How to Conduct a Successful Skill Gap Analysis?

Amelia Jackson
6 min readJun 2, 2023
How to Conduct a Successful Skill Gap Analysis

The growing disconnect between training systems, education, and the workforce, coupled with technological disruption, creates insecurity and instability in the lives of several employees. Authorities around the globe are experiencing mounting strain to discover resolutions and have directed substantial resources into initiatives engineered to equip individuals with the expertise they will necessitate for the professions of tomorrow.

According to a report by McKinsey & Company, a staggering 87% of companies globally are projected to encounter a significant shortage of skilled talent. The current situation unquestionably requires every organization to thoroughly evaluate skill gaps and determine areas in which each staff member lacks the necessary skills to perform a specific task.

For HR professionals, conducting a skills deficit evaluation and using the results to inspire action are crucial tasks. This procedure is essential for attaining company goals, developing a skilled workforce, and finding people that fit the organization’s requirements. Here is a guide for performing a skills gap analysis and using the results to launch suitable steps.

What is a skill gap analysis?

What is Skill Gap Analysis

HR professionals embark on a transformative journey called the skill/competency gap analysis to bridge the gap between existing skills and the contemporary skills required to succeed in the organization.

In short, skill gap analysis is conducted to identify the mismatch between the required skills by a company and the skills possessed by an employee.

A skill gap for instance can be an organization where the employees excel in creating and managing social media campaigns but struggle with effectively analyzing the data generated by those campaigns to make data-driven decisions. This gap in data analysis skills can hamper the organization’s ability to accurately measure campaign performance, identify areas for improvement, and optimize marketing strategies based on data insights.

Why is it important to bridge the skill gap?

Upskilling and reskilling present a valuable opportunity for both employers and employees to foster mutual benefits through the bridging of skill gaps.

Identifying the Skill Gap Analysis

For employees:

➣ More opportunities for growth and advancement

➣ Improved efficiency in their current role or the ability to transition to a new position

➣ Enhanced self-confidence and motivation

➣ Increased adaptability in a rapidly changing environment

For employers:

➣ Increased employee retention and engagement

➣ Cultivation of a culture of continuous learning and development

➣ A workforce that is better equipped to meet business needs

➣ Cost savings compared to hiring new employees

How to conduct a successful skill gap analysis?

There are seven vital steps that HR professionals need to follow to conduct a successful skill gap analysis.

Effective planning of the analysis

To conduct a thorough skill gap analysis, it is crucial for HR people to assess both individual and team levels. To plan the analysis efficiently, HR professionals must identify key individuals to engage with, such as C-suite executives, team leads, and staff-level employees. They further need to approach team leads who can provide valuable insights into the specific skill gaps among employees within their respective departments.

Defining the future goals of the organization

HR professionals must envision the future of their organization. They should consider where they want the organization to be in the short term, such as a year from now, as well as in the long term, like five years ahead. To determine the required skills from employees to reach these goals, they should reflect on a series of essential questions.

Some pertinent questions to ask include:

➥ What is the organization’s direction and trajectory?

➥ Are there any significant upcoming developments or challenges within the next 12 months?

➥ What specific skill sets do we need our employees to possess?

➥ What skill sets will these future employees need to acquire to meet our objective?

➥ In what areas of the business do we lack knowledge or resources?

➥ Which positions need to be filled to enable the organization’s progress?

Considering the future of work trends

HR practitioners are tasked with not only assessing immediate actions required to advance their organization but also considering future work trends. It is essential to address the following aspects, particularly relevant to their organization:

➥ Identify the jobs within the organization that have the potential to be automated in the future.

➥ Stay updated on the skills that are currently in high demand or are expected to rise in prominence.

➥ Anticipate the emergence of new roles that do not yet exist in the organization but may become necessary in the future.

Determining potential future skills required

To remain competitive, organizations must adopt new technologies and practices. However, finding employees with the required skills can be challenging. Conducting a skills gap analysis helps identify gaps in skills and knowledge. By aligning the analysis with future goals and industry trends, organizations can determine the necessary skills to achieve their objectives. This proactive approach ensures competitiveness in a dynamic business environment.

Measuring the current skills

Companies can assess their current skills inventory through various methods. Firstly, analyzing key performance indicators (KPIs) of individual employees provides insights into their contributions to the business. Skills assessments, surveys, and interviews with employees can also help gauge their skill sets.

Implementing a 360-degree feedback process allows for a comprehensive understanding of employees’ current skills. By soliciting feedback from peers, line managers, and the employees themselves, skill gaps can be identified. Additionally, reviewing individual and team performance evaluations helps pinpoint areas where specific skills are lacking.

HR technology plays a crucial role in gathering and analyzing employee feedback. Popular tools like 15 Five allow for customized surveys completed by employees, followed by a brief review by employers. Officevibe identifies areas of dissatisfaction and opportunities for enhancing team productivity through weekly surveys. Culture Amp facilitates performance reviews, enabling managers to track employee performance from recruitment to exit.

These approaches, combined with HR technology, empower companies to assess their current skills inventory and address any skill gaps effectively.

Finding out the skill gaps

Through conducting a skills gap analysis, organizations can determine the current gaps in their workforce’s skills and compare them to the desired future state. This analysis helps identify specific challenges that the company is currently facing or anticipates facing in terms of workforce skills. For instance, the gaps can be in the form of digital skills or a shortage of STEM skills in the future as well as current employees.

Implementing the findings

Upon discovering the skill gaps organizations can start planning to fix them. A combination of hiring, training and getting HR certification courses will be an appropriate way to do so. HR professionals can:

➥ Build internship and apprenticeship programs to fill their talent pipeline

➥ Use skill assessments during the recruitment process

➥ Encourage employees to attend conferences or industry-specific events to help them gain knowledge and skills

➥ Hire contingent employees to fill wider skill gaps

Final thoughts

It is important to know what skills your company will need in the future to succeed. Conducting a skills gap analysis will help firms prevent the unwanted surprise of having employees with insufficient skills on board.

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Amelia Jackson

Human Resource Professional. Passionate about Human Resources. Writing has always been a passion with strong interest in talent management & HR Industry.