A skills inventory is one tool that HR can use in the planning process. A skills inventory is a list of basic information on all employees, such as age, sex, education, training, job experience and history, salary (past and current), special achievements, type of job preference, etc. This information should not only be information relevant to the employees current job, it should reflect enough information for a recruiter can go on in the even another position opens that the employee may be qualified for. The benefits to having a skills inventory on employees is that HR can quickly reference and evaluate information about skills of employees within the company. This information can also be used to determine raises, promotions, and future labor needs for the company. Challenges with skills inventories are that they have to be updated frequently to ensure accurate information is on file for all employees, they are time consuming to put together, and I have found that in many cases it can be challenging to put all of the skills of an individual on paper.
Succession planning is another tool HR can use in the planning process. Succession planning is the identification and training of certain individuals to fill key roles in the company if the current individual in that position should leave the company. The skills inventory can be used in the succession planning process to identify potential successor candidates. The succession planning process is designed to identify successors and plan their career paths. One challenge with this process is that in many large companies these individuals may have the “crowned prince syndrome” where only individuals who have become visible to management are chosen for succession (Byars & Rue, 2008, p. 98). Several benefits are apparent, including the ability to plan an individual’s career path ahead of time, ensuring the chosen individual receives specific training, and that individual is molded into the type of manager the company wants.
Byars, L. L., & Rue, L. W. (2008). Human resource management (9th ed.).New York,NY: McGraw-Hill.