions, such as skill tracking, skill gap analysis, reporting, integration capabilities, and user interface. Ensure that the software can scale as your organization grows. It should accommodate the addition of new employees and changing skill requirements.

    Choose software that allows you to tailor the skill categories, proficiency levels, and assessment methods to match your organization's unique needs.

  • User-Friendly Interface:

    A user-friendly interface is crucial for easy adoption and efficient use. Test the software's interface to ensure that it's intuitive and requires minimal training.

  • Data Security:

    Skills inventory management software stores data about employees, including their skills, competencies, performance assessments, and potentially even personal information. Ensuring data security prevents unauthorized access to this sensitive information, reducing the risk of breaches and leaks. Therefore, you should ensure that the software provides robust data security measures to protect sensitive employee information.

  • Third-party Integration Capabilities

    Integration capabilities are crucial in skills inventory management software to enhance the overall efficiency, accuracy, and effectiveness of managing employee skills within an organization. It allows data to flow seamlessly between different HR systems, such as talent management, performance evaluation, and learning management systems.

Get the Right Tool to Get Started - eResource Scheduler

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Say goodbye to manual resource scheduling challenges with eResource Scheduler. Welcome a seamless, data-driven approach to managing your workforce. Make informed decisions, boost operational efficiency, and propel your projects forward with the power ofeResource Scheduler.

In today's competitive world, where efficient resource management is pivotal, eResource Scheduler arises as a game-changing asset. With its ability to align resources with tasks and optimize workloads, this tool drives your organization toward enhanced operational excellence and success.

CEO & Founder
Rudraksh Vyas
Rudraksh Vyas, an accomplished CEO at ENBRAUN since 2011, has a proven track record in leading and growing technology-driven businesses. His expertise lies in product development, client management, and implementing effective business strategies, ensuring robust financial and resource management. Prior to his current role, Rudraksh honed his skills in business development, where he excelled in account management and export marketing. He holds a PMP certification from the Project Management Institute and an MBA in International Business from the University of Technology Sydney. Rudraksh's journey reflects a deep commitment to excellence and innovation in the tech industry, making him a respected leader and visionary in his field.

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