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Seb Anthony

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Individual skills audits/inventories


We are constantly bombarded with documents that talk about skills gaps and skills deficiencies. Looking at the literature, organisations are often exhorted to undertake skills reviews, TNAs etc against the requirements of the specific job. I am unable to trace literature that exhorts the audit of individual skills that may or may not be related to organisational needs at the present time. It is occasionally done at times of crisis - but there is only minimal evidence of this, too.

For example, do organisations know if their employees can paint, do karate, swim, play the piano etc?? If they did, what lateral skills might these indicate that could be of use to the organisation?

Can anyone help with literature on this topic or organisations that might actually be doing this?


Pauline Peregrine

2 Responses

  1. Unidentified Intellectual Capital

    What an interesting concept; identifying intellectual capital ahead of need!

    Like you, I haven’t seen any literature about it and my experience of 20+ years suggests that it is disregarded by many, if not most, organisations. At least one organisation of which I’m aware requires new employees to produce documentary evidence of their qualifications and then files them away never to be seen again. The organisation then hires consultants externally to do many tasks which, presumably, could be done in-house.

    I’ll be interested to hear what you find out.


  2. It will happen – after basic skills management is established

    There are 2 areas you have identified in your question – the areas of employees’ non-work expertise (e.g. karate) and the skills associated with these (e.g. good physical co-ordination). Collecting information on both of these would, as you say, be potentially beneficial to employers.

    However, I work in the field of skills audits and human value management, and I know of no companies doing this at present (like Robin below). I think that the reason is straight forward: most organisations are working hard right now to understand the basic skills of their employees, as they relate directly to their current and potential future jobs within the company. This is a major task in itself, and will take a large organisation time to get right. I believe that we will see organisations moving towards your ideas in the future, but only after they have the ground work for their business-essential skills established first.

    When I hear of anyone doing this, I will let you know, and I would be very interested in hearing from you when you become hear of it, too.

    Best regards



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