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What is a Skills Inventory?

A skills inventory is a compilation of the skills, education, and experiences of current employees. HR leaders can use skills inventories with skills insights to make decisions about talent management, L&D, and more.

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Visier HR Glossary

A skills inventory, as the name suggests, is an inventory or record of the skills that employees across the organization possess. Skills inventories are created through the systematic identification of employees’ skills and competencies. 

A skills inventory helps to ensure that companies understand the skills that exist in their organizations and whether they have access to all of the skills that they need.

What is the purpose of a skills inventory?

A skills inventory provides organizations and their HR leaders with the ability to stay on top of any potential gaps in skills or competencies that exist, especially in light of a rapidly changing environment and emerging technology.

Skills inventories can be used to make decisions about employee development, talent management, and succession planning allowing organizations to identify gaps, develop training programs, and match employees with appropriate job roles.

What is included in a skills inventory?

A skills inventory includes information such as:

  • Employee name, role, and department

  • The skills, knowledge, and competencies of the employee

  • Qualifications, training, certifications, and education background

  • Relevant work experience

  • Areas of opportunity for improvement or development

  • Career goals and aspirations

There are a few different ways this information can be gathered and compiled.

How are skills inventories created?

There are three ways that skills inventories are typically created: through self-evaluation, through manager or supervisor assessment, through a job analysis. Since each of these will yield a different perspective, a best practice is to combine these approaches to create the most robust and accurate view of the requirements of the role.  

The larger your organization and the more employees and roles it has the more complex and time-consuming the process of creating skills inventories can be. Fortunately, technology like Visier can help. 

Leveraging technology in creating skills inventories

Collecting information about employees’ skills effectively, and keeping that information up to date can be a daunting task. Technology can help.

An important starting point is creating a good job structure and naming conventions for existing roles. Standardizing these names and processes before collecting data will help to ensure consistent and shared skills definitions.

Once collected, technology can serve as an aid to understand the current skills set of current employees and to identify which jobs may be at risk because of gaps or potential hot spots. These insights can lead to decisions about needed investments in reskilling, upskilling, and talent acquisition.

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