4 Steps in a skills audit


by Naomi Kleynhans

Do you need to conduct a skills audit but don’t know what to plan for?  In this article, I’ve outlined four steps you need to take in your skills audit project. This list is not exhaustive and you might want to consider adding in steps such as time to review job titles, reporting structures and organisational structures in your process, depending on the situation in your company.

Step 1: Communication, information and stakeholder engagement

To employees, a skills audit is often threatening so it’s crucial to spend time communicating with your employees about why you’re conducting the audit, the method that you will use to conduct the process and what to expect. Give special attention to engaging unions and workplace forums.

When should you do this?

When the audit starts and during any of the next three phases.

How much time should you spend on this?
Approximately 5 % of the total project time.

Step 2: Develop assessment standards or competency profiles

Irrespective of the assessment methods you use, the assessment standards require that you always:

a)    Conduct a job analysis, and
b)    Develop definitive performance standards against which the assessment will be conducted.

In terms of time and specialised resources, this phase is the longest and most intensive. It is also key in determining the quality of the outcomes that the skills audit will produce.  

Once you’ve developed the standards, you can use these for many more HR functions, such as career development, recruitment and succession planning.

How much time should you spend on this?

You should spend at least 45% of the entire project time on this phase. For an organisation with 60 unique job titles, this may come to about six weeks.

Step 3: Conduct the skills audit

Leadership and oversight by top management will ensure your staff members participate in the audit process. Remember that factors such as public holidays and financial year-ends may impact your process so you need to account for these in the project plan.

How much time should you spend on this?

You should spend at least 30% of the entire project time on this phase. For an organisation with 250employees, this may take about four weeks.

Step 4:  Reporting

The secret to efficient reporting starts with phase 2 being done well in addition to information management tools. If you have everything in place, analysing and reporting on your data should be a breeze.

How much time should you spend on this?

You should spend at least 20% of the entire project time on this phase.

 

This article first appeared on HR Pulse.

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