WorkKeys Works – The Aha Moment

By on July 26, 2013
WorkKeys Works – The Aha Moment

I recently presented on the WorkKeys Job Profiling process at the Missouri Workforce Development conference (MWDC). I enjoy being given the opportunity to talk about the job profiling process. However, it is even more enjoyable when you can actually witness an “aha moment” occur.

For this conference, I changed an old presentation I had been giving. I wasn’t getting a consistent understanding of the job profiling process at the end of my presentations. For this MAWD conference, I decided to include a new introduction. I wanted to show where workforce development organizations can fit into the talent development concept of a company. As I pointed out in a previous blog, workforce development professionals must address the needs of a company’s Talent Development Cycle if they want to be taken seriously. By using the “talent development cycle” graphic from my blog, I was able to show how the ACT WorkKeys system fits into a company’s planning, recruitment/selection/hiring, skill development, performance/evaluation, and succession planning. Being aware of where they fit in will give them talking points when they discuss people looking for jobs or services the organization offer.


Now the conversation started. Attendees saw how they should meet some employer need if they wanted to help a person looking for a job/career or their organization build a workforce development program. Questions ranged from “what kind of jobs can be profiled” (all of them) to “can training programs be profiled” (yes). Now WorkKeys wasn’t something they were made to use. It was seen as a good tool that had multiple uses.

Wow, the WorkKeys assessments were now seen as a positive information tool. They could see how a job profile provided actual tasks performed on the job. Also, through the job profiling process, they saw where the mysterious WorkKeys Levels came from. This information could be used in counseling job seekers or marketing a workforce development concept to employers. What better way to show the relevance of the WorkKeys assessment than directly associating it with job tasks.


How many times have you made a presentation when a second click happened? It was later suggested that WorkKeys and the Talent Development Cycle should be included in workforce development strategic planning process. Hopefully, these ideas were brought back and shared with the workforce development organizations.

If you are interested in more information about WorkKeys Job Profiling or the Talent Development Cycle, please reply to this blog or contact me at

About Jim Duane

Jim has more than 30 years of experience in the workforce development field. At St. Louis Community College’s Workforce Solutions Group, Jim is the manager and lead WorkKeys job task and skill profiler for the WorkKeys Solution Center. Throughout his 10 plus years as a WorkKeys Job Profiler, Jim has worked with numerous large, medium and small size companies in the aerospace/defense, beverage, cement manufacturing, construction, drug manufacturing, electric utility, healthcare, hospital, petroleum-chemical processing, and sporting goods industries. His team has conducted approximately 50,000 WorkKeys assessments for companies, organized labor, schools, and organizations. He has also presented at national and regional conferences, chaired regional workforce resource committees, and conducted numerous local, statewide and national focus groups around workforce development. He has received the Missouri Governor's Award for Excellence in Leadership in workforce development. This award was based on the Malcolm Baldridge quality management criteria.


  1. Kathie Chambers

    July 29, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    A very good overview, Jim. Thanks for expanding our knowledge of how WorkKeys can assist and help define a company’s workforce in their Talent Development Cycle.

  2. Pingback: WorkKeys Works – Job Tasks and Skills – Huh? | Workforce Solutions Group | St. Louis Community College

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