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Although it is not compulsory to draw up a skills reference manual, it is nevertheless one of the essential steps in the managing skills efficiently. In order to inform strategic decisions, it is often the human resources department, and in particular the career management department, which leads the project.

Writing it, regularly updating it and aligning it with the company's needs does not rest solely on the shoulders of the human resources department. Indeed, the managers of each department, as well as the social partners, use it as a compass in their approaches.

What components are essential for developing a skills inventory?

This tool allows to describe precisely what is expected from any professional of a given occupation, it is composed of 4 dimensions:

  • Dimension 1: The scope to which the skills are attached: the index of every occupations.
  • Dimension 2: The catalog of this knowledge according to their typologies: the categories of skills.
  • Dimension 3: The expected level of each competency: the required level, which will be used in particular for development and mobility.
  • Dimension 4: In some cases, a weighting of a skill (low, moderate or high) can be considered as shown in the visual below.

Our recommendations for not only effectively building this prerequisite for any approach Jobs & Skills Management, but also making it a central HR management tool, can be found in our complete Guide"Référentiel de skills: l'indispensable".

Once all employees and managers have estimated their levels, the repository becomes the basis of a skills mapping.

What are the steps involved in building a skills repository?

We recommend following 6 steps to create a successful skills repository: 1. define the objectives sought, 2. establish data governance capable of guaranteeing its maintenance, 3. collect the qualifications to be integrated, 4. describe the level expected according to the job, 5. establish a degree of priority among the faculties listed. 6. involve everyone in bringing the tool to life, 7. make it reliable, improve it every day.

The 6 steps to create a repository of skills
The 6 steps to create a repository of skills

Step 1: Identify the business goals and objectives that the skills repository should support.

This involves understanding the current and future needs of the organization and aligning the skills repository with its strategic objectives. HR professionals can work with business leaders to identify the key skills and competencies that are critical to achieving these goals. such as :

  • Responding to a transformation that requires a very rapid evolution of the business
  • Prepare for negotiations Strategic Workforce Planning with a view to a three-year agreement and ask to structure a forward-looking management 
  • Consolidate the recruitment strategy in the face of shortages of skills 
  • Empower employees and managers in their development of skills and career management with an intuitive and sustainable tool. 
  • Facilitate internal mobility through the implementation of an internal Talent Marketplace.

Step 2: Continuously review and refine the skills repository to ensure that it remains relevant and useful over time.

This involves regularly reviewing and updating the skills repository to ensure that it reflects the current needs of the organization. HR professionals can use employee feedback and performance data to identify areas for improvement and to make updates to the skills repository as needed.

To learn more about the constitution and functioning of this team we have dedicated a complete page to the Competency Governance.

Step 3: Conduct a skills inventory to identify the skills and competencies required for various roles in the organization 

This involves gathering data on the skills and competencies that are required for each role in the organization. HR professionals can use a variety of methods to collect this data, including surveys, interviews, and focus groups.

The 3 methods of data collection
The 3 methods of data collection

Step 4: Describe the expected level for each skill

This step means defining the different levels of proficiency for each skill in the framework. By outlining clear and specific descriptions of what is expected at each level, this ensures a shared understanding of the different skill levels within the organization. It also enables employees to gauge their own skill level and identify areas for growth and development. Here is an example :

  • Level 1 → Beginner
  • Level 2 → Partially autonomous
  • Level 3 → Autonomy
  • Level 4 → Able to train other employees.

Step 5: Define the skills and competencies, including proficiency levels 

This involves creating a clear and concise description of each skill or competency, including what it means and how it can be measured. It is important to define proficiency levels for each skill or competency to provide a clear understanding of what is expected of employees. Here is how you can express the idea :

  • Importance 1 → The essential prerequisites for accessing the position
  • Importance 2 → The skills important to perform
  • Importance 3 → The "nice to haves" that form the high potential detection frame.

Step 6: Involve your employees & Implement a system for tracking employee progress in these competencies.

This involves creating a process for employees to update their skills data and for managers to provide feedback on employee progress. It is important to provide employees with opportunities for ongoing learning and development to ensure that they continue to acquire new skills and competencies.The main difference between Neobrain and other solutions for managing skills is that it takes motivation into account. We managed to reach on average 88% of active users on our platform.

To start your process, we offer you a free initial audit.

Step 7: Develop a plan to integrate employee-generated skills data into the skills repository 

This involves creating a process for collecting and integrating employee-generated skills data into the skills repository. HR professionals can encourage employee participation by making it easy for employees to update their skills data and by providing incentives for participation.

The main reservation of HR teams is often doubt about the quality of the data. That's why we've put together a guide to get as close as possible to this: check out our page "The 5 best practices to make your repositories reliable" at skills

By following these seven steps, HR professionals can create a dynamic skills repository that is aligned with the strategic objectives of the organization and that is continuously updated with the latest skills data. This approach ensures that the skills repository remains relevant and useful over the long term, helping organizations to effectively manage and develop their talent. Many people are involved in the creation of this matrix. Recruiters and mobility advisors use the jobs and skills defined in their daily work. Similarly, the HR development team's training catalogs should be linked to the skills data from the repository for full consistency. 
Our final recommendation
concerns the methodology used to ensure optimal adoption.