An Employee Skills Inventory

If you see yourself hiring internally at some point down the road, creating an employee skills inventory can be a great help. This is a catalogue of the skills, attributes, credentials and areas of knowledge that currently exist in your organization. Compared to conventional job histories that tend to focus on accomplishments, a skills inventory focuses on the skills and attributes that led to those accomplishments.

Even if your company is relatively small, it may be worth the time and effort to develop an employee skills inventory. The chief benefit to small businesses is that, instead of sorting through countless folders to compile a list of people who may be promising candidates for an opening in your company, you simply search the database of your skills inventory to identify those who come closest to the requirements of the particular position.

Creating a Skills Inventory

Given the versatility and power of most databases today, you face no limit to the number of categories to incorporate into your employee skills inventory. But try to keep the number of fields in your skills questionnaire to a reasonable minimum and make sure that they're job-related. Each field that you create in the database should have some administrative or strategic importance.

The Skills Questionnaire: A Key Tool

The best way for small businesses to gather most of the information is to create a simple skills questionnaire and distribute it to their employees, preferably using a customized, password-protected website that can distribute the survey by email.

The more in touch you are with the existing talents, skills and attributes of those within your company, the easier time you'll have getting the most out of your employees' expertise.