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How to conduct a role and skills audit

Posted in Employers on Feb 13, 2019 by Keeley Edge

In business, it’s very common for an employee’s role to change as the business evolves. This can often lead to employees spending more time on tasks they aren’t suited to than doing the role they were originally employed for. 

In our recent article about how to retain and replace great employees, we suggested conducting regular role audits to review the duties of each employee.

A role audit helps you understand whether you are utilising your employees’ skills effectively and whether you need to amend existing roles or create new ones. It also helps you build a skills matrix so you can identify skill gaps and potential training opportunities. If you utilise your employees’ skills effectively, your business operations will be more successful.  

Start with the job description

Start by reviewing your job descriptions. Does every employee fit one of these roles, or do you have positions without a relevant job spec? If a job description doesn't apply to the role, this will cause problems when you need to recruit. 

Speak to department heads

Speak to line managers or department heads and go through the job descriptions with them. Are there any responsibilities listed that are not being taken care of? Are there any duties that are missing from the job spec? Have they allocated additional duties to any of their team members?

Involve employees

Ask employees to write a list of their main duties and estimate what percentage of their time they spend on each function. Give them a copy of their job description and ask them to identify duties they no longer carry out and any tasks not listed. Find out whether they have obtained any new skills or qualifications since the last review. If employees are responsible for tasks outside the scope of their role, do they enjoy these tasks? Is so, can you offer them more training in these areas? If not, can you delegate them to someone more suitable?

Create a skills matrix

A skills matrix doesn’t have to be complicated; a simple spreadsheet will work. List employees down the side, and different capabilities across the top, then score each employee’s level of competency against each skill. These might be generic skills, such as marketing, sales, admin, finance, customer service. Alternatively, they may be specific tasks, such as open the office in the morning, set up equipment, take bookings, handle sales enquiries, create social media posts, raise invoices and so on. They might also include certifications such as first-aid training, fire marshal training or any in-house training.

Identify training and development opportunities

Once you have completed your role audit and skills matrix, you’ll be able to identify gaps and decide where training is needed. If you only have one person capable of doing an important task, what happens if they are on holiday or off sick? Utilise all your employees and upskill them wherever you can. This will ensure you always have the right balance of skills and competencies within the business.

Create the right roles

Once you know who is doing what and at what level, you may realise that you need to create additional roles or restructure your existing roles. It’s no good having a strong team of people who can do the billable work if there is nobody to manage the finances and admin. There is no point having lots of marketing activity if nobody is following up on the enquiries. You need the right balance across all areas of your business to be successful.

Conducting regular role reviews ensures you have employees matched to the tasks that are most suited to their skills and interests. This not only improves your business operations but will improve employee engagement too.


If you need any help identifying and recruiting for the right roles, then Key Appointments can help. We specialise in helping businesses recruit and retain the right people for their needs. Contact our friendly team today to find out how we can help you.

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