SFIA can be used during the acquisition of skills, whether through recruitment of resources (permanent and/or contingent/contract workers), mergers and acquisitions, or the engagement of service providers (including those providing outsourcing, managed services, education, training, and consultancy services). Typically this would be by creating a SFIA-based Position or Job Description containing details of the generic level of responsibility and the skills, at appropriate levels, required of applicants.
Many organisations streamline this process by recognising standard combinations of skills, sometimes known as Role Profiles or Professional Profiles. In order to ensure the most appropriate use of SFIA, it is important to understand the difference and relationship between skills, roles, and jobs.
A job can be made up of one or more roles, which, in turn, include one or more skills at appropriate skill levels. For example, there may be a job advertised in an organisation for a service desk manager. This job could include the roles of Incident Management Process Owner, Major Incident Manager and Knowledge Management Process Owner (and possibly several more). Each role would require one or more skills at various levels, with the skills being defined using SFIA.
The role of Major Incident Manager, and detail of the activities which anyone carrying out this role would have to complete, may be defined in the Incident Management process. This role profile would use SFIA to describe the generic level of responsibility for the role, and include the SFIA skills and levels for these skills which are required in order to perform this role consistently to the required standard. This role might be carried out by several different people with various job titles, and therefore be referred to in a number of job descriptions.
This approach can help the big picture of capability to emerge in situations where there are many job descriptions. It can also reduce the amount of effort required to maintain job descriptions when changes are needed.
In acquiring and divesting resources, typically by recruitment, separation, or mergers, SFIA helps set recruitment criteria that make sure that the right candidates are attracted, selected for interview, and evaluated through criteria-based interviewing.
In the case of outsourcing and off-shoring, SFIA provides both the client and the supplier with a clear and transparent basis for describing the capability being sought or provided.
Procurement exercises often use SFIA Rate Cards to allow like-for-like comparison of resource-based services from suppliers. Service providers map their offerings to SFIA, aligning resource-based costs and expressing the capability which they intend to deploy to SFIA skills and levels.