A skills gap is the difference between skills that employers want or need and the skills that their workforce offers. Keeping your company future-proof means developing your talent and preparing your team to tackle new challenges. Conducting a skills gap analysis helps you identify the skills you need to meet your business goals and prepare for the 'Next Normal'.
You can conduct a skills gap analysis on both individual and company levels.
For individuals, identify the skills a particular position requires and compare them to an existing employee’s skill set.
For the company, you can evaluate your current projects and the skills they may require, then determine if your current employees have those skills. If not, you can implement employee training programs or hire externally on an as-needed basis.
Human resources managers are invaluable to this process, particularly with company-wide analyses. The HR department can hold meetings with managers to explain the skills gap analysis process and coordinate to hire externally to meet the company’s needs.
Businesses often run into issues filling open positions because of skill gaps. In some cases, the perceived skills gaps are simply a result of unrealistic expectations.
To identify vital skills, consider the skills valued by the company and what skills employees need to meet the job requirements. You should consider the job descriptions, company values, and business objectives, as well as the skills that may be necessary for the future.
You could also survey your employees to get their perspective on skills that may be missing. Getting this information could not only inform you about what your employees feel they lack in their day-to-day work, but it can also help to keep your employees involved in the company’s growth.
There are a number of ways to measure current skills, such as:
Surveys and assessments
Skills management software
You could also use a skills spreadsheet specific to positions, which lists the relevant skills and provides you with a numeric scale to assess the required skill level and the actual skill level to identify gaps.
Skills gaps can be filled with training and hiring.
Companies often train and develop staff for open positions, particularly with technical skills. The right training can help you close gaps between existing and preferred skill levels.
You can use professional firms to set up training sessions, workshops, and seminars to give your employees the necessary education. You can also offer online courses, mentorship programs, invitations to events and conferences, and professional certification opportunities.
If skills gaps are too significant for training, you can hire new employees who can bring knowledge to the company.
Begin by modifying your hiring process to screen for the requisite skills. You can include skills assessments in your application process. You could also conduct structured interviews to reduce bias and keep the hiring process as job-related as possible. Recruiting can help you identify candidates with the skills you want and contact them.
Skills gap analyses are time-consuming, but it’s worth the work to ensure that your entire company is fully prepared for success. Identifying the right skills will help you grow as a business, hire and retain the right employees, and prepare for the new business landscape.
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