Amanda Groves

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For your business to really thrive, you need to make sure that you’re getting the best out of every employee and that you’re making smart decisions when it comes to hiring new staff. Knowing what skills your workforce has, where they are lacking, and how to fill that gap is crucial to remaining competitive in today’s market.

That’s where a skills gap analysis comes in. It can help you hire the right people for the right positions, improve the effectiveness of your current workforce, keep up with advancements in the industry, and plan for the future.

And doing so is easy. Here are three simple steps to follow when conducting a skills gap analysis:

  1. Identify your business goals

Where is your company headed? Straight off the bat you need think about your company’s goals and objectives. This helps you identify what skills are going to be needed in the short, medium and long term. It’s especially valuable if you work in an area where the technology is rapidly evolving or if growth and diversification is your organization’s strategic aim.

Prepare a project plan that identifies your company’s current business needs and what they’ll be in the future. Examining the job descriptions of your employees, your business objectives and company values will help you determine which procedures and processes will need to be in place and what skills you require now and further down the track.

In the process, make sure to ask yourself questions like: What skills do our employees need to do their jobs well? What skills do we value as an organization? How is our industry advancing and what skills will we need that we don’t currently have?

  1. Do your research

List all of the roles within your organization and the specific skills that are required for each one. You can get this information from job descriptions, talking with managers to determine what skills are most critical to their area of the business, and surveying the employees themselves. The people who are actually doing the job should be able to give you valuable insight into what’s involved on a day-to-day basis. Don’t forget to ask both the managers and staff about what skills they think are missing and could be beneficial to the business. Remember that thinking outside of the box can often produce interesting results (like using JazzHR Crowd to fill in blank spaces in your recruiting)

  1. Produce a scorecard

Once you have a list of skills required for each individual role, you need to create a scorecard. This means looking at each skill in turn and giving it a numerical value from 0 to 5 (or any range you like), with 0 being the equivalent of having no skill and 5 being expert.

To measure skill levels you could use surveys and assessments, interviews with employees, feedback from performance reviews and conversations with managers. The idea is to create a scorecard for every employee and role in your organization. Doing so will give you a clear picture of what skills you have, what you lack, and which ones can be improved upon.

Take Action

Now that you’ve analyzed the data and identified areas where there’s a lack of skills, there are two ways to fill the gaps: training and hiring.

If your scorecard shows a skill level at three or a four, then you’ll probably find providing some form of training is what’s needed to close the gap. There are a variety of ways this can be done, from giving an employee allotted time for online learning or hiring a professional training firm to arrange workshops and training sessions, to establishing employee mentorship programs or sending employees to industry conferences and events.

If your skills gaps are too wide and cannot be solved by training, then it’s time to look for new talent with the knowledge and expertise you need. The good news is that armed with your skills analysis, you will be even better placed to hire the right candidate for the job (also, using JazzHR’s applicant tracking system never hurts of course).

Have you done a skills gap analysis for your company and, if so, what did you discover?

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