How HR Can Best Support Employee Development

How Talent Assessments Lead to Skills Intelligence

Skills intelligence is more than a buzzword in business; it’s a core competency behind organizational success. Understanding the skills of your employees and how they relate to their current and potential roles gives you the data you need to strategize for the future of your company. The benefits extend beyond providing data to support the development of new training programs, for example, to transform the safety, efficacy, engagement, and longevity of your workforce.

Talent assessments are one of the foundational tools that lead to skills intelligence. Having access to both market and organizational data is pivotal in remaining competitive.

 

What is skills intelligence?

Skills intelligence refers to organizational understanding of the skills that exist within your workforce, how those skills compare to the standard in your industry, and how to develop and leverage those skills for organizational competitiveness and success.

Employee skills are the foundation of every company’s final product or service and have a direct impact on financial outcomes. Investing in understanding and developing the skills of your people can drive reduced turnover, increased internal promotion rates, improved quality, and even improved customer satisfaction to name a few.

While the necessity of this discipline goes without saying, many organizations fall below the standard. The primary reason companies aren’t up to par when it comes to understanding and leveraging employee competencies is because they don’t have the resources they need to do it successfully. Skills intelligence can only be achieved when you have access to skills data – both within your organization and externally – and you have the systems you need to leverage that data to drive business decisions.

Some of the building blocks for skills intelligence include skills taxonomies, skill proficiency models, and skill analytics.

A skill taxonomy is a structured list of all the skills that you need within your organization in order to succeed in your industry. Having an accurate, up-to-date skill taxonomy can support candidate screening and selection, upskilling team members, internal mobility plans, workforce planning, and performance management efforts.

Skill proficiency models outline the skills necessary to advance in a particular role, outlining which skills a beginner should possess in comparison with a contributor or an expert, for example. These models provide a visual representation of an employee’s potential growth and development as they obtain new skills throughout their career and help the organization better understand gaps in their workforce.

Skill analytics involve interpreting the data you’ve collected to make it meaningful. Analytics can help you turn an inventory into meaningful data that tells a story about your organization’s current state and preparedness for the future – and then make business decisions based on that information.

 

The relationship between talent assessment and skills intelligence

Talent assessment refers to the process of understanding the gaps between employees’ current skills and the targeted skill benchmarks to accomplish organizational goals.

When you use a well-developed process leveraging technology, talent assessments provide a wide range of skill data that an organization can use to improve skills intelligence and ultimately, business outcomes. Talent assessments support identifying the skills of current employees, evaluating candidates for internal moves, identifying training and development needs, and assessing employee fit.

Identifying the skills of current employees

Talent assessments help leaders understand the skills and abilities of current employees. This data drives important business decisions and informs strategy; it can be used to identify potential development opportunities and assign tasks and responsibilities that align with employee strengths.

Evaluating candidates for internal moves

The data garnered through talent assessments supports career mapping and succession mapping, aiding as organizations work to identify the most qualified candidates and ensure they have the skills they need to be successful in new roles. As employees are identified for potential roles inside their organization, development plans can be customized based on skills gaps identified throughout the talent assessment process.

Identifying training and development needs

Organizations can utilize the results of talent assessment work to identify where additional training or development is needed. As a result, investment in training is well-spent and delivers a higher return on investment. Subsequently, targeted training can be created for unique employees or teams, empowering employees to focus on developing the skills they need to advance their careers.

Assessing employee fit

Talent assessments can be used to assess whether a job candidate is a good fit for their current role or if they would be better suited for another opportunity. Downstream benefits of ensuring appropriate placement for each unique individual in the company include improved employee satisfaction, engagement, and retention. Additionally, placing highly skilled employees in the right roles contributes to safety, quality, and productivity – which come together to increase your bottom line.

 

 

The benefits of gaining skills intelligence

With skills intelligence, you can unlock insights to transform your business. Understanding and leveraging the skills of your workforce is critical for remaining competitive in a challenging climate, retaining and engaging your staff, and planning for strategy fulfillment. Failing to address this critical competency weakens your other efforts to move your organization forward.

One of the most advantageous ways to gain skills intelligence is through talent assessments. They provide a more accurate and comprehensive view of the skills of your employees and afford the ability to make more informed business decisions. Armed with the data garnered through these processes, leaders can ensure employees are utilizing their skills and talents in the right position and are prepared for future gaps and opportunities.

In 2023, organizations who have utilized talent assessments to drive skills intelligence can expect:

  • Increased interest in mobility among internal candidates who base their move on their ability to perform in the new role and gain new skills of interest.
  • Organizational efficacy by understanding skill gaps within the business and areas to automate or develop further
  • Clearer understanding of how employee can better support achieving business goals

The use of talent assessments for skills intelligence is a vital strategy for any organization looking to stay competitive in today’s rapidly changing business landscape. By leveraging these assessments, companies can gain access to crucial data on the skills and abilities of their workforce, allowing them to make informed decisions that support long-term growth and success.

 

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