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skills inventory

To be successful with your talent management in this technological day and age, your organization needs to keep track of the set of skills each employee brings to your workplace. Each and every day, technical skills are rapidly changing, so your workforce needs to be prepared to sharpen their job skills for their position. In order to keep track of skill sets, human resource professionals should create and organize a list of all the work experiences, technical skills, and qualifications each employee has, otherwise known as a skills inventory.

Creating a skills inventory can help your organization for current training and development, but also in the future during recruitment and planning. A skills inventory should not be overlooked any longer, the business world is changing and your organization needs to be prepared!

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What is a Skills Inventory and Why Does Your Organization Need One?

A skills inventory is a thorough compilation of the educational experiences, career skills, and qualifications that an employee in your organization has. These skills can consist of hard skills or soft skills, strengths, and related abilities, such as adaptability and public speaking. A skills inventory is typically based on an evaluation or self-assessment that is directed by your human resources department.

Once the skills inventory is created, the data will help human resource professionals identify skills gaps or what a department should look for in their next employee. Since employees may leave or gain new professional skills, it is important to update your organization’s skills inventory regularly.

With an updated skills inventory, your HR department will be able to determine if there is a skills gap, what a department may be lacking, and what internal trainings to implement. There are numerous ways your organization can benefit from creating a skills inventory, such as succession planning, future talent acquisition, and improved training and development. Your organization will find benefits currently, but will also reap the reward for future recruiting efforts and developments.

Succession Planning

It is very easy to get caught up in the business of every day, but your organization needs to prepare for the future. Succession planning is a human resource strategy aimed at identifying which employees are ready for promotions when higher-up employees leave. This HR strategy is one of the best ways to create a talent pipeline. 

With the assistance of a skills inventory, your organization’s human resource team can sort through hundreds of employees to determine the best fit based on necessary skills and personal qualities. The skills inventory is easily accessible and has the data to back up hiring and promotion decisions. The best business decisions are always backed by data, and skills inventory makes it easier to make decisions.

Talent Acquisition

As your team recruits and hires new employees, your organization can use skill inventories to make the best hiring decisions possible. As you interview potential employees, your organization can use different assessments to see if their abilities are a match for the desired skills.

You can store this data to sort through later when a new position opens that the candidate may be better suited for. As your new hires begin to take on their positions, you can track their progression at your organization. Also, you can use the skills assessment data from current employees to internally hire for open positions.

 When your human resource department uses a skills inventory, your company will save a lot of time and resources when recruiting and making better data-backed decisions.

Training & Development

The creation of a skills inventory can also be beneficial to current employees since the inventory will track their progress and identify potential pieces of training that employees can use to sharpen their skills. Investing in your current employees’ skill development with instructional skills-training can save your company time and money through a reduction of mistakes and knowing your employees’ skill gaps ahead of time. 

Your organization can use the data gathered in the skills inventory to create custom development programs and assist employees in their career progression.

How to Create a Skills Inventory?

If your organization has hundreds of employees, it may be intimidating to create a skills inventory from scratch. However, with a human resource platform, such as PeopleSpheres, your organization will have a comprehensive and customized skills inventory in no time.

PeopleSpheres can help you assess employee skills thanks to continuous support and real-time progress monitoring. You can create skill assessments during your recruitment process, run a skills and training matrix, and maximize your organization’s potential by using the necessary tools to bridge skills gaps.

To build your skills inventory from scratch, start by creating a field called skills, determine what skills you are looking for in your inventory, assess current employees through self-assessments or evaluations, and finally engage employees who want to develop their abilities.

Step 1: Create a Field Called Skills

To start building your organization’s skills inventory, create a spreadsheet or use a HR platform that helps you build one, such as PeopleSpheres. Name the first field “skills” and begin brainstorming what skills should be included in your inventory based on the department and relevant skills needed at your organization. This can include any types of skills you can think of, both hard and soft skills, or specific organizational skills required for your company. 

Examples of skills to include in your skills list are communication skills, leadership skills, critical thinking, time management, interpersonal skills, and more.

Step 2: Determine the Skills to Include in Your Inventory

What kind of skills are important for your organization? In order to create a usable skills inventory, your human resource department will need to determine what skills are most important to track amongst employees. Most organizations divide the qualities based on technical or soft skills, such as computer skills or work ethic. When determining what skills to include, make sure you include appropriate skills for each department and think about the future skills your organization may be looking for.

Step 3: Assess Current Employees’ Skills

Once you determine what skills to measure, you must assess them. Most organizations use self-assessments or traditional evaluations. The goal of the self-assessments and evaluations is to find out who on in your organization has certain skills and competencies and log this into the list of skills.


To complete a self-assessment, your organization can use online tools, such as PeopleSpheres, to assess employees in real time based on specific job tasks. Your human resource department can also create a questionnaire or quizzes with skill-based questions, such as “How comfortable do you feel working with database programs on a computer?” 


Another way to assess current employees’ skills is through evaluations. As your employees receive evaluations based on their performance, your human resource department can record that data into the skills inventory to see how employees can improve their work skills for their desired career path.

Step 4: Engage Employees Who Want to Progress

Once you have updated your skills inventory for all employees, you can use this data to generate development plans according to each employee’s results. Your human resource department can also use this information to inform employees what skills their department will be gearing towards in the future, helping them with their career planning. Informing employees about their assessments and how they can improve is crucial for career development, and will create a motivating workplace and healthy work environment.

Informing employees about their skills assessments can also motivate them for career exploration within the company and helps them to stand out by using their skills on the job. For example, through the assessments, an employee can find out that he has communication skills that he had not been conscious of before, which now opens up a door for job opportunities within human resources.


As your company begins to expand, make sure to prepare adequately with a skills inventory. A skills inventory can help you promote, recruit, and train with ease while engaging your current employees. Creating a skills inventory has become widely more accessible to companies worldwide thanks to HR platforms like PeopleSpheres.

PeopleSpheres is the first HR platform that is 100% adaptable and built to work with your company. PeopleSpheres automates and unifies all aspects of HR tasks, such performance management, and allows you add/adjust fields based on your specific company needs. PeopleSpheres also allows companies to create standardized and reusable skill libraries to help generate development plans according to individualized results.

When using PeopleSpheres for creating a skills inventory, your organization’s human resource department will be able to analyze skill self-assessments, identify skill gaps and how to mitigate them, and manage your talented employees’ skills.

To conclude, skill inventories are imperative to have on hand when prepping for many company wide endeavors. Your organization will find many benefits through the use of skill inventories now, but also in the future through succession planning, recruiting efforts, and personalized training programs across the company.

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