What Is Skills Mapping? (With Definition And Importance)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 28 July 2022

Published 10 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Most companies may require personnel with a diverse skill set for them to succeed. Businesses may frequently assess each employee's skill level to see where they require improvement. Learning how to analyse and organise employees' skills may assist you in identifying gaps, potential and successes within a company. In this article, we answer the question 'What is skills mapping?', discuss its importance, define and discuss the importance of a skills matrix, see how to make one and also review tips for skill mapping.

Related: What Is Skills Inventory? Importance And Steps To Create It

What Is Skills Mapping?

If you work in HR or as a recruiter, you may have encountered the question 'What is skills mapping?' Skills mapping is a graphic depiction of all the abilities that individuals in a department or organisation possess. This process entails assessing each employee's proficiency with a specific skill, particularly those associated with certain projects, positions and duties. This enables you to recognise your team's capabilities and the value they provide. It might also be effective to identify each employee's strengths and shortcomings.

Some people also refer to this process as competence mapping, even though the phrase competence includes more than just skills. A skill is a single capacity to do a task effectively, but competency is a collection of the attitudes, knowledge, skills, and characteristics necessary to complete a task.

Importance Of Skills Mapping

Skills mapping is an efficient way to get a better knowledge of a certain department or kind of individual. It enables you to assess each employee's skill set and identify any potential areas to improve their skills. This helps in recruiting choices by providing insight into the capabilities an organisation needs for its success. Individual employees may also benefit from skill mapping. You can begin the assessment of an individual's expertise with certain skills throughout the recruitment and hiring process. Try to continuously review their abilities regularly, such as quarterly or yearly, and track their progress in skill development.

What Is A Skills Matrix?

A skills matrix is a solution useful in the workplace for determining the talents that a team requires to effectively execute a project. This matrix may include a list of employees' existing skills as also those that need improvement. By outlining the abilities and competencies that a team has or is developing, managers and team members may quickly assess what the team can offer and what is still undergoing improvement.

A skills matrix often comprises abilities that the team lacks, skills that the team has and skills that are essential to finish a project. You can divide the matrix into particular jobs within a project or may include a comprehensive list of all abilities necessary to deliver each aspect of the project. Usually, the matrix rates each team member on their ability in a specific talent and also their willingness to acquire or apply that skill. This enables managers to allocate jobs efficiently to team members who both wish to utilise their expertise and can successfully complete the assignment.

Related: Skills Test: Definition And Examples

Importance Of A Skills Matrix

Here are some benefits of using a skills matrix:

Makes team members aware of their skills

By developing a skills matrix, you can demonstrate to members of your team where they excel and where they can enhance their talents. This may assist team members to become more aware of the abilities they are to refine and also recognise their present proficiency in certain abilities. Eventually, this may lead to an overall increase in productivity as team members work on improving their skills, keeping in mind organisational goals.

Increases understanding of activities and objectives

It can be simple to determine which abilities or competencies are necessary to accomplish a specific procedure using a skills matrix. Imagine you require at least three employees to perform a specific task independently to ensure continuity, such as running a manufacturing line or utilising a specific software application. A skills matrix's graphic structure enables you to quickly determine if you meet this requirement, and more crucially, to react quickly.

Highlights areas requiring new hires

A skills matrix makes it simple to decide if more people are required to fill a certain function on a team. Knowing which abilities are lacking on the team allows businesses to identify and employ individuals who possess relevant skills. This leads to greater effectiveness in executing projects.

Progress monitoring

When you maintain a skills matrix correctly, it can offer you a clear picture of the team and individual growth. Significant organisational concerns include professional development, productivity and the acquisition and mastery of new abilities. A skills matrix can also serve as a tool for evaluating the efficiency of your training program. Additionally, they highlight precisely where any skills shortages may exist or are developing.

Related: Hard Skills: Definition And Examples

Decreases stress and workload

Whenever a team member is unable to fulfil their professional responsibilities for an extended period, workloads can increase significantly. You can anticipate and prevent this via the use of a skill matrix. With a comprehensive view of who has particular talents, you may carefully reallocate resources across teams or departments to keep increasing stress levels and workloads bearable. This can also contribute significantly to maintaining a pleasant and stress-free work atmosphere.

How To Make A Skills Matrix For Skills Mapping?

It is possible to make a skills matrix in some software tools that allow you to make tables or spreadsheets. Here are the general steps to follow for creating a skills matrix:

  1. Identify the abilities necessary to execute a project: The first stage in developing a skills matrix is defining the talents necessary to complete a project. Define the skills as precisely as possible and define the expectations for each skill related to the project.

  2. Assess each individual's current skill level: The next stage in developing a successful skills matrix is to identify and analyse each team member's current skill level for each talent necessary to deliver the project. You may evaluate their abilities by either enquiring about their level of expertise in each skill or by providing a competence test.

  3. Evaluate each team member's interest in a certain skill: After assessing each team member's skill level, you want to assess their degree of interest in either utilising an existing skill or acquiring a new one. This ensures that you assign team members duties they like or are interested in, helping to prevent exhaustion throughout the course of a project.

  4. Use the information from the skills matrix to find out any skills necessary that are missing: After you complete the skills matrix, you may utilise the information to determine which abilities are essential but are lacking on your team. After that, you may either teach existing team members or recruit new personnel who are already skilled in these areas.

Related: Top HR Skills And Activities

Tips For Skills Mapping

The following tips can help you with skills mapping:

Conduct a skill evaluation test

Start the skills mapping process by administering a skill assessment exam to your team. Concentrate on the most critical abilities you want to examine and design your test accordingly. The questions you provide can vary according to the talents you want to map.

For instance, a marketing business may want to check its employees' grammatical skills. They may create a skill evaluation exam using sentences written in poor grammar and request that employees mark up each phrase to rectify it. The agency may analyse each test and provide a score depending on the number of errors each team member finds and corrects.

Maintain objectivity

Attempt to be objective while mapping your talents. Consider obtaining information about an individual's skill level from multiple sources to guarantee you deliver impartial and fair information. Using self-administered skill evaluation exams also aids in attaining the necessary findings.

Concentrate on the most crucial problems

It is critical to determine the critical talents required for a business, project, or activity. Ascertain that your skill mapping analysis includes just these skills. By including an excessive number of talents in your skills matrix, you may risk complicating it and making it difficult to read and comprehend for analyses.

Include a wide range of abilities

While it is crucial to prevent restricting the number of abilities included, it is also critical to ensure a balance of hard and soft talents. Hard skills refer to the ability necessary to perform the duties connected with specific employment, while soft skills refer to inherent personality traits and habits. Active listening, collaboration, empathy and following instructions are just a few examples of soft talents to analyse.

Related: How To Design A Skills Matrix (With Steps And Examples)

Use a skill management system

While you may develop your skills matrix using any common office applications, consider choosing a tool designed specifically for skills mapping. This may assist you in avoiding complications and speeding up the updating of your matrices. Additionally, these applications may feature specialised tools that enable you to get a more complete understanding of your team's abilities.

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