For a business to really thrive, it must get the best out of every employee and make smart decisions when it comes to hiring new staff. Knowing what skills the workforce has, where they are lacking, and how to bridge any gaps is crucial to remaining competitive in today’s market. A skills gap analysis can help a company hire the right people for the right positions, improve the effectiveness of its current workforce, keep up with advancements in the industry, and plan for the future. When conducting a skills gap analysis for your own organization, be sure to include the following three steps.
IDENTIFY YOUR BUSINESS GOALS
Where is your company headed? Straight off the bat, you need to think about your company’s goals and objectives. This helps you identify what skills will be required in the short, medium, and long terms—knowledge that’s especially valuable if the technology in your area is rapidly evolving or if growth and diversification are your organization’s strategic aims. Prepare a project plan that identifies your company’s current business needs and what they’ll be in the future. Examine the job descriptions of your employees, your business objectives, and your company values. This analysis will help you determine which processes and skills you require now and which will be needed further down the track. Be sure to ask crucial questions: 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?
DO YOUR RESEARCH
List all of the roles within your organization and the specific skills that each one requires. This information can be gleaned from reading job descriptions, talking with managers to determine what skills are most critical to their departments, and asking the employees themselves. The people who are actually doing the job should be able to provide valuable insight into what’s involved on a day-to-day basis. Don’t forget to ask both the managers and the 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.
PRODUCE A SCORECARD
Once you have a list of skills required for each individual role, you need to rate them. This means assigning each skill a numerical value on any scale you like as long as one end indicates lack of skill and the other indicates expertise. Measure skill levels through surveys, assessments, interviews with employees, feedback from performance reviews, and conversations with managers. Creating this “scorecard” for every employee and role in your organization will present a clear picture of what skills the organization has, what skills it lacks, and which skills need improvement.
After analyzing the data and identifying areas in which skills are lacking, use training and hiring to close those gaps. If your scorecard shows room for improvement, providing some form of training (by giving an employee allotted time for online learning, hiring a consultant to conduct workshops and training sessions, establishing employee mentorship programs, or sending employees to industry conferences and events, for example) can probably accomplish this. But if your skills gaps are too wide and cannot be resolved by training, it may be time to look for new talent with the knowledge and expertise you need—and armed with your new skills gap analysis, you will be able to hire the right candidate for the job.
Amanda Groves is the marketing manager at Jazz.co, the first performance recruiting platform. Jazz is on a mission to make recruiting and hiring easy, effective, and scalable no matter what growth looks like at your company. The Jazz Performer Platform doesn’t just help your company grow, it can help your recruiting process grow up, putting you on the path to hiring “Performers Only.”