Published on

February 29, 2024

Skill profiles as a tool for more successful employee development


Marius Vennemann

Managing Director


Learning Hub

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Employee development through skill profiles

Discover How Skill Profiles Revolutionize Employee Development. From Individual Assessment to Targeted Training Plans - Uncover the Benefits.

In a constantly evolving work environment where the demands on employees and leaders alike are increasing, targeted and effective skill development is becoming increasingly important. Skill profiles offer new perspectives for tailored and dynamic personnel development. In this blog post, we shed light on how skill profiles not only revolutionize thinking in personnel development but also provide concrete tools to precisely shape development paths and make progress measurable.

The Importance of Skill Profiles for Managers

As a manager, one of your central tasks is to actively promote and support the development of your employees. However, effective employee development goes beyond defining clear expectations, providing regular feedback, and offering training opportunities. Your team members are looking for innovative ideas and precise training recommendations to advance their careers and prepare for future challenges. The key to this is the precise identification of each individual's relevant skills and competencies. This is where skill profiles come in. Traditional performance management processes often fall short here, as they usually only provide superficial competency assessments, making it difficult to derive concrete improvement measures. Skill profiles fill this gap: they provide a solid foundation for a realistic assessment of skills, thus opening up tailored development opportunities that are individually tailored to learning needs and also enable the integration of training with different prior experiences.

What Are Skill Profiles? A Definition with Example

Skill profiles are essentially maps of skills that outline the current and desired state of knowledge and abilities of a person. They can refer to a variety of contexts – whether it's a specific job profile like that of a software developer, a certain level on the career ladder, such as a Level 2 Software Developer, or a company-specific role outside the traditional job architecture, such as a TypeScript Backend Specialist. The common denominator of all these applications is the goal of identifying the ideal skillset a person must have to be successful in a particular role or position. Skill profiles thus serve as a guide to systematically close the gap between the current skill level and the desired ideal state.

Here's an example of a profile used on our learning platform. The customization options are almost limitless and can be tailored or personalized to suit specific needs.

Data Analyst - Skill Profile Example

Assessing Development Status through the Skill Profile's Target-Actual Analysis

The target-actual analysis of the skill profile is a central tool for precisely assessing the development status of your employees. There are generally two ways to do this: conducting an external assessment to objectively assess your employees' current level of competence, or asking your employees to self-assess their skill levels. These assessments are crucial for understanding how employees' existing skills and competencies compare to the requirements of the defined profile.

To conduct these assessments, you can use various methods, including performance evaluations, technical interviews, or specialized skill assessment tests, to obtain a well-founded assessment. These assessments serve as an indispensable basis for identifying development needs and deriving tailored development measures. By determining the current competency level of employees – the actual state – we set the starting point for their development journey. We like to compare this process to a GPS or Google Maps, which not only marks the starting point but also makes the progress of employees through the skill landscape visible.

Employees also benefit from this transparency as they gain a clear understanding of where they stand and where they want to develop. This allows them to recognize their own learning paths and choose from various development opportunities, actively participate in their own development, and create awareness of their strengths and development areas. The opportunity for self-assessment also promotes targeted planning of personal development goals and priorities.

Regardless of the chosen assessment method, it is crucial that it be transparent, fair, and constructive. Employees should be encouraged to provide feedback and ask questions to create a clear and understandable basis for their development and promote open communication between employees and managers.

Improving Team Performance through Skill Tracking

Tracking progress within the team provides managers with a basis for in-depth qualitative and quantitative analyses as part of collaborative development work. By keeping an eye on the skill profiles of your employees, you gain precise insights into who wants to expand their skills, which skills are already present in the team, and where there may be gaps. This information enables you to monitor your team's progress over time and take targeted actions to develop skills.

Analyzing skill profiles also facilitates the identification of "skill experts" within your teams. These experts can serve as valuable resources for specific questions or projects. By assigning tasks and responsibilities strategically, you not only improve the efficiency of internal processes but also promote a sense of community and the individual expertise of each team member.

Additionally, you have the opportunity to measure your team's progress based on concrete metrics and the improvement of skill levels. This provides a solid foundation for your leadership work by showing visible level improvements over the past months. These successes can be ideally integrated into your performance reviews and reports. This not only saves valuable company resources but also helps justify the development work to management or the board.

Precise Personnel Development through Tailored Skill Profiles

Although more and more companies are transitioning to the use of skill profiles, we are only at the beginning of an exciting journey. Today, skill profiles and future developments in this area promise a significant improvement in our ability to plan and implement further training needs accurately. Soon, with some AI assistance, we will be able to estimate during development discussions how much time an employee needs to achieve certain competencies or proficiency levels.

These advancements are made possible by intelligently linking the entire training catalog with specific skill sets. Learning paths in our Learning Management System will orient towards individual career goals and can be flexibly adapted to any need. For managers, this opens up the opportunity to gain direct insights into the expected duration of the learning process until an employee acquires a new skill through formal training.

Such a feature is particularly valuable for setting realistic expectations. Too often, we tend to underestimate how long it actually takes to develop certain skills. The upcoming improvements will allow us to manage this process with greater accuracy and effectiveness, enabling both employees and managers to benefit from clearly defined and realistic development goals.

Revolutionizing Employee Development through Skill Profiles

The implementation of skill profiles represents a significant step forward for efficient and goal-oriented employee development. By shifting the focus from general competencies to specific skills, we enable managers to offer individually tailored development opportunities and accurately monitor their teams' progress. Skill profiles provide deep insights into each employee's individual strengths and development areas, enabling targeted identification of training needs and initiation of appropriate skill expansion measures.

The integration of skill sets with our training catalog not only simplifies the design of learning paths but also empowers managers to set realistic timeframes for their teams' development. By focusing on specific skills and promoting individual development plans, we help support learners optimally and enable them to unleash their full potential.

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edyoucated is funded by leading research institutions such as the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).

Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung (BIBB)