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Things have got to change!

Skills Assessment mistakes continue!

The current COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is further highlighting issues with the approach many companies are still taking to understand the skills of their people.


Frustratingly a number of professional bodies, consultancy and services organizations are still recommending an approach which fails to provide a complete answer to the “what skills do we have” question. This can negatively impact risk management and business continuity planning. Imagine you have someone sick or unavailable, you might need to find your next best option – someone with the skills you need for the urgent tasks.


The outdated approach still being used by many, involves assessing people only against the required skills from their current job. For example, a Business Analyst may be assessed against the following skills (based on the published UK Government DDaT profile for a Business Analyst):

  • Business analysis (BUAN)
  • Business modelling (BSMO)
  • Requirements definition and management (REQM)
  • Relationship management (RLMT)


However, as a recent McKinsey Global Institute Skill shift report showed that 37% of respondents said their current jobs did not fully use their skills, this assessment approach misses skills that you already have in your workforce and might need to make use of.


To make matters worse, the World Economic Forum “The future of jobs” report stated that “more than a third of the desired core skill sets of most occupations will be comprised of skills that are not yet considered crucial to the job today” – so even when we’re not in crisis mode, we don’t know whether people have the skills that are going to be needed in their current job in a couple of months from now. This puts these companies permanently at risk of not having the skills they need when they need them, and in catch-up mode when it comes to development of their staff. Most employees will have a development plan, but if you don’t even know what skills they currently have, and you don’t know the skills that will be needed in the short and medium term, how confident can you be that the appropriate development activity is in the plan and being prioritised?


Key message

Assess the whole individual, not just the skills of their current role!


Good news

The good news is that this is relatively easy to address, and it can even be done with staff that might be at home in self-isolation – in fact, this might be the ideal time to do it! Here are the key steps and achievable timelines:

  • Add the names and email addresses of your in-scope staff to the SkillsTX SaaS solution
  • Plan some communication to your people, letting them know what is happening and why – how the assessment will work, and how it will support their development planning and increase opportunities for them to maintain and further develop their skills.
  • Once the communication has been delivered, press the button in SkillsTX which will send an individual self-assessment invitation email to each person.
  • The self-assessment shouldn’t take more than 1-hour for each individual to complete, and it can be edited and updated after the initial self-assessment surveys so they should not be worried about having to get it 100% perfect in the initial assessment. Typically we recommend giving people 2-weeks to fit in this self-assessment around their other commitments, but it can be done much more quickly if needed.
  • While the self-assessments are being completed, managers can define job descriptions or role profiles, and get these into the system, ensuing that these profiles reflect the skills needed in these roles now and into the foreseeable future.
  • Having completed self-assessment and role profiling:
    • Individuals will be able to keep their Skills Profile up-to-date as their skills change over time; perform gap analysis against the requirements of current or future roles; and develop and maintain their own Development Action Plan focussing on their highest priority development needs
    • Managers and Team Leaders will be able to see the skills profiles and action plans for their team members, and work with them to ensure that the appropriate development activity is prioritised.
    • Senior Management can look at the compiled analytics data to see where their skills-related risks are, find people with specific skills, plan development, and generally support much better decision making based on complete and accurate data.




FREE Initial Online Consultation Meeting

Not sure what you need for your organization? Grab 30 minutes with us and we will work with you to understand your goals, and to advise on options and next steps. Book an online meeting here


Demo of the full SkillsTX Solution

If you would like to see SkillsTX in action, feel free to book an online Demo of the full solution


Supported Proof Of Value

Many prefer a little support to ensure that they can get it right first time and get to the value more quickly. We offer a Supported Proof Of Value package for under US$10k, where an organization can get up to 4-days of professional services support from a senior SFIA Accredited Consultant (can be delivered online), assess up to 100 workers, and build up to 5 SFIA-based job descriptions or role profiles. All of this happens over a maximum of 6-weeks, and includes licence costs for 2-months giving you time to decide if the value has been realised and extend your licences


Individual Skills Assessment

If you are an individual technology professional, maybe you’re self-employed and part of the gig economy, or worried about the security of your current job being impacted by the virus and resulting economic challenges, we have a FREE offer for you. Sign-up online at complete a self-assessment, view and update your Skills Profile in the SkillsTX Planner console, compare your current skills with industry sample roles for UK, EU and Australian Government profiles, and plan your development action plan. This includes listings of training, certifications and other development activity mapped to your identified development needs or gaps. All available online, and can be complete from home self-isolation.


SFIA Skills Discussion and Certified Skills Profile

Independent skills validation, carried out online and taking up to 1-hour, where a SFIA Accredited Consultant works with an individual to independently assess their skills. Output is a Certified SFIA Skills Profile, providing independent verification of your current skills, which can be useful to those applying for work or simply wanting a firm baseline of their skills. Book online meeting

SFIA Training

Want to be learn more about SFIA through online instructor-led training? See pages 6 & 7 for training options During this pandemic we’re being very flexible on minimum training numbers and are often able to fit in individual learners as well as groups, with the training being scheduled at mutually convenient times.