Intelligent Finance uses framework to better manage skills

Financial services company Intelligent Finance is simplifying the job descriptions of its 190 IT staff as part of a drive to improve training, staff retention and recruitment.

Financial services company Intelligent Finance is simplifying the job descriptions of its 190 IT staff as part of a drive to improve training, staff retention and recruitment.

The firm has reduced the number of job descriptions in its IT department from 90 to fewer than 30 by matching the competencies of its IT professionals against a framework of IT skills developed by the government and industry.

Intelligent Finance believes the move will cut its project costs by allowing it to match the skills of staff more precisely against the needs of each project. It is also expected to improve staff retention by improving staff training and development.

The firm is using the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA), which is designed to simplify the way employers describe IT job roles by breaking each role down into industry recognised skills and competencies.

"It means we have more flexible staff that are benchmarked against each other more easily, so we have more a more consistent approach to role profiles, performance assessments and development plans," said Valerie Mann, IT resource manager at Intelligent Finance.

The firm hopes the framework will give it a clearer picture of the IT skills it already has in house, including skills that staff may not be using in their current jobs.

It could also help the company recruit IT staff with the skills needed for future projects.

"Because we now have well written role profiles, we know what it is exactly we are looking for and what standards recruits should be attaining to make sure they are on par with other departments," said Mann.

Following a pilot, the firm plans to sign up to an online service, SFIA Profiler, that will help the IT department to assess what SFIA skills its staff have, what skills are over supplied and what skills gaps exist in the workforce.

"We will have a far better idea of the skills we have in the department. You have people in certain jobs, but they have other skills beyond that, which are not on display. We will have a full view of skills in our department and we will be able to use people more effectively," said Mann.

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