A skills inventory is the process of listing down the characteristics that cause one to be employable. These may include the person’s qualifications, their experience, knowledge, abilities and skills. One should note that skills inventories do not just revolve around people; they can also apply to jobs. The case under analysis is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Currently, the organization is just about to introduce a new service that will facilitate access of consumer information from various sources throughout the company. It is imperative to do a skills inventory in order to determine if the company has the right human resource capability for the new service.
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Academic skills seem to have a high priority in this institution. Most employees have a background in law, social work and other fields that relate to employment discrimination (Garcia & Schmelzer, 2006). Furthermore, many of these workers appear to have committed to actively learn and think throughout their time at the EEOC. Several of them have acquired post graduate degrees while working at the organization. However, one can argue that since the workforce is constantly changing, then academically – acquired knowledge only has a certain lifespan. Skills acquired five years ago can become obsolete today. Therefore, the organization needs to focus on continual learning.
Team working skills are also evident at EEOC. The provision of new services requires cooperation in teams. Fortunately, members of this institution are already familiar with group work. They usually collaborate with each other when handling specific cases. Interdepartmental associations may also arise during implementation of new technological systems (EEOC, 2013).
Personal management skills appear to be in order, as well. Members of the EEOC seem to possess a positive attitude towards work. Their behavior is compatible with the magnitude of work they handle. It is common for a worker to manage one form of responsibility today and then do something completely different tomorrow. Many of these employees are highly adaptable. This is a quality that is highly desirable for the new service program.
Generally, transferrable skills are also worth mentioning. Interpersonal skills, communication skills, problem solving and writing skills are clearly evident in the organization. Members have managed to dispense services regardless of information impediments because of such transferrable skills. They have faced situations and established methods of dealing with them within short amounts of time. Some of them have endeavored to share information with each other even when they were not expected to do so.
On the flipside, poor infrastructural support has hampered adequate communication. Therefore, employees may possess the skills, but their jobs lack such capabilities (Lavell & Martinelli, 2008). Similarly, team working may be present in specific individuals but challenges exist in coordination of efforts institutionally. These issues have implications on the quality of service provision in the company.
Certain elements in the skills inventory of the institution are unique in the human resource sector. In other words, these elements do not exist in typical skills inventories. One such example is organizational affiliation, which may refer to the department or sector to which one belongs. The company is well aware of departmental identities of its employees. Additionally, members’ group levels are applicable at the EEOC. Individuals who fall within the same salary bracket belong to this category.
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The nature of projects and assignments that a worker typically completes is another component of the skills inventory process in this institution. Sometimes this approach may specify positions that workers held as well as the degree of deployments that a worker underwent (Scott, 2009).
Training is especially relevant in the institution as different courses are available to employees. Management keeps track of these developments by including them in their reports. They often pay attention to knowledge acquired from the courses. Furthermore, these skills may also include career aspirations of those individuals.
Every new form of technology requires policies that will govern their use. The search engine is relatively new, so it requires guidelines that will streamline its application (Prabha & Connaway, 2007). These policies may include specification of organization and sharing of files. Statements on access, distribution and use of private information are missing from the firm. The company will have security features such as passwords and firewalls. It needs to specify how workers will make use of these features. Matters of access may also be a problem in the future. Volunteers often enter the organization and could require network resources. Furthermore, the public, in the form of clients, may also need access to the network and the computers within the premises. Some guidelines are necessary in order to streamline these matters (Lock, 2007).
Problems with access through mobile technological devices may also arise. Stakeholders have laptops, tablets or other forms of mobile technology. Protocols can determine whether consumers and workers can use the search engine within the premises and outside of it. Software use comes with licensing issues. It is imperative for all the members to understand the implications of copying the software during the use of the search engine (Drucker, 2009).
Skills do not exist for the use of the new service within the premises. One such issue is budgeting of items needed to get the service moving (Michael et. al., 2008). Individuals also lack skills on determining how to develop the use of the search engine in the future. Even specifications on network server management as well as backups and servers do not exist.
Implementation of the new service will require certain IT technical skills, which appear to be lacking in the company. Every database that will contribute to the search engine must be easily accessible and secure. Someone has to preside over these functions, and currently, no single individual at the EEOC has that mandate (Zhang & Majid, 2009).
Operation of the search technology also requires backup files. Persons in the institution need to ensure that adequate backups exist in the institutions. This process entails verification and execution of files. The company needs to test those backups once implementation occurs. One needs to perform restoration and verification of the backups if glitches arise. A back-ups administrator cannot be in-charge of the latter component. A different member of staff will need to handle this task (Mutch, 2011).
An overall IT strategy for the organization will be imperative to success. The functionality of the search engine and all its updates will fall under the portfolio of one of the personnel (Majid & Kowtha, 2008). Someone will have to be in charge of accounts within the network, password resets and use of emails. Users will cease using the engine in certain instances. Alternatively, they may lack qualifications for reliability of use. Therefore, an individual with the right skill set must intervene and ascertain that everyone operates in accordance to their mandate (Aral et. al., 2012).
Software usage cannot go on indefinitely in the organization as it is a paid service. Therefore, people with skills in software monitoring are imperative in the success of the organization. They will also take care of infringement if it occurs among the users (Choo, 2008).
The EEOC may encounter network problems during implementation of the exercise. Such skills may not need a permanent employee but could necessitate the hiring of an external manager. Therefore, network inventory skills are vital in the success of this new service. Additionally, this skill may also come in handy when the organization decides to upgrade its network. An expert will need to know that the institution only has three ports prior to the introduction of new termini.
A general IT manager must exist in order to solve daily technological changes. These challenges are likely to increase in the first few months of the implementation phase (Ormrod, 2006). All staff members will participate in data entry and other key IT implementation issues. These skills may seem obvious but could overwhelm members. New personnel may relieve workers from these duties.
The new search engine will contribute substantially to the improvement of outcomes at the EEOC. However, most of the employees lack the skills needed to run technology-based solutions. The organization has focused on academic and person-centered skills.
Some of the missing skills in the institution include policy determination for the use of the search engine. Budgeting and strategic skills for the use of the new technology infrastructure and management of security within the network are also absent. The EEOC must work on operational skills imperative to the success of the service as well as the administration of tasks. The company will benefit from all preset capabilities only if it fills this gap. They may come from external consultants, employees or in-house capacity building.
Aral, S., Brynjolfsson, E. & Wu, L. (2012). Three-way complementaries: Performance and pay, human resource analytics and information technology. Management Science Journal, 58(5), 913-931.
Choo, W. (2008). Information management for the intelligent organization, the art of scanning the environment. Medford, NJ: Information Today Inc. Press.
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