Photo by Gabriella Clare Marino on Unsplash
One of the key challenges that organizations face today is finding and hiring the right talent for open positions. This can be especially difficult if the job requires a specific set of skills or expertise that is difficult to find in the current competitive job market.
One way to address this challenge is by conducting a skills gap analysis. A skills gap analysis is a process of identifying the skills and knowledge that an organization needs in order to achieve its goals and comparing them to the skills and knowledge that current employees possess.
By identifying these gaps, organizations can determine the training and development needs of their current employees, as well as the specific skills and qualifications they should be looking for when recruiting new hires. This enables them to find the right candidates and improve recruiting outcomes including more qualified applicants, employee retention, and even the reduction of training times and expenditures.
But how do you do a skills gap analysis, and what do those results look like?
There are two sets of skills required for every position, including technical (hard) skills and soft skills like communication, problem-solving, and teamwork. The first step is to not only identify the skills needed in a specific role, but to be sure those skills are communicated clearly in job listings and throughout the interviewing process.
One way to do this is to tap into OpenRSD, which introduces Rich Skills Descriptors that create a common vocabulary or taxonomy between educators, learners, and employers when it comes to describing skills.
Working with educators can also ensure that the skills often associated with a degree or certificate program are aligned with the skills required by the current role. Alternative certifications like digital badges acquired through programs other than degrees can also help you identify both needed skills and those that candidates possess.
The use of common language makes this possible.
While the Great Resignation has widened and exasperated the skills gap in many companies, you might be surprised by the skills you have in current employees. This means it is possible to move employees into new positions, or even create merged positions to help fill the open positions you have.
This can make recruitment and hiring easier because it clarifies what you actually need vs. what you think you might need. You can determine what these skills are and who has them in a variety of ways:
Using these tools, you can establish the true skills gap in your company and shift your hiring to fill the areas where you are lacking.
There are two options when it comes to recruitment: internal recruiting for existing or created skills positions and external recruiting and hiring.
Once you see the actual skills gap in your company, know the skills you need to hire for to fill certain roles, and understand the resources already at your disposal, you can hire more intelligently for the roles you need to fill.
The key is to emphasize skills, regardless of how they have been obtained, over degrees or experience that can create the perception of skills. This can be done through working interviews, testing, and more in-depth, skills-based evaluation of an applicant’s credentials.
A data driven and skills-based strategy will improve your recruitment outcomes significantly.
As the needs of the organization change, it will be important to reassess the skills and knowledge of your existing workforce, the skills needed for changing roles, and then alter and evolve your recruitment strategy accordingly.
Any skills gap analysis should be a living document, changing over time, revisited and revised often, and updated as personnel and skills needs change. However, the improved recruiting outcome will be well worth the effort.
The key is to be flexible and keep up with changes in education, certification, or even consider offering job skills training or certification reimbursement of your own. You can create programs to create the skilled workers you need or utilize programs that have already been created.
Conducting a skills gap analysis can provide a number of benefits for your company. By identifying the skills and knowledge needed to achieve your goals, recruiters can more effectively plan for the future and ensure that they have the right talent in place to drive success. In addition, by providing training, development, and educational opportunities for current employees, you can increase employee engagement and retention, which can lead to improved performance and productivity.
In conclusion, a skills gap analysis is a valuable tool for organizations looking to improve their recruitment outcomes and ensure that they have the right talent in place to achieve their goals. By identifying the skills and knowledge needed for success and developing a plan to address any gaps, organizations can improve their chances of finding and hiring the right candidates to drive long-term success. The entire company, from management to employees and recruiters themselves will benefit from a more unified company culture filled with opportunity and clear career paths.