What is a skills gap?

Learn how to effectively bridge the skills gap in your business.

What is a skills gap?

May 24th, 2019

A skills gap is the variance between what skills employers want or need, and the actual skills their employees have to offer. Some of the greatest skills gaps can be found in areas of basic skills, leadership, technical and professional skills, and communication.

Skills Gap Analysis Checklist - PDF Download

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Checklist:

1. Plan your analysis.

a. Evaluate individual employees.

i. Evaluate the skills each position requires.

ii. Compare the skills required to skills employee in each position has.

b. Evaluate team.

i. List the skills required for upcoming tasks.

ii. Compare the required skills to skills your team has.

2. Identify vital skills.

a. Determine the skills the business values.

b. Look at your initial job description and requirements.

c. Determine the skill needed to do a job now and, in the future.

3. Evaluate current skills.

a. Conduct assessments and surveys.

b. Perform employee interviews.

c. Study performance reviews.

d. Consider skills analysis software.

4. Take action.

a. Set up appropriate training.

b. Hire new and experienced employees.

Importance of Skills Gap Analysis
What is the importance of conducting a skills gap analysis?

A skills gap analysis will help recognize the skills you will need to meet your business objectives. In addition, it can inform your employee development and hiring programs about potential shortfalls.

How To Effectively Bridge The Skills Gap:

1. Be transparent with job requirements.

Once your job description is more transparent and detailed, you will attract candidates with the appropriate experience and skills set. Instead of only describing jobs by traditional standards, list out each skill required, as well as the courses that would aid prospective candidates.

2. Identify the skills needed in your business.

Start by evaluating the experience and current skills of your employees, then identify future needs. Are your employees equipped with the right skills to adapt to new technology? How easily do your employees adapt to a new task? By evaluating current skills, you will get an idea of the various skills that are required for specific jobs and what emerging skills will become important in order to grow.

3. Retrain current employees.

There are many benefits to investing in your current workforce. Retraining employees with new skills will help save you money on recruiting, develop your employees' skills, improve loyalty, and help your employees grow with your business.

4. Develop and maintain a training program.

As your business and industry changes, skill requirements will not stay the same. For the skills that cannot be taught at university or college, you will need a training program. You have the option of creating an internal training program or partnering with an outside organization. These programs ensure that your new and current employees will be able to better their skills over time.

5. Create relationships with the educational community.

Your future employees are still studying, learning the essential skills needed to enter your business field. To help better prepare this future generation of employees, build relationships with universities and colleges. Inform them about the skills your business requires and what you will expect from future graduates.

FAQ's:

What is a skills gap analysis?

A skills gap analysis is a tool used to identify training and hiring needs of a business. It helps reveal the differences between the existing and the required skill levels.

When is a skills gap analysis needed?

  • Change in employee responsibilities.
  • Unable to meet business goals.
  • Poor performance reviews.
  • New projects.
  • Business strategy shift.
  • Introduction of new technologies.
How can I close the skills gap?

How can I close the skills gap?

  1. Training.
  2. Succession planning.
  3. Mentoring programs.
  4. Hiring new employees.

How can I minimize the skills gap during the recruitment process?

Start by improving your hiring process. Instead of releasing simple job descriptions, add skills assessments and numerical logic tests. In addition, structure your interviews to ensure your criteria for choosing a new employee is strictly job-related.

How do I measure current skills?

How do I measure current skills of employees?

  1. Surveys.
  2. Assessments.
  3. Performance reviews.
  4. Employee interviews.
  5. Skills management software.

Who is responsible for conducting a skills gap analysis?

This depends on the size and business setting. When it comes to individual employees, the team leader or manager is generally responsible for conducting a skills gap analysis. However, larger team analysis is usually done by team leaders, HR, or external consultants.

What is the digital skills gap?

A shortage of digital skills in an advanced working environment. As technology advances, the skills required to operate equipment changes. The digital skills gap may become a risk for business growth and innovation.