The Value of a Regular Employee Skills Assessment

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Any organization is only as powerful as its employees. When hiring, training or promoting people, CVs and interviews can only reveal so much. Education, work history, and references are all markers of a person’s knowledge and accomplishments, but the best way to understand specific abilities and expertise is to conduct a regular employee skills assessment.

What is an employee skills assessment?


A skills assessment comprehensively evaluates a person’s knowledge, abilities and competencies. The goal is to ascertain, with as much precision as possible, whether someone can correctly carry out a specific job.

There are several types of assessments. For instance, self-assessments may be used as part of an external audit or your hiring and selection processes.

Part of a skills assessment should include how well your employee manages their time. Are they always late on deadlines? Do they struggle with big projects or find it challenging to prioritize tasks?

This is where TimeTrack Timesheet is a handy tool. Employees simply have to start the time clock and stop it once they’re done working. TimeTrack automatically creates a timesheet of the time employees have worked. As a manger, you can download and review the timesheet to assess the person’s time management skills.

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TimeTrack Timesheet

There are many ways you can conduct skill assessments, such as:

  • Tests and role-playing provide a clear idea of how someone reacts in a given scenario and applies their skills to find a solution.
  • Surveys and questionnaires provide information about an individual’s abilities.
  • Skills matrices are arguably the quickest and easiest way to understand competencies.

 

 

Types of employee skills assessments


Here are some examples of the most widely utilized talent evaluation tests:

  • Psychometric evaluations
  • Personality assessments
  • General mental ability tests
  • Integrity evaluations
  • Job knowledge assessments
  • Situational judgment assessments, as well as skill evaluation tests

Should you do an employee skills assessment?


Businesses must ensure that skills and company goals are strongly aligned to survive in a cutthroat market. Goals cannot be attained without the requisite abilities, but it is impossible to identify the required talents without clear objectives.

Therefore, a thorough skills inventory alongside a review of organizational goals will help determine the company’s current status.

According to the American Institute for Research, many firms have traditionally relied on applicants’ and employees’ educational and professional histories to assess their skillsets.

However, due to the swift rate of change in today’s workplace, many people hold positions that have undergone massive change. Some may be in jobs where they lack updated skills and expertise, or were previously assessed for the job from conventional tests that are no longer recognized.

On the other hand, an employee may have an expansive range of theoretical knowledge but is inexperienced in the practical aspects. With an employee skills assessment, managers can comprehensively understand where an employee is falling short and where they excel.

Uses of an employee skills assessment


Recruiting

  • A job skills assessment exam can help hiring managers streamline the potential candidates.

Career development

  • To evaluate existing employees’ performances and validate that they are improving as they gain experience.
  • According to the Harvard Business Review, moving toward a skills-based approach of evaluating employees can help organizations find untapped sources of talent within their workforce.

Learning and development

  • An assessment is a simple, objective method to ensure that employees absorb knowledge and skills as they progress in their career.

Rapid adoption of new skills

  • The Covid pandemic demonstrated how quickly things can change. A skills assessment gauges if employees have mastered new and current skills that are specific to the modern workplace. This could be anything from being able to participate in video meetings to following new rules for social distancing or manufacturing procedures.
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Key points of an employee skills assessment

How to conduct an employee skills assessment


Start with the information you have

The company’s existing employee data is an excellent starting point for developing skills profiles. Get input from departmental managers and senior staff to drill down to important details. Companies can also scrape prospective employees’ LinkedIn profiles and CVs to source talent with abilities that may be underutilized in their current positions. You could make it a part of monthly planning or quarterly reviews.

Communicate your intentions

Skills assessments are only meaningful if they are conducted with purpose. Express your intentions clearly. Ensure that everyone is engaged in the process and motivated to identify and close any skills gaps within the organization as a whole, not to pinpoint the weakest link. Also, inform everyone that their responses will be handled confidentially and used to provide training.

Allocate assessment tests

Tests provide a clear picture of each employee’s areas of strength and knowledge. Skills assessments work best when used in conjunction with other evaluation techniques. With this approach, you gather detailed information on particular sub-skills and support your staff with additional training tailored to their requirements and your needs.

Experts suggest combining up to five skills tests in an evaluation for the best results and selecting the particular exams based on each employee’s function and specifications.

Assess soft and hard skill tests

Some talents, particularly technical or hard skills, are relatively simple to gauge using objective tests. This could take the form of requesting a candidate (or employee) demonstrate how to utilize a particular piece of equipment. Companies can develop their own formal skills assessment programs or use well-known templates.

Although “soft skills” like leadership and communication might seem harder to quantify, their significance cannot be overstated. Flexibility and emotional intelligence can be measured through simulations in which employees are asked how they would react in various situations.

Offer 360 reviews

Employees are evaluated by their peers, managers and direct reports as part of a “360-degree evaluation” process. These performance reviews are really helpful for determining particular strengths and weaknesses. 

As an example, a 360 review should include how well an employee has managed their attendances for a period. With TimeTrack Attendance Tracking, admins can define a break regulation for attendance tracking. The software keeps track of whether employees take enough breaks. If not, a warning will appear in the attendances feature. This ensures that admins are always informed about the length of their employees’ breaks.

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TimeTrack Attendance Tracking

Business simulations

You can examine your employees’ talents by putting them through business simulations to see how they would react in specific situations. Then, use this information to assist staff in improving specific skills and competencies such as:

  • Negotiation skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Communication skills
  • Business ethics
  • Compliance knowledge

Pros of an employee skills assessment


Reduce bias

Intrinsic biases might influence staffing judgments. The more weight given to skills tests, the less weight given to age, gender, prior employer, education, location and other criteria that can inadvertently influence a hiring manager.

Develop personalized employee plans

Just because an individual isn’t skilled doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get the job or promotion. A skills evaluation helps to define the areas where someone must enhance their capabilities, making it easier to develop a meaningful, tailored learning and employee development plan.

Measure progress

Regular skill assessments can validate progress or reveal areas where training and support are insufficient.

Close specific skill gaps

The most significant advantage of employee talent assessments is the ability to expose skills gaps and close them. At the organizational level, skills gaps are challenging. Still, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), it’s possible for organizations to solve the issue with the correct strategic approach.

Improve employee engagement

Ensuring that your employees grow and develop is a win-win situation since it keeps them engaged and adds value to the company. Maintain employee engagement by encouraging and recognizing their improvement through continuous skill assessments and training.

Incorporating a personnel plan into your employee skills assessment is a key factor for efficient planning. To maximize the opportunity presented by personnel planning, use any effective and reliable TimeTrack planning and absence management software tools.

Conclusion


As you can see, performing an employee skills assessments is an excellent way to determine which skills and competencies exist in your organization. TimeTrack helps simplify time management and planning processes.

Remember, an employee skill assessment allows you to plan recruitment efforts for crucial skills your workforce is currently lacking and upskill the workforce by addressing specific skills gaps.