What is a Job Requirements Matrix?

Job Requirement Matrix

A job requirements matrix is a helpful team and project management tool that helps managers obtain the best out of their employees and quickly and easily get an overview of their needs. The job requirement matrix is a combination of the job specification and job description. After all, it is essential to effectively manage employee job requirements and define recruitment and selection standards. But you can no longer avoid such a job requirement matrix in personnel management for preparing and conducting employee interviews and the correct behavioral norms of employees in the company.

To set up business processes optimally or to be able to put together project teams quickly, it makes sense to have an overview of the skills, competencies, knowledge, certificates, and job requirements of the employees in your organization.

In practice, board members, HR managers, and project managers mainly use job requirement matrices. The matrices are a great asset, especially for companies that work with skill pool management. This allows you to see which skills are incomplete and who has the right certificates and knowledge to perform a task.

What does a job requirements matrix look like in practice?

A job requirement matrix can – depending on the complexity and the skills and competencies presented – take various practical forms. The matrix is ​​divided into a vertical and a horizontal axis. On one axis are the multiple employees and the skills required to perform a specific role well on the other axis.

Which axis you use for which part (employees on the vertical axis and skills on the horizontal axis or vice versa) depends on personal preferences or goals. An employee’s competency or certification in a particular area is illustrated by presence/absence, percentage, or level. A level is then, for example, a certain degree of the job requirement. Levels are displayed either in numbers or, for example, in a pie chart with four squares.

Job Requirement Matrix and Performance Management

The concept of the job requirement matrix, or talent matrix, was initially developed by Christoph Braun and helps HR managers to balance team performance and promote employee development. The matrix also makes it possible to coordinate the employees’ competencies with the company’s goals. After all, it allows all competencies needed for a team or project to be mapped in an apparent scheme and, if necessary, to organize and manage training courses and further education. However, small and medium-sized companies, in particular, cannot afford the high training costs. Work-related learning that can be easily integrated into everyday life is the right way out.

How can a job requirement matrix help my company?

First of all, it makes it easier to assess the skills and job requirements required for a project or team. As a first step, HR managers draw up a list of skills needed in advance. This makes it easy to see which positions still need to be filled or which team building makes sense.

Also, a matrix provides information about the skills available within a team or company. This internal “database” of competencies and employee job requirements then immediately shows us which employees are the right people for the respective job and to discover and promote young talent. 

With competency tracking, HR professionals can put together training programs so employees can acquire new skills.

What are the advantages?

But why is a competency matrix such a practical and essential tool? We explain it to you by showing the most important advantages of a job requirement matrix.

  • Quick identification of critical tasks and needs.

Since a competency matrix provides a good overview of the competencies and job requirements available in a company or department, it is an excellent tool for identifying critical tasks and current needs.

For example, are there specific tasks that only a few people in your organization can do? Then you can work out a plan of action to ensure that more people are available to take on these critical tasks.

  • Regulation of employee replacement and peak times.

There can always be sick employees or peak times in an organization. In such a case, must make changes quickly to maintain productivity and business continuity. This is, of course, much easier if you always have an up-to-date overview of what individual employees are allowed to do and what not.

It also helps manage peak times within one department by calling in employees from another department to control specific tasks. This implies that you do not need to call in additional temporary workers or other temporary workers. Therefore, with a job requirement matrix, you have enough employees even during vacation and sick leave. 

  • A Better overview of progress.

A well-maintained job requirement matrix gives an insight into the progress of individual employees or teams. Namely, factors such as development, productivity, and the growth in the number of skills are made transparent.

Therefore, the job requirement matrix is ​​also a useful tool for testing the effectiveness of courses and training. Also, the matrix immediately shows which skills are still missing or insufficient in your organization.

  • Variable and flexible tool.

A job requirement matrix is ​​a very variable and adjustable tool. Depending on your needs, you can focus the tool on teams, specific departments, locations, or managers. Therefore, a job requirement matrix offers enough space for tailor-made work because you can mainly design it according to your wishes.

  • Focus on valuable employees.

The exact layout also makes it immediately apparent who the universally applicable stars are in your team. These people are of great value to an organization, and it is good to be aware of them.

Competencies for a Successful Assessment

Several general competencies help in the design of a job requirement matrix, which we take a closer look at here:

  • Result-oriented: Does the employee achieve the set goals? 
  • Self-reliance and autonomy: performing tasks without supervision or guidance.
  • Teamwork: As a classic soft skill, people who can work in a team are wanted.
  • Orientation towards customer wants and needs: Companies are increasingly striving to improve their customer experience.
  • productivity: Although it is not easy to measure, employee productivity is an integral part of job requirement matrices.
  • Quality of service
  • Resilience: Another competency rated positively is working under pressure, under high standards, or with very tight deadlines.
  • Responsiveness: Finding the right solutions to unexpected problems.
  • Leadership Skills: Not everyone is a born leader, but it’s important to recognize such people in the company, especially when it involves promotions.
  • Motivation: Measuring employee motivation gives us valuable information for appropriate improvement measures.

Create your Job Requirement Matrices

But how do you create a job requirement matrix and give such a document a usable form? We will show you this using the step-by-step plan below.

Step # 1 – Ask the Right Fundamental Questions

Before you start actively designing the matrix, it is essential first to answer five critical basic questions.

  • What job requirements, skills, and certificates do my employees need?
  • What job requirements, skills, and certifications do my employees currently have?
  • Is there a gap between the target and the current situation?
  • If so, how can we then develop or introduce the missing job requirements and skills?
  • How and where can developed job requirements and skills be formally displayed?

Step # 2 – Create an Overview

The second step is to create an overview of all aspects of a particular role or function. What tasks must an employee performance, and what qualities does he need to fulfill a specific position or function? This step of the job requirement matrix tells you something about the universal applicability or specific individual employees’ specializations.

Step # 3 – Categorizing the Overview into Specific Skills

The more general overview is translated into specific skills needed in a particular department or a particular segment of the organization in this phase.

Step # 4 – Combine Data

Enter the above data into a matrix and determine the skill level of each employee’s aspects within your department or organization.

Five Practical Tips for Creating a Job Requirement Matrix

Regardless of which form you choose (paper, Excel, or software), there are a few crucial factors in all cases to achieve the best result. When creating a competency matrix, always try to keep the following tips in mind.

  • All people have their limits and differences. So it is not the case that all employees can master the same number of tasks or competencies in practice.
  • The possibilities that a job requirement matrix offers are almost unlimited. You can make them as easy or complex as you like. But don’t make the matrix unnecessarily complicated and limit yourself to the most critical competencies, tasks, certificates, diplomas, and documents for each function. If you focus too much on trivial matters, a job requirement matrix quickly becomes confusing and opaque.
  • Creating, completing, and updating a competency matrix requires preparation and discipline. You should make sure that you are well prepared and communicate with employees.
  • Try to create separate matrices for professional job requirements and soft skills to keep track of things. When all information is packed into a matrix, it becomes confusing.
  • Pay sufficient attention to the branch or industry-specific factors (company size, branch-specific job requirements, certificates, and the organization’s complexity and structure) that influence your job requirement management and the associated job requirement matrices.
What is a Job Requirements Matrix?

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