Skill matrix for HR: A guide for effective skill development in the organization

Combining skills like a puzzle


Is your human resources department keeping up with your company’s need for skilled people ? The skill matrix is the perfect tool for human resource managers to support the skill development in the organization. This powerful resource enables companies to strategically assess, develop, and utilize their workforce’s skills, leading to improved performance, employee engagement, and success. In this article, we will delve into the concept of a Skills Matrix and explore how it can revolutionize your HR practices.

Understanding the Skills Matrix

Skills Management has been introduced by the HR of IBM at large scale in 2003 and was a tremendous success. The Skills Matrix is a visual representation of the skills and competencies possessed by individuals within an organization. It provides an overview of the skills distribution across teams or departments, highlighting both strengths and areas for improvement. By mapping out employee skills in a structured manner, HR professionals gain insights into the collective skill set of the workforce, facilitating better decision-making, talent management, and resource allocation.

skill matrix in teammeter with skill requirement matching
Example of a skill Matrix in teammeter

Benefits of skill-based talent development

Enhanced Workforce Planning

The Skills Matrix enables HR teams to identify skills gaps and make informed decisions regarding training, hiring, or reallocating resources. It ensures that the right individuals are assigned to projects or roles that align with their skill sets, optimizing productivity and minimizing potential bottlenecks.

Targeted Training and Development

With a Skills Matrix, HR can identify specific skills that need improvement or further development within the organization. This information allows for the implementation of targeted training programs that address the identified gaps, fostering professional growth and increasing overall competency levels.

Succession Planning

By having a clear overview of the skills possessed by employees, HR can proactively plan for future talent needs and succession planning. The Skills Matrix helps identify potential successors for critical roles within the organization, minimizing disruption during periods of transition or unexpected vacancies.

Increased Employee Engagement

Employees appreciate when their skills and contributions are recognized and utilized effectively. A Skills Matrix facilitates transparent communication between HR and employees, allowing individuals to see how their skills align with organizational objectives. This visibility not only motivates employees but also encourages collaboration and a sense of ownership within the workforce.

Key success factors for skill development in your organization

Top-down and bottom-up approach

Like many changes in the company a successful skill management process is based on a mix between top-down and bottom-up approach.

The top-down approach is required to identify strategic skills needed for the business. The management defines strategic goals from which are derived the required skills as well as the number of required people. The information is required in the recruiting process to hire the best profiles for the future development of the company.

The teams in contact with the customers are the best placed to identify the skills they need and would like to develop. The aggregated requirements gathered from the teams will help the management to identify the key skills to be developed. With this information, the HR department can be better adapt the training offer to meet these requirements.

Clear benefits for the employees

A skill management is can be only successful if employees are willing to assess their skill and give feedback. It works only if they see a clear benefit of the skill management in their daily work.

The first benefit of skill management is the individual skill development plan. Each employee knows his strengths and which skill he has to develop to be successful in his career.

With their an updated skill profile employees can can receive interesting training offers, support from colleagues or internal job opportunities matching their skills.

Self-assessment and external feedback

Relying only of assessment of skills by a manager in a skill matrix is not effective. The best assessment and feedback is coming from experts as they know the best what is expected for a given skill.

Asking the employee to first assess his skill level make him more responsible for his development and will generate more intrinsic motivation to learn for the given skill. Request experts in the team to give personal feedback and advice how to increase the skills.

Collaborative work for maintaining the skill catalog

The skill catalog is like a common language in your organization to define skills. It can be a tough work for the HR department to maintain a good quality of a centralized skill definition and skill levels.
Some software provider propose skill catalogs for different industries. Even if they are regularly updated, it very probable that these catalogs won’t contain skills about internal tools and specific business. So it is important that experts of your company have the opportunity to directly add or update skills in the catalog.


Managers has often other priorities that reminding employees to update their their skill data. A software can automate many tasks related to skill management:

  • Reminding employees to update their skill profile or to warn about risks due to missing skills.
  • Reminding employees to renew certifications.
  • Inform employees about new trainings about the skills that they would like to develop.
  • Warn team members about risks to missing skills in their team.


We have seen that the key success factor for skill development is the employee empowerment, the collaborative work and automatic guidance of employees.

If you are looking for an innovative software solution to support the development of skills in your organisation, we invite you to look at the skill matrix in teammeter. Teammeter combines self-organization for the skill development and intelligent functions so that the HR department and managers can support skill development in the whole organization.