What is a skill matrix?

by Apr 19, 2022Competency Management

Organizations have employees with a wide variety of skills. The Skill Matrix is an easy way to make these abilities visible. It is a valuable tool to indicate the capabilities of employees within the organization or department. In doing so, it lists existing and missing capabilities and thus supports business-relevant decisions.

In this article, we will show what a skill matrix is and how it can be built. An example of a skill matrix is also given and explained.


  1. What is a skill matrix?
  2. Field of application and usage
  3. Structure
  4. Example of a skill matrix

What is a skill matrix?

Basically, the skills matrix is a tool for visualizing needed and available skills within an organization, team, or individual. It also helps to evaluate how well a person with the given skills is qualified for a job or how well a team is equipped for a new challenge. For this reason, it is also called a competence matrix, simply because it indicates the competence of a person or a team. This makes it an indispensable tool for any data-driven HR professional.

Field of application and usage

As mentioned before, skill matrices have the primary task of making the qualifications of employees visible. But what are the benefits for organizations?

Creating an overview

On the one hand, skill matrices help to get to know one’s own organization better. It provides a clear overview of an organization’s needed and existing capabilities. In its simplest form, this identifies and lists all the skills available in the organization and links them to the appropriate employees. This results in an overview of all existing employees and the associated skills, which can be easily interpreted.

Planning and decision making

The information to be extracted from the skill matrix serves as the basis for decision-making. These decisions can take place in a wide variety of areas of the organization, such as resource deployment planning, workforce planning, or budget planning. Managers and executives thus have data-supported arguments to underpin plans and to be able to carry out planning more effectively.


There are no universal guidelines regarding the structure and complexity of a skill matrix. When creating a matrix, each organization can have different approaches. Some take a very simple (binary) approach, while others have a very detailed (360° capability analysis) approach. Whichever way is chosen, at the end of the creation a holistic view of the available and the retarded capabilities is possible. It should also be clearly distinguished from a competency matrix. The difference to the competence matrix is that in skill matrices only skills are considered and expertise and behaviour are left out.

In the previous article of the guide, different competency models were presented. Here we mention the most commonly used models to build a skill matrix.


  • Binary system. In this system, skills are evaluated based only on two criteria. (qualified / not qualified)
  • Skill-Will Matrix. This matrix is divided into four quadrants. Depending on the combination of ability and willingness to perform a task, individuals are assigned to one of the quadrants of the matrix.
  • 360° Capability Analysis. In this system, the evaluation is done on a scale of 10, 100, 360 degrees. 360 degrees refers to an evaluation by all involved entities of an organization – from the department head to the peer review of the employees.

Example of a skill matrix

The skill matrix below is structured in the style of a 360° capability analysis. It contains information about employees from the IT department. This information was entered by the employees themselves and validated by department heads or managers. The coloured circles show whether employees fulfil a skill (colour) and to what degree (edge of the circles).

The matrix shows that skill matrices can be easily constructed and can provide valuable information. If this information is used correctly, efficiency in the company can be greatly increased – whether in the area of resource deployment planning, personnel planning or budget planning. In addition, workers can be properly deployed, the right further education and training can be planned at the right times and successors for certain positions can be found quickly.

If you want to get started with skills management in your organization and build your own skills matrix in Excel, read our post on skills management in Excel or download our skills matrix template in Excel.

About the Author

Markus Skergeth B.Sc.

Markus Skergeth B.Sc.

Markus is the CEO of Skilltree and an expert in competency management. He also writes in this blog on topics such as New Work, work motivation, and Data Science.

Skill Management in Excel

We now know that detailed and information-rich skill matrices can be created as needed. That's why we're going to show you why Excel is such a popular tool for skill management and how easy it is to create a skill matrix with it. The limitations of skill management in...

Active sourcing in the company

Active sourcing is a modern method of recruiting in which companies actively approach potential applicants instead of waiting for incoming applications. This can be done by using social networks, career websites, or directly addressing potential candidates.Content...

Study warns: Shortage of skilled workers will continue to worsen
Drastic HR savings would be possible through internal skill management

Graz/Austria The situation on the labour market is becoming increasingly precarious - there is a shortage of qualified specialists. This is also confirmed by 73 percent of 250 surveyed companies from a wide range of industries in the Dach region: The shortage will...

Employee appraisals

Employee appraisals also known as “check-ins” are an essential part of managing human resources in any organization. They provide a formal process for evaluating an employee's job performance and contributions to the company, and they are used to identify areas for...

What are competencies?

Competences are learned skills, knowledge and behaviours that are used in a professional context. They vary according to training, experience, personal interests and areas of responsibility of a person. However, different competencies can also be found in different...

Tips for implementation

In this chapter, you'll learn practical tips for implementing competency management. We will address these questions in the next three articles. In this chapter, you will find helpful tips which should be considered in competence management or skill management. In...

Skill management in human resource development

Skill management is a sub-area of human resource development. Many human resource development tasks cannot be realised without skills management. This article describes the role of skills management in human resource development.Human resource development definition...

Study on skills shortage: Bosses do not know the skills of their employees well enough
Often managers do not even know the employee experiences from previous jobs

Graz/Austria "The bottlenecks on the labour market are increasing," warn trade associations emphatically. A study reveals what the reverse side of the skills shortage and the war of talent looks like. 250 HR managers and executives from a wide variety of industrial...

Continuing education and training planning

Learning is like rowing against the current. As soon as you stop, you drift back. This also applies to knowledge in organizations. Knowledge or working methods are constantly changing. In order to remain competitive as a company, it is necessary to constantly develop...

Skill management vs. competence management

Skill management supports operational business processes, competence management supports strategic ones. However, the terms are often used synonymously. Anyone who deals more intensively with the topic of skills management will sooner or later come across the...
success icon

Your download has started!

Why have an Excel matrix when you can have a whole tree?
Try Skilltree for free and start growing your skills.

14 days free | No credit card required

success icon

Dein Download ist gestarted!

Warum eine Excel Matrix wenn man gleich einen ganzen Baum haben kann?
Probiere Skilltree
gratis aus und wachse mit all deinen Fähigkeiten.

14 Tage kostenlos | Keine Kreditkarte erforderlich