Using Skills as a Currency to Future-proof the Workforce

Guide to an Effective Skills Gap Analysis


Written by HRCap, Inc.

September 1, 2022


The COVID Pandemic has accelerated the digitalization of companies across the globe and strengthened the urgency for highly sought after technical skills. Many companies now view skills as the new currency and heavily invest in market intelligence to anticipate future trends that will inevitably change the necessary skill sets.


Leading organizations understand that they need to build a workforce that is readily skilled at leveraging technology and leading data-driven strategies. However, according to the 2021 AIHR’s study, only 41% of 5,648 HR practitioners are technologically savvy with data literacy to improve efficiency and business value. According to the 2021 WeForum research, 66% of workers believe they need to gain new skills to stay employable in the years ahead. Additionally, 2022 Workplace Learning Report from ­LinkedIn Learning shows that 60% of learning and development professionals view “upskilling and reskilling” as a top priority.


These figures accentuate the importance of conducting skills gap analysis, by measuring the difference between the skills employers need to achieve business success and the skills their workforce actually offers.



Skills Gap Analysis Process


With continual technological advancements, the demand for relevant skills will rise in value, becoming the new currency that will future-proof the workforce. Therefore, companies must actively address and close the skills gap by assessing the current state and identifying which skills are needed to meet their business needs. By taking the following steps for conducting a skills gap analysis, companies are able to clearly identify which skills are missing and how and where to fill the need through proper talent investment and skills development strategies.


1. Identify Organizational Goals


By identifying the organizational goals, a company can focus on what to address specifically. Finding the answers to questions such as “what is the company’s mission” and “what are the business goals” will help narrow down the scope of the analysis and better address the company’s needs. A possible goal is improving the company’s brand exposure through Social Media Marketing to increase customer loyalty and gain more high-quality leads.


2. Determine Skills Needed to reach Goals


After establishing the company’s mission and business, the organization should determine what skills would be necessary to accomplish its goals. If a company were to improve their brand exposure on social media, then they may consider Digital Marketing, Social Media Engagement, Content Creation, and Advertising to be critical skills.


3. Identify Future Skills Needed


Companies should not just look at what is currently needed but also look to the future to understand what projected skills will capitalize on future opportunities. Search Engine Optimization, Data Analysis, and Marketing Automation and Technology may be future skills needed to improve and upscale brand exposure on social media.


4. Measure Current Skills of the Workforce


Then companies should assess their workforce’s skills by conducting skill assessments, surveys, and interviews with employees. Another way is to gather feedback from employees to assess their skill sets and understand where they see potential skill gaps. This can also be done by checking individual and team performance reviews to see which skills are lacking. Traditional Skill Assessments, Manager Feedback, 360 Reviews, Performance Reviews, Self-Assessments, and existing work products reviews can be used to measure the current skills of the workforce.


5. Identify the Skills Gap


Organizations must carefully compare the critical skills needed to achieve business success with the results of the current assessment of skills. Companies can identify what skills are lacking in their current workforce, what possible training would be necessary, which employees have critical skills, and which skills they would need to hire for.


6. Build Intervention Plan


Once the skills gaps have been identified, companies must invest in taking proper action to fill them. One way to fill the gap is reskilling and upskilling current employees to build the necessary skills that they need to reach their goals through different modes of training programs. Another way is to hire candidates with the required skills to fill the gap. This can be done through screening for specific skills and putting in place skills assessments in the recruiting process. Implementing mentoring and reverse mentoring programs, hiring a professional training firm to carry out workshops, conducting training sessions, or holding seminars for employees.


Benefits of Skills Gap Analysis


By employing a comprehensive skills gap analysis, companies will be able to measure and close the skills gap. As a result, skills gap analysis helps companies to realize a multitude of benefits that will ultimately future-proof their workforce.

  • Wholistic View of the Current Workforce: By performing a skills gap analysis, companies can get more insight and understanding of their entire workforce.

  • Strategic Workforce Planning: Skills gap analysis can also help to identify talent needs and create a strategy to optimize the recruitment process to fill the gap properly.

  • Increase in Productivity: By understanding what skills are lacking, employers can create learning and development programs that will improve the workforce’s skills. This not only increases the overall workforce capabilities but will also increase productivity. At companies that have implemented L&D programs, 43% of CEOs reported higher workforce productivity in a 2020 PwC’s survey.

  • Gain in Competitive Edge: Companies can be ahead of their competitors by filling in the gaps and looking forward to future trends.


Conclusion


HRCap strategically partners with our clients in understanding industry trends, markets, and business strategies, then mapping them to critical skills needed. We conduct skills analysis and succession planning to ensure that our clients have effective skills development programs in place, while actively investing in critical skills needed to meet their current and future business needs. We have proactively recommended market-leading candidates who help define and lead new business transformations and successfully placed tech-savvy candidates with cross-functional skills to help them keep up with technological advancements.


The future is here. Companies must continuously measure their workforce, look ahead to the future, and build a workforce that can readily meet business goals and needs. Skills are the currency and the way for a future-proofed workforce.


Source: HRCap, AIHR, Mercer, WeForum, LinkedIn Learning, PwC


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