The Case for a Staff Skills Audit –
Understanding today, so you can plan for tomorrow

  • Do you have statistically valid evidence of the current skill sets of your workforce?
  • Are you easily able to identify the gaps between your current skill availability, and the future skills your organisation needs in order to meet its 5 year strategic plan?


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The Challenge:

Imagine you work in a company that has been operating for 23 years and has 300 employees. Using your internal HRIS system mixed with the results of your last company-wide survey you are very aware of the key demographic statistics of your workforce (age breakdown, gender, number of staff in each department, etc)

However, you realise there’s a big gap in your knowledge; over 20% of your workforce joined your organisation more than 10 years ago, and there is no central record of the resumes of these employees. Furthermore, of the current employees whose resumes you do have access to, most of the ‘skill’ data listed is in various Word, Excel and PDF formats and typically the information is no longer up to date. And even if this information was up to date, there is no easy way for you to combine skill set information in a unified, reportable format.

You are aware that Senior Management plan to expand the workforce in 2 key locations, and open a new operating division to tap into a new emerging market segment within the next 2 years. The lack of quantifiable staff skill data is ensuring that badly needed workforce planning initiatives are proving difficult to conduct. How can your organisation effectively plan for tomorrow, it its unsure of what skills it has onboard today?

Does this scenario sound familiar to you?

Enter the Staff Skills Audit:

A staff skills audit can be used to identify the skills an organisation currently has, and where the skill gaps lie in order for an organisation to meet its strategic objectives. Each person who works in an organisation has a dynamic and unique skill base. Not only is it important for the organisation to know what each persons skill set and skill levels are, but it is also important to know how these skills are utilised as part of his/her work role.

The outcome is a workforce plan that aligns with the organisations strategic plan, identifies where training is needed, and highlights areas where new talent is required.

A skills audit is typically used to:

  • Help determine how well resourced the organisation is to achieve its strategic plan.
  • Identify specific knowledge gaps in areas the organisation cannot afford to do without.
  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of individual staff or teams.
  • Enable training and development expenditure to be better directed.
  • Help staff members recognise the skills (both used and latent) they need to develop.
  • Better define future recruiting needs to help an organisation appoint the right people.
  • Identify the employees who have a desire to move within the organisation.

Ultimately, the process of running a staff skills audit encourages the organisation to focus on identifying skills and bolster resources in the areas of key strategic importance to the business.

Ideally at the conclusion of the audit process you will be able to summarise your findings and identify:

  • A profile of the skills currently available within your workforce.
  • The skills base your organisation needs now.
  • The future skills your organisation is likely to need (based on trends,future strategic plans, and taking into account the difficulties in attracting and retaining staff in each key area).
  • Major skill gaps.
  • A prioritised action plan.

When completed, the results of a skills audit should be aggregated to obtain a statistical view of existing skills and knowledge. This information can also be used to support the process of restructuring, deployment or internal promotion, and help to conduct effective succession planning.

Be sure to repeat this process at least twice a year so you continue to effectively manage your training spend, offer employees relevant training and career opportunities and respond effectively to a changing economy by ensuring you have the relevant skill sets available to you.

Want to have a look at an example of how a skills audit works?
Contact PeoplePulse today on ph +61 2 9232 0172,

Or request a demo of our Online Survey software.


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Lapsed Customer Research – 6 Key Findings

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