By Suzanne Bird-Harris, Fly Rod Media LLC
A skills inventory is a collection – or list – of your skills, education, and experiences. Skills inventories capture your professional expertise, attributes, and abilities. Creating such an inventory provides you with a point-in-time view of your skills (and skills gaps) that can guide your career growth when reviewed regularly.
What Are the Benefits of a Skills Inventory?
Skills inventories provide a wide range of benefits for both you and your employer.
Benefits for You
Training and personal development – an up-to-date inventory shows which skills you are missing altogether, and which you need to further develop. This allows you to make the most of your training time and budget.
Leadership Development – A skills inventory is an excellent tool to identify your leadership skills and how well you are developing each.
Career Planning – Helps to identify and monitor your development of the skills and abilities you need for promotions or new positions.
Partnership Optimization – A review of your skills can give your executive the confidence to delegate projects to you and utilize more of your skills and talents.
Job Satisfaction – Documenting and discussing your interests and work preferences can make it easier to direct your energy and attention to projects and responsibilities where you can add real value.
Business Continuity – when a crisis occurs, a skills inventory helps your executive understand and utilize your skills and provides opportunities for you to step up and shine.
Benefits for Your Company
Employee training and development – An up-to-date skills inventory shows which employees are missing important skills for their jobs and which need greater proficiency which helps to plan and create effective training and development programs.
Recruiting – Analysis of a skills inventory will highlight the skills most needed from qualified candidates.
Leadership Development – An inventory of skills is an excellent tool to identify emerging leaders and how well each leader is developing each skill.
Succession Planning – Help to identify and monitor the development of employees at all levels who may be called to step in when people are promoted or leave the company.
Workforce Optimization – An impartial review of workforce skills can help to avoid overdependence on some employees and underutilization of others.
Employee Retention – Inventories can capture information such as employee interests and work preferences making it easier to assign the right person for the right project.
Business Continuity – Operating a business amid a crisis requires understanding and utilizing the skills and talents you have available now and how to quickly identify employees who have the skills to step in and fill skills gaps.
How to Create a Skills Inventory
There are many ways to create and maintain a Skills Inventory, from a simple spreadsheet to commercial software. Start by identifying the skills and core competencies that are important to your job and your organization. Here are some categories to get you started:
- Communication skills
- Technical skills
- Management and Self-Management skills
- Number skills
- Creative/Artistic skills
- People and Social skills
- Critical Thinking and Investigative skills
- Business skills
You will want to identify both job-specific skills and transferable skills. Transferable skills are usually broader and related to leadership, communication, critical thinking, analysis, and organization. These skills can be transferred and utilized in a variety of jobs and career paths.
Once you have your list of skills for each category, you’ll want to indicate which skills you already possess, which you really enjoy, and which you would like to develop:
If you want to make it even more informative and useful, instead of simply marking a skill, assign a number from 1 to 10:
This way, you can see at a glance the skills you possess but don’t particularly enjoy, which is not reflected in Example A above. Example B relays a deeper level of information about your meeting facilitation skills.
Companies need to have a clear understanding of their people’s skills and where the skills gaps are in order to thrive. You need an inventory of your skills for the same reason. When creating a strategic administrative career plan, a skills inventory helps you determine where you are now so you can determine where to upskill to move forward and reach your career goals.
Download This Skills Inventory Worksheet to Get You Started
It’s hard to sit staring at a blank screen or piece of paper and come up with a comprehensive list of skills to assess. So, we’ve done the research for you and created a comprehensive list of skills in the eight categories listed above. Feel free to add or delete skills as necessary to fit your requirements.
Download our Skills Inventory Worksheet and get started inventorying your skills today!