skill gaps

While researchers and executives frequently use terms like shortages, mismatches, and gaps, various people may have different interpretations of the core premise. Skill Gaps can also refer to a company’s failure to hire people with the necessary abilities to fill job openings. Other times, we use the phrase to characterize an individual’s skill gaps or competence gaps in which they lack the hard or soft skills required to keep current with their employment in administration, production, or service as they grow.

Regardless of how you define it, the result is the same: unnecessarily high company production pressure. Insufficient personnel will prevent an organization from keeping up with market needs, driving sales and revenues to better-equipped competitors across town or borders. Individuals who lack the necessary abilities to complete the job correctly also significantly impact corporate productivity.

This article outlines a six-step process for assessing your organization’s skill gaps. You will have little success filling deficiencies and narrowing the gap until you have that understanding. More significantly, your company will waste time and money by misdirecting its training efforts.

Getting Your Business Ready for a Digital Future
skill gaps

Four out of ten businesses say it’s challenging to locate workers with the required abilities. This problem will only worsen as corporations compete for qualified people in specialized fields such as software developers, cybersecurity experts, and computer engineers. They also adopt hiring and employment procedures that compound the difficulty of finding qualified candidates — such as companies expecting those they hire to become 100-percent job-ready or relying on the same over-used social channels, such as LinkedIn or Indeed, for identifying potential candidates. The situation is made worse by the corporate community’s antiquated expectation that the government will offer training.

As a result, workers remain imprisoned in low-wage jobs, while businesses are hesitant to invest in new technology due to a shortage of appropriately skilled labor.

The cornerstone to a company’s longevity is innovation, driven by skills. Your organization supports the workplace changes required to sustain market, product, and process innovation by investing in skill development for your employees.

According to the World Economic Forum’s recent Future of Jobs Report, over half of the companies expect automation to reduce their full-time workforce by 2022, based on the job profiles of their existing employees. However, 38% of the companies polled expect to expand their workforces to new productivity-enhancing occupations. And a quarter of respondents believe that automation will introduce new roles in their organizations that do not yet exist.

What are these responsibilities, and where will these well-trained individuals come from? Data analysts and scientists, software and application developers, and e-commerce and social media specialists are just a few of the jobs included in the research. While some positions require more human abilities, others, such as customer service representatives, sales and marketing professionals, training and development experts, innovation managers, and others, do not.

Specialist occupations related to developing technology, on the other hand, do not yet exist in huge numbers. Artificial intelligence and machine learning, big data analytics, process automation, information security, human-machine interface, robots, and blockchain expertise will be in-demand.

There are numerous basic techniques for businesses to plan for their future strategies:

They may enter the hiring war and pay the required competitive salaries; they can hope to automate work and eliminate the need for a skilled workforce or expect to automate work and eliminate the need for a trained workforce.

Those companies who master the task of detecting and addressing skills shortages today will be better positioned to reskill and upskill their employees in time to fully exploit innovative projects that will help them achieve their business objectives.

How Can Firms Conduct Skills Gaps Analysis?

To make your workforce as competitive as possible for what’s to come, examine your company’s skill demands as well as the abilities your employees presently possess. Here’s how to do it step by step:

Begin with your business strategy

Determine the company’s long- and short-term goals to determine what jobs will be required. For example, as part of a larger initiative to modernize customer relationship management in general, you might find that customer service operation that is currently done by phone will be undertaken online. Individuals who operate on the phone and email will need to learn how to use chat, videoconferencing, and other social media platforms.

Determine the roles that will be required to achieve business objectives

You can create this list of roles with your internal team or use a freely available resource like the World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs Report. Through 2022, an ‘industry profiles’ section splits the evolution of workforce needs, both emerging and declining by industry and roles.

Again, while it’s ideal for all of your employees to have customer service abilities and be well-rounded, your IT personnel will likely require considerably less training than your salespeople or call center representatives. To ensure that your employees aren’t being trained in the wrong areas, determine the most needed skills for each job type in your organization, and then examine what talents your employees currently possess.

Make a list of the talents required for each role

You can get help developing a list of the critical abilities required for various occupations from various sources. Some recruitment firms specialize in conducting cross-organizational comparative studies to establish skill inventories. Individual countries provide official occupational categories that detail the skills required for each. If you wish to do the work internally, you can construct a skills list using LinkedIn and Indeed job listings.

