What is Skill Matrix in HR?

Skills are the latest currency of the current century. As the world continues to become more and more competitive, companies are faced with a greater need for skilled workers. The need for employees with specific skill sets is becoming more and more important. You can fulfill this need with the help of a skills matrix.

The skill matrix offers an excellent way for employers to identify which employees are a good fit for certain positions and tasks. In particular, it is useful for creating employee development plans and aligning the skills in a way that they align with their future needs as well.

If you are an HR professional or a company owner and want to make your projects successful, you should get help from the skills matrix. Next, we’ll explain what a skill matrix is and how you can use it to develop your organization. If you want to learn via video, then watch below. Otherwise, skip ahead.

What is Skill Matrix?

A skill matrix is a visual tool used in HR to determine employees’ skills, knowledge, and experience. The matrix organizes your employees into skills categories required for different jobs. It consists of a table that lists the skills that employees need to learn to perform certain job functions.

The aim of creating this matrix is to make sure that you have the right people in the right jobs to increase productivity and work quality. It will help you to identify your current workforce and its capabilities. Moreover, this tool assesses the skill gaps that exist between your employees and the company’s needs.

Why Does Your Organization Need a Skills Matrix?

It’s not easy to identify people who are good in certain fields. The skill matrix helps HR professionals to find out who has the right skills to fill a given position. It will help your HR department make better decisions about recruitment, retention, and staff training.

The value of a skills matrix is in objectively identifying what skills are needed to achieve organizational goals. In this way, an organization can get a clear picture of the specific skills they need to learn and what employees can do. It also helps you assess employees that have appropriate training for each job opening. A skills matrix can show which employees have already mastered certain tasks and what key skills they may need to learn.

It allows you to see any skill gaps within your company which can lead to a time wastage when someone takes on a task they aren’t qualified to do. It also helps companies keep track of their employees’ strengths and utilize them in a more effective way within the business.

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What are the Benefits of the Skill Matrix?

A skill matrix isn’t just used to list the skills but can provide many benefits. Following are some of the benefits of using a skills matrix:

Identifying the Right People for Your Project

Employee skills are a necessary factor for the success of any project, so it’s vital for companies to assess them in a proper way. If an employee is working in an area that doesn’t match their skill set, this means they are less productive and therefore ineffective in their role. A skills matrix can help you identify which employees perform well in particular roles, allowing you to make changes.

By looking at how employees use their skills, you can determine if they need additional training to progress in the company. The employee skills matrix will also help identify skills that your employees lack but are needed in the current project, allowing you to find staff with matching abilities.

Determining Missing Competences

Learning about your employees’ missing skills can help you make a development plan. If your company is contemplating a new strategy or project, you will need to assess whether or not all your team members have the required competencies to achieve it.

Skill Matrix vs. Competency Matrix

For instance, if your business is planning to enter a new market, you’ll need employees with marketing skills. If you don’t have people with these skills within your company, it is the right time to bring some new hires or train your previous employees.

Offering a Competitive Edge to Your Organization

Learning and development are critical factors in improving organizational performance. If your employees don’t possess the most up-to-date skills or can’t apply them in a correct way, they are not productive enough for the company’s needs. It means they will fail to compete with their counterparts in your industry who have the required skills.

Skills management is necessary for any business that wants to stay competitive in the marketplace. The skills matrix allows you to manage skills your business needs from your workforce. It will make it easier for you to hire employees who have all or most of these skills. With a better team in place, your company will compete with others in the industry more in an effective way.

Developing Effective Training Programs

A skills matrix allows you to analyze the current employees and see if they have the necessary skills needed for your project. You can develop a training program to enhance the team member’s skills and to close the skill gap to help them to develop the right competencies. You can also use a learning platform to train your team members in a professional manner.

A successful training program begins with identifying what is required from employees to meet business objectives. When planning for a learning strategy, it’s essential that you focus on all levels of an employee’s experience, from recruits to senior managers.

Tracking Employees’ Skills Across Various Departments

Skill requirement varies among departments. For example, the marketing department will require employees with different skill sets to those in sales. It is challenging to track which skills are required for specific areas within the organization, but it’s possible by using a skills matrix.

