Developing skills profiles

A skills profile enables exact definition of the knowledge and abilities that are essential for a work position. It is also a diagnostic tool and effective way to monitor training. The construction of a skills profile that groups skills of the same type and similar relative weight is a key factor in its later ease of use. In addition, the cognitive level, accuracy, and conciseness of the description of each skill are essential for the second phase, which is the assessment of each employee’s skills, through self-assessment and/or assessment by a superior.

Well-constructed skills profiles, once set up, enable you to:

  • Ensure a training/coaching needs analysis that is objective and accurately represents the real requirements;
  • Ensure that an employee has all the skills required to do the work;
  • Emphasize the skills to be acquired;
  • Reduce training time by accurately identifying skills that have not yet been acquired by the worker or, for general or common skills, by the majority of workers;
  • Manage staffing fluctuations, prepare succession plans, increase labour mobility;
  • Allow managers and internal trainers to monitor training benefits.

The profile is not a task description, but an inventory of the knowledge and skills that an employee must possess to do the work for a given position. The skills profile for a position is developed through direct observation and discussion with a skilled employee. It is then validated by the supervisor and other skilled staff (other experienced employees, quality assurance personnel, OHS or environment representatives, etc.). This ensures that the diagnostic and training management tool accurately represents real requirements. Moreover, it maximizes the tool’s acceptability as valuable and relevant to both employees and management because both groups were involved in its development..