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In this article, we will present a dynamic approach to creating a skills repository that leverages employee actions and skills that are available in your company's landscape. This approach ensures that your skills repository remains relevant and useful over the long term.

According to a study based on 140 companies, 58% out of them have built this matrix.<span> </span>What other information can be learned from this study?

  • There is a significant gap between large enterprises and smaller ones when it comes to competency framework adoption: while 76% of companies with more than 1000 employees use a competency framework, only 42% of companies with fewer than 1000 employees have one.
  • 84% of companies experience difficulties in keeping it up-to-date.

How can we account for such figures ?

Two reasons stand out:

  1. The competency-model is not a shared process amongst every key HR actors into their daily processes such as yearly interview or internal mobility
  2. Managers do not use this tool in their management practices and prioritize performance over skills.
  3. Businesses feel they do not have the resources to build this tool.

We will focus on the methodology of creating the skills repository to gain broader support.

What are the main components of a skills repository ?

This tool of the Jobs & Skills Management allows to describe precisely what is expected from the exercise of a profession, it is composed of 4 dimensions:

  • Dimension 1: The perimeter to which the skills are attached: the index of all trades.
  • Dimension 2: The catalog of this knowledge according to their typologies: the categories of skills.
  • Dimension 3: The expected level of each skill: 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.
Example of a repository of skills
Example of a repository of skills
skills-framework example onto Neobrain's platform
Skills-framework example onto Neobrain's platform

Our recommendations on the categorization of qualifications can be found on our "Skills Categories".

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

What are the obstacles to overcome when creating a skills matrix ?

<span>Developing an effective competency framework can be a challenging and complex process. Here are five common obstacles organizations may encounter when creating their competency framework:</span>

  1. Lack of Clarity : "Without a clear understanding of what the organization needs, it can be difficult to define the competencies required for success in various roles.".
  2. Limited input: "If the process of developing a competency framework is done in isolation, without input from key stakeholders, the resulting framework may not be representative of the organization's needs.".
  3. Resistance to change: "Some employees may be resistant to the introduction of a competency framework, viewing it as a threat to their current status quo or as an unnecessary additional workload."
  4. Skill measurement: "Measuring the skills and competencies of employees can be difficult, as it requires ongoing evaluation and assessment."
  5. Maintenance and updating: "Once a competency framework has been created, it requires ongoing maintenance and updating to remain effective and relevant over time. Failure to keep it current can lead to outdated or irrelevant competency models."

Despite the obstacles that may arise during the creation of a competency framework, there are success stories from companies that have overcome these challenges. By involving key stakeholders in the process, engaging employees in skill self-assessments, and leveraging technology to automate skill tracking and development, these companies have been able to create and maintain robust and relevant competency frameworks.

  • Natixis. The French investment bank has increased internal mobility by 60% from the repository in less than a year. A successful bet in a context of talent shortage, especially since the cost of an external recruitment is on average 20K€ and its failure... 50K€
  • Sage. In a context of transformation from an "On-Premise" software activity to "Software as a Service", the a UK-based software company managed to develop 250 people initially before expanding to a larger scope.

How can we define job grading scales in a framework ?

Before creating the skills repository, it's crucial to define the occupational index. While some freedom can be exercised in associating qualifications with individuals who possess them, it's important to reach an agreement during the elaboration phase. 

Here's how not to confuse the concepts of "position" and "job":

  • The position: it refers to an individual and therefore defines a work situation specific to a single person. This position is visible on the pay slip, there are as many positions as there are employees in a company.
  • The Job: It is defined by a set of positions similar by their common purposes and activities. Consequently, a job groups together positions that require similar skills .
  • The business line: unlike the job, the business line cuts across several internal organizations or business units. Technical mastery and similar purposes make it possible to group together benchmark jobs into a single profession.

Once this distinction has been made, you can build your foundation based on the 7 steps we will now develop.

What are the different steps in creating a dynamic skills repository?

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.