A skills gap analysis is a method for determining the difference (or gap) between the current state and a desired future skill set. Organizations use it to discover the abilities an individual candidate needs but may not have yet to carry out their job or do specific tasks efficiently.

Once they have this data, HR can address the organization’s skills gap. This may be accomplished through training, retraining, succession planning and other means. 

What Leads to Skill Gaps?

Workplaces are evolving faster than employees can adapt to new technologies and practices. Competitive pressures, spurred by the quick pace of technological progress, have transformed HR’s job from risk management to aiding employees in adapting to constant, disruptive change.

Industry executives have campaigned for employee upskilling and reskilling for several years, but it does not appear to be working. Too many firms lack a comprehensive grasp of their employees’ talents or skills to bridge the talent gap. They must go to the market to find talent or risk missing out on chances. By the time they find it out, it’s too late to coach.

Why Initiating Skills Gap Analysis Can Be Helpful

Addresses employee shortcomings

Everyone has both strengths and shortcomings. While you may have a marketing department with solid communication abilities, one team member may be a more robust editor than another. By doing a skill gap study, you can discover where staff may require further training to get everyone to the same skill level.

Provides Opportunities for Professional Growth

Employees who believe they are unsatisfactory in a particular area may be reluctant to speak up about the need for extra training. Alternatively, employees may be aware of or desire additional training in specific abilities and believe their employer does not provide this training.

They get dissatisfied and perhaps psychologically “drop out.” Then they begin seeking a firm that is more concerned with providing them mentors or coaches who will help them grow in their career path.

As a result, it is crucial to conduct a skills gap analysis for staff. This will result in a tailored development plan for each employee. It will demonstrate to your team that you value training and development. Furthermore, you want to provide each of your staff with the necessary skills to ensure their success.

Benefits Recruiters

A skill gap study will benefit your recruiting and talent acquisitions department. Why? Because they will comprehend the competencies required for a particular position. This assists HR in creating well-written job descriptions, which leads to better candidates and, eventually, more suitable new candidates.

Promotional Pathway

A talent gap study will also assist managers. Because it will demonstrate what talents are required at each level of their team. If a senior team member departs the organization, it will be clear what abilities more junior team members will need to acquire to ascend to these advanced roles.

Improved Productivity

The essential advantage of skill gap analysis is that output will grow. When you identify the abilities required in training, your organization will improve its time management, work planning and ability to remain within project budgets. All these elements contribute to the company’s overall strength and ability to achieve its objectives.

Competitive Advantage

It gives a competitive edge to help businesses stay ahead of their competition. It helps understand the workforce’s strengths and limitations and allows L&D teams to plan learning, development and recruiting, allowing businesses to maximize their performance.

Additional advantages of a thorough skills gap study:

    • Progression reports allow you to track skill improvement at the organizational and individual levels.
    • Market knowledge gives a thorough awareness of which skills are necessary for today’s market. As well as insight into future skills requirements.

How Do You Assess Skill Gaps?

Choose Your Goal

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A skills gap study might be intimidating, especially if your goal is to “determine what talents our business requires to prosper.” If you adopt a more robust approach, this procedure becomes a lot easier to handle.

A company may determine what particular talents are required to launch a new product. But don’t worry, this isn’t the only situation in which you may do a skills gap study. 

A skills gap study may be conducted on several levels, including:

When You May Do An Individual Skills Gap Analysis

    • A candidate is being considered for a job.
    • An employee is promoted or given a new responsibility.
    • An unfavourable performance evaluation is given to an employee.
    • An employee is frequently stuck or perplexed.
    • An employee is in charge of a challenging new project.

When You May Do a Team or Company-Wide Skills Gap Study

    • A business aim stays unfulfilled.
    • A plan or objective has moved or developed.
    • New technology has been developed.
    • A team is developing, and a hiring push is underway.
    • A new project is just being started.

That is by no means an exhaustive list, but it demonstrates how a skills gap analysis may be beneficial in various scenarios.

Discuss Company Objectives With Essential Stakeholders

You can’t develop an effective training plan until you understand your organization’s objectives. Pose the following questions to firm stakeholders:

    • In what direction is the company heading?
    • Is there anything planned for the next year?
    • What positions must be filled for the company to move forward?

Future Workplace Trends

Your organization must keep up with the latest developments. Several new technologies are on the horizon, and it will be advantageous to accept them as they emerge. You can find the answers by asking questions like:

    • Which jobs are subject to automation?
    • Which talents are now in demand?
    • What jobs will the organization require in the future?

You may use the internet to learn about the present and future business trends by reading articles on the future of automation and algorithms.

Determine the Critical Competencies Required for the Future

To achieve growth, any firm must accept new technology and embrace new practices to remain competitive. However, the rate at which organizations are inundated with innovations makes it extremely difficult for businesses to locate individuals with specific skill sets to use these technologies consistently.

To avoid being reactive every time a new skills gap emerges or is found in your workforce, utilize skills gap analysis to identify where the gaps in skills exist and, based on your future objectives and where your enterprise is headed, determine what skills you will need to fulfill your company goals.

The criteria you develop are entirely up to you (don’t be afraid to be creative!). However, if you find you have a lot of skill gaps to fill, it’s critical to have some form of structure in place to help you prioritize.

Measure the Current Skills

What is your company’s current skills inventory? You can find out the answers to these questions in multiple ways:

    • Every person in your company should conduct a SWOT analysis. SWOT is an acronym that stands for “strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.” The study will assist you in determining which areas individuals or teams are confident in and which areas they lack sufficient expertise in.
    • Examining individual employees’ key performance indicators (KPIs) will allow you to determine how each employee contributes to the business.
    • Conduct skills assessments, surveys and interviews with employees.
    • Establish a feedback process to determine the current skill set of your employees by taking feedback from their peers, line managers, etc. and also discuss directly with the employee where they see their skills gaps.

Conduct Your Analysis With Precision

It’s time to take that list and analyze your present talents.

Use every means available to you to collect the most comprehensive data possible. Consider the following approaches:

    • Performance appraisal feedback
    • Employee questionnaires
    • Evaluations and surveys

You might use these techniques to supplement the spreadsheet you made to document your essential abilities. For example, depending on your findings, you may compare the skill level necessary to the “actual skill level” of each employee. If you go forward with this, keep to the ranking approach you used when compiling your list of critical abilities to analyze.

Implement Your Results

Once you’ve identified your ability gaps, you can start thinking about how to fill them. This may be accomplished by either acquiring new talent or, ideally, growing your present staff via focused training. This may be accomplished through a mix of training and hiring.

Reskill and upskill your present personnel so that you may optimize the capabilities of the people you already have. Once you know which skills require improvement, you may design your training tailored to your needs.

This will assist in closing the skill gap between their present skill level and your target skill level. Filling the skills gap helps businesses gain by enhancing their employees’ current abilities and providing training for future business needs. This will also give employees a solid reason to stay more inclined to their current organization since they are investing in their professional growth.