By keeping track of all your employees’ skills across various departments, you can determine who has what capabilities and how to best use them. You can also make necessary changes as your business grows and the needs of your company change.

Future Planning

By generating a list of employees’ skills and compiling them on a skills matrix, you can determine the desired skills for future projects. You can make necessary changes as your business grows by employing skill management.

For instance, if your company is considering expanding into a new market or creating a new product, you will need additional talent with certain skills. By generating a list of employees’ skills and compiling them on a skills matrix, you can evaluate employees with a particular skill necessary for your future project.

How Do You Create a Skill Matrix?

A skills matrix for your business is a very effective way of determining the skills and qualifications your employees require. You can create one for your organization by using a skills matrix template and adding new skills as required. Let’s learn through a step by step guide how you can create a skills matrix for your company:

Example skill matrix

1. Evaluate The Required Skills

The first step is to analyze the skill set your team members need to meet the requirements of a certain project. You can accomplish it by listing all the skills required for the project. Focus on critical skills, like problem-solving and communication, teamwork, and technical skills. You need to list both soft skills as well as hard skills.

Start by analyzing the skills required in the initial stage of the project and then consider the skills you need for future stages. It will help you identify a skill gap and determine if your employees possess the required skills to deliver results. You can ask managers or team members for insight into which skills are required.

2. Assess The Skills of Your Employees

When you have the list of required skills, you’ll need to assess your employees’ capabilities. There are several ways to do this. Some common ways are the following:

  • If your organization is small, you can send out a questionnaire or conduct interviews to understand the skills your team members need for success
  • Self-evaluation is helpful, as it will allow employees to identify their strengths and weaknesses. However, you should take results with a grain of salt since there can be a tendency to exaggerate strengths and minimize weaknesses
  • Supervisors and managers of various teams can also determine their employees’ skill levels
  • You can take a look at employees’ credentials and see if they match the skills required
  • You can also take feedback from clients and other business partners regarding employees’ performance and use it to assess the skills of employees

Once you’ve determined your employees’ skill sets, you’ll need to check if they are skilled as required for project completion. You may also want to look at the future requirements of this project to determine what additional skills are needed and whether or not current team members have those skills.

3. Combine All The Data To Map Your Skills Matrix

Now that you have a list of required skills and the level of skills possessed by your employees, it’s time to create the skills matrix. You can use a skills matrix template for analyzing all the skills of your employees. You can develop a matrix in Excel. Follow the following steps to create a skills matrix in Excel:

  • Make a table and list all your team members’ names in the first column.
  • Mark the first row as “Skills and Abilities.”
  • Write down all the required skills in the second row. Make sure that each skill falls in a different column.
  • In the last row, indicate whether or not your employees have those skills as required.

4. Rate Each Employee’s Skills

Once you complete this process for all team members, analyze the final table to rate employees’ skills based on the matrix. This step will allow you to determine whether or not your employees have what it takes to complete a project and meet its objectives. You already have this data from the previous steps, so all you need to do now is come up with a rating system that works for your organization. Some common rating systems include:

5-star System

It is a simple method where employees are rated according to the number of stars they have. One star means weak skills, while five stars mean strong skills.

3-tier System

In this system, employees are placed in one of three tiers based on their skills. Tiers are defined as low, moderate, and high.

Color Coding System

The color of the cells indicates employees’ skills. Green means high skill level, while red or orange indicates low or moderate skill levels, respectively.

Once you’ve marked your final matrix with the right ratings, it’s time to think about what these ratings mean for your project.


In short, we can say that a skill matrix is a way to assess the skill gaps that exist between employees and your organization’s goals and objectives. A skill matrix helps you identify the right people for your organization’s needs, helps develop effective training programs, and offers a competitive edge to your organization. Moreover, with a skill matrix, you can do future planning for your organization.

Go through the above-mentioned process to develop a skill matrix for your organization so you can not just determine the missing competencies, but also track employees’ skills throughout multiple departments.


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Josh Fechter
Josh Fechter is the founder of HR.University. He's a certified HR professional and has managed global teams across 5 different continents including their benefits and payroll. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.