Managing Skills Inventory in companies – Challenges and possible solutions

Knowing what skills employees possess and the proficiency levels in them, how they are deployed, what skills are available and what skills are deficient and such are valuable information that immensely impact businesses. This is called a ‘Skills Inventory’.

The Skills Inventory is even more an imperative in the knowledge economy. Industries known for their knowledge intensiveness such as Information Technology have always felt it necessary to manage skills well. Knowledge has become a key business driver even in traditional industries. However, maintaining Skills Inventory is always a challenge. Many may not even have such an inventory, even those that have it, grapple with the challenge of keeping it up-to-date.

The Challenges

There are two key reasons why maintaining skills inventory is a challenge. One, skills are emerging (and fading away too) faster than before. Two, the addition and exit of employees is almost a constant.

Apart from these, is the issue of – who owns the maintenance of the skills inventory. Is it HR? Or is it the Line Function? If it is HR then are they equipped with appreciation of skills in the line function?

What can be done?

  • First, we need a simple framework and a tool for capturing and maintaining the skills of employees in the company. One that is simple to use and easy to create and maintain.
  • Second, this framework should be able to account for the changes in the skills landscape i.e. be current with the latest skills available in its framework.
  • Third, the skills inventory should be something that employees feel associated with. Feel an involvement with it, involve with it voluntarily and contribute to its maintenance.

It’s Your Skills a solution?

It’s Your Skills offers solutions to companies for maintaining their skills inventory. A simple framework is offered to  create a Skills Profile of jobs and of employees (and applicants). IYS maintains the Skills Ontology, which is the most comprehensive common language for skills. It is easy to use and takes just a few minutes to create. The skills profiles of employees can be aggregated at organization level to create a skills inventory.

A periodic update whether by way of addition of new employees and their skills or new skills developed by current employees can be easily added to ensure that the skills inventory is updated and relevant.

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