Group job titles: To make things easy for yourself, start by grouping positions that are comparable. For example, if you have employed technology service reps and customer service representatives, they will almost certainly need some of the same training. For instance, they will almost certainly need some of the same training. However, your Tech Support Reps may require similar training as your IT specialists; therefore, put them together.

Rank your skill priorities: Now that you’ve learned how to organize your positions, you may prioritize your abilities based on position level. A senior team member or supervisor, for example, will most certainly require expert-level skills, while other talents will require competency, and others will only require basic understanding.

Create a list of these talents and make sure supervisors know what their team members should know and how informed they should be.

Make a list of the talents your staff already have

You’ll need to assess if the employees in those positions are properly-suited to accomplish their duties now that you have a clear picture of your business priorities and the essential abilities in each position. Please don’t take it for granted that your personnel knows what they should do. Even long-term employees may have skill gaps due to not needing particular talents regularly or their job becoming more specialized.

Assessing the most significant abilities required by a person in a specific position will provide you with the information you require to proceed to the Training Needs Analysis (TNA). The TNA allows you to compare skills to an employee’s prior knowledge to determine how much training is required.

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It’s now time to assess your company’s existing position. You can evaluate your employees in a variety of ways:

  • Examine the employee evaluations that have already been saved
  • Perform 360-degree reviews to discover skills based on feedback from coworkers and managers
  • Collect information about employees’ certifications and show abilities straight from them
  • Make observations of employees as they go about their jobs
  • For specific talents, assess them through testing or role play
  • Employees should be compared to top achievers in their fields, and staff should be evaluated using specialized tools

These tools will assist you in determining what capabilities your present staff possesses:

  • Employees can complete an online profile or survey that details their talents, certifications, and other qualifications
  • Depending on the size of your workforce, you can also use group talks, evaluation tests, and personal interviews
  • You can also use consumer feedback to assess your workers and identify any deficiencies
  • Assessment/specialist software is particularly well suited to huge groups of employees. Use it once to get started, or use it on a regular basis to track your progress and identify any skill gaps
  • While online or paper testing has its advantages, monitoring how your workers perform is frequently a more effective approach to ensure things are done correctly. Not only is observation important for determining what staff are capable of, but it also allows you to communicate exactly what you want done and how you want it done; otherwise, how would they know?
  • Knowledge surveys, exams, and questionnaires can help you determine whether or not your staff have the necessary knowledge of your firm and its values.
Design and implement a skill gaps analysis

This stage compares the abilities you require from employees to the talents they already have. The skills gaps you’ll be bridging are the disparity between those two aspects.

One of the most significant aspects of this stage is identifying those people who have demonstrated remarkable abilities. They’ll come in handy as content gurus later.

Simply said, a skill gaps analysis is a list of the skills you need and the skills you already have.  Your skill gap is the difference between the two.

Skills required minus skills possessed equals a skills gap.

You’ll gather all of your information and compare it to detect skill gaps. Then, as part of your review, examine these items:

  • Make a list of the skill gaps in your workforce and the training required to close them
  • What are the abilities that need to be employed for?
  • Different groups or teams will require different types of training
  • Employees that have demonstrated leadership and remarkable abilities and may be promoted
  • Determine who possesses important talents and how many of them there are. What percentage is there, and may their skills be leveraged to assist in the training of others?
  • What abilities will be required in the future, and how can you prepare?
Close the skill gaps

It’s time to start filling in the skill gaps now that you know where they are. You can now begin developing an action plan for both training and hiring. Because training takes time and money, it’s ideal to start by eliminating the most critical skill gaps, so be sure your priorities are in line before starting your training program.

Each plan should include reasons why employees should improve these abilities, the best means to close the gaps, the resources needed to finish the training and a deadline for completion.
Coaching, mentoring, e-learning programs, and other tools are available to help you close the gaps.

Your strategy must also be realistic, so to ensure that it is, in fact, workable, it should include the following:


It’s time to work on closing the skills gaps, armed with the knowledge your organization has gathered on the jobs required, the talents in existence, and those that need to be developed further. This step involves creating and implementing a training program that combines learning with social or peer assistance.

It’s time to shift your content production paradigm, which can also help you integrate learning into your company’s culture.

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