How to Conduct A Skills Gap Analysis

In the current market, everyone is rushing to hire and there’s a highly-anticipated flurry of recruitment activity happening. However, there are alternatives to hiring new staff members to get the skills you need on your team. Many employers choose to engage contractor support to cover, oversee or manage time-specific projects as a cost-effective alternative to a permanent hire, but one that many overlook is the potential offered by your current staff. Upskilling is a great way to plug any skills gaps your team may have and future-proof your organisation. 

But how do you know you’d benefit more from upskilling your current employees rather than hiring new ones? One way to do this is to conduct a thorough skills gap analysis of your team to see where the skills or knowledge gaps are and if they would make sense to be added on to a current team member’s responsibilities or if they warrant a new hire. 

What is a skills gap analysis?

A skills gap analysis is a tool employers or managers use to assess the current and future needs of their team or entire organisation and measure it against the current ability to meet those needs. It can help you establish whether you need to hire or to upskill; if you have only a few skills missing or some key software knowledge gaps, you can consider upskilling as a more cost-effective means of plugging that gap over hiring. 

However, if you discover several significant areas where your current skills resource will not meet the requirements of your future needs, it will be more beneficial to strategise to hire one or more new team members to meet those needs. 

How to conduct a skills gap analysis in five easy steps:

1. Define your organisation or team’s future goals

What will be the priorities for the next 12 months? What changes will you be looking to bring in after that point? Is there a five-year target? What will you need between now and then to create a solid strategy to achieve those goals and then what will you need to implement it? What legislative or regulatory changes are you expecting and how will you need to adapt to them?

Once you have a thorough basis of what you are facing in the short, medium and long term you can begin to plot out what you may need to facilitate these goals.

2. Assess future tech or work trends

As the world grows ever-increasingly digital, are there any systems of tech-based trends you will need to keep pace with within your industry or sector? If automation is picking up within your sector you may want to consider which manual or repetitive tasks on your team have the potential to be automated, or you could consider whether you’ll need greater security measures for a Cloud migration project, etc.

3. Determine which skills you will need for the future

While the world of work is evolving quickly, aided by even faster technology evolution, it can be challenging to know what you will need to leverage these changes and achieve growth in the future. However, if you have aligned your research on trends and technical requirements to meet your organisation’s goals, you should have a fairly clear idea on what kinds of skills will support these developments and initiatives. 

This is the point where you may begin to see a gap in the skills on your team(s) emerge as you consider the possibilities and requirements of the future.

4. Measure your current team’s skills

With a working list of competencies, skills and knowledge based on the previous steps in your skills gap analysis (outlined above), you can now assess your current team’s skills. You may want to examine individual employees’ KPIs to see how their position contributes to the company, or set up short surveys for them each to fill in based on themselves and their feedback on what’s lacking in the department or team. 

There are a wide range of tools available to help you understand your workforce skills data like Avilar, HRSG, Kahuna just to name a few. 

5. Assess where the gaps lie

From this point you can create an outline of where your industry will be, what you will need to do to accommodate any developments within it, what new tech, controls or processes you’ll need in place, what pain points your current workforce might encounter if they tried to meet them now and what skills you need to shore up your team with. 

If the skills you identify as business critical to the future of your company are beyond the abilities of your current staff through upskilling, consider creating a future-proof hiring strategy to meet those future needs. 

How can Barclay Simpson help?

When you’re looking to future proof your organisation through permanent or interim hires, Barclay Simpson can help you grow and provide ongoing guidance and support. 

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