Almost two-thirds of companies use skills mapping to help them maintain a team with the education and experience they need. Though, not everyone understands this process or how to use it in a way that is both effective and efficient. Are you one of those people, and do you need a primer on the best way to go about starting a skills matrix?

This article will help you understand what this useful workplace tool is and how best to use it. As you read on, learn how some of the best recruiters can use skills maps to figure out how best to round out your company’s needs.

Defining Skills Mapping

Skills mapping is a method by which you can identify and analyse areas of expertise in all your employees. It allows you to analyse the scope of skills that each person brings to the table and align it with what you need.

By looking at the resultant skill set, you can compare it with what you need to fulfill your company’s current goals and then pivot growth to match this. It also allows you to learn where areas of improvement lie so that you can take action to fill in these gaps.

If you intend to use skills mapping but do not have the buy-in of the whole company, you need not worry. It is a scalable tool, and you can use it either for the entire organisation or only for your smaller team. By only implementing it on a smaller scale, you can then use the knowledge you gain from it to discuss your team’s areas of growth.

Having a skills matrix also empowers you to offer your team’s services when it comes to their strengths. If there is a project that your team would excel at, you can approach the shareholder with information on how your team would be best placed to work on it. 

Building Skills Matrices

Skills matrices come in many forms, including infographics and graphs, though the most common is that of a simple table.

On this table, you should list each employee’s skills as well as how proficient they seem to be in these areas. By talking with the employee, you can gain a good understanding of both their confidence and effectiveness at bringing that skill to bear. 

Over time, you will want to return to this matrix and update it as people grow in their experience level. You can then use peer review, self-assessment, or one-to-one meetings to work out if the matrix should be updated. 

Capability and Competency Matrices 

The skill of individuals comes in many forms, including efficiency, confidence, and effectiveness. When you put these into a chart, you might want to create charts that track each of these specific skill details.

Capability matrices focus more on confidence when it comes to new challenges. It shows how willing the person is to take on something that is outside of their comfort zone. It can tell a manager where their areas of improvement are, and if they would be well-suited for a role that requires them to educate themselves.

A competency matrix is more rigid and describes how well someone works with the skills they have at present. It can inform managers of which projects a person would be best suited to based on their existing knowledge.

Uncovering Skill Gaps

In creating a skills matrix, you can discover areas where you need to improve your organisation’s current skills. These are likely to be areas where you can focus talent development on the employees you have, or seek to attract new hires with the expertise you need.

You can also use this tool to design onboarding programs that ensure everyone has the basic competencies they need to work with you. It may also be possible to create an understanding of the skills you will need in one year, two years, or five years. You can then develop training programs that will bring people up to speed in time for your needs.

Skills Mapping for Remote Workers

When you bring in a skilled workforce from outside your local area, you want to make sure they can communicate in their areas of competence. On top of that, remote work demands specific skills people need more than when in an office, including:

  • Self-discipline and focus
  • Remote communication competency
  • Adaptability to unique situations
  • Remote leadership

Mapping out these ensures you find people suited well for remote work.

Working With a Global PEO

It is useful to have a skills matrix when you work with a Professional Employer Organisation (PEO) with a focus on global talent acquisition. This way, they can use it to match your company with their network of potential hires much faster.

If you do not have a skills matrix already, many such companies can work with you to build one and inform you of what they would need it to look like. With their expertise, your matrices will be useful not only to the PEO but also for your own needs moving forward.

Problems and Solutions

Not every company is the same. Sometimes, challenges may crop up when trying a new method of communicating competency. Some of the issues that companies have when they implement skills matrices include:

Data Accuracy

You must ensure any information you put in a skills matrix is as accurate as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to make the level of competence communicated both measurable and specific. You should also check the matrix is up-to-date whenever you intend to use it.


As your company grows, both the skills you might want to know about and the number of employees you have will change. Make sure you have a simple method of updating the matrix to prevent this responsibility from falling on only one person. While you do this, make sure the process of updating it is simple and does not take very long, to ensure people do it without much fuss.

Recruiters Who Use Skills Mapping

With all the above information, it should be obvious why and how skills mapping can put you on the best footing during internal training. It also helps you understand how best to go about the hiring process, and why companies who use it fare better in the long run.
As a dedicated PEO recruiter, we use skills matrices to help us ensure we bring you only the workers with the most useful skillsets. So, get in contact if you want to know more about how we can help you expand your company with global talent acquisition today.