Survey: Skills Based Approach, Overview

I decided to take my skills based approach to the streets with a survey. My objective is to get a better understanding whether my proposed methodology is practical and effective, and can be facilitated with the use of a professional website. I distributed the survey to 119 Human Resource professionals from various industries and services; I chose Human Resource professionals because of their close proximity to employment evaluations and their interpersonal interactions with employees (the study could be expanded to include professionals in education and psychology as well).  I wrote a series of blogs based on the survey results, including: effectiveness of a skill set as a summary of a professional background; best ways to plan the development of a skill set; what are ways to learn and build an expertise with a skill; what is a good assessment for a level of expertise of a skill; and how a professional website works with a skills based approach.

Here are some of the summary statistics:

There is a very strong response that you can learn a skill if you “work on developing it and am determined to learn it properly”; 69.7% of the respondents strongly agree.  And 49.6% of the respondents disagree that you should “only develop skills based on your strengths”. Taking these two stats to together, there is a message that if you are passionate about something, whether or not it is in line with your competencies, you should still dedicate time and effort to learn the skills properly.

The best way to build expertise with a skill is to take on a project at work – 87.2% of the respondents reported it as very effective; volunteering and taking a class also had high rankings.  All of these approaches suggest being proactive to learn and develop your skills.

Most of the respondents (68.90%) have searched on a skill set and the largest segment (47.1%) think a skill set is somewhat effective in “summarizing a professional background”.  This indicates there is familiarity with a skill set among human resource professionals.

The respondents think a sample of work (1.83) is the best indicator of your level of expertise of a skill – they want to take an unbiased evaluation of something you have created.  This is followed by “years of experience” (2.28), “references” (2.77), and “certificate from a third-party” (3.12); although 21.0% of the respondents ranked “certificate from a third-party” first or second. Validating a skill is a difficult thing to measure across different services and industries. For example, in the IT world, a certificate is a very common way to evaluate a professional’s experience in a technology or application, however, in the marketing world, a sample of your work is much more relevant. There will be more discussion on the survey results about validating a skill in a later blog.

Verify Expertise With A Skill
Verify Expertise With A Skill

Here is some information about my sample.

  • 119 Human Resource professionals, all from the United States
  • 82.7% of the respondents are over 30 years old and the largest segment (41.8%) is between 45 and 60.
  • 60.9% of the respondents are women
  • 65.4% have a college degree
  • Over 20 different industries and services are represented

There were 9 respondents who did not report their demographic information

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