Organizations have had to embrace digital transformation faster than their employees can keep up. The skills needed to stay ahead in a competitive and dynamic market are constantly evolving, leading to talent gaps.
Employees may not realize it, but a single software can make their job redundant so fast that they don’t have time to actively improve their skills. The rate of innovation might be exciting, but it’s also troubling for employers who have hard-working individuals who no longer add value to their company.
With technology taking over many of our jobs, the human workforce needs to reevaluate its skillset and develop competencies that can help them stand out. Talent gaps can be problematic because they stunt personal growth and hamper organizations' growth and development.
It is the employers' responsibility to identify the disconnect in skills and elevate the abilities of their employees. Follow the 4 steps below to identify and bridge talent gaps within your company.
1. Conduct a Skills Gap Analysis
Whether you are selling a product or a service, be aware of what skills are essential to the success of your business. They could be specific to key departments in your company or to your niche. You might find technical know-how necessary, or your needs might turn more on soft skills like leadership and communication.
To address a talent gap within your team, you must conduct a thorough assessment of the skills that are important to you. Once you have determined this, you should create benchmarks and measure the skill levels of your employees. You may use surveys, performance reviews, and even customer feedback.
Now you know where your team stands as compared to where they should. But before you can create a strategy to improve the talent gap, you must find its source. Search for the reasons behind your shortcomings.
There could be several drivers, like your old employees cannot keep up with technology or your newer ones are not well informed on key processes. Maybe you’re using machine learning in one department and a legacy system in another.
2. Revisit Your Hiring Process
If you find gaps in your talent pool, you need to take a look at your hiring strategy and process. Perhaps the strategy doesn’t properly highlight the competencies you’re looking for. If your hiring team isn’t aware of the importance of certain skills, they’ll hire people who do not fit.
Your recruitment team needs to understand the details and nuances of every skill you consider essential for your business. They should be able to test applicants for it. If you want someone who can type fast, they must be able to prove it. Enhance candidate selection by revisiting your hiring process and add pre-employment assessments, especially for technical skills.
Look for employees with a greater range of talents. It would be great to have someone on board who understands big data but is also a master at negotiation. Today’s world requires people to have a broad range of soft skills along with several key competencies.
You don’t want to employ someone for a role with a narrow scope; you want to improve your overall skill pool and have multi-talented employees. The ones who go above and beyond their job description are the ones who truly add value to the organization.
Before you embark on a journey to improve the talent in your team, create a recruiter training program. Your recruitment team should review resumes and conduct interviews carefully lest a qualified applicant is overlooked.
3. Train Existing Talent
Consider training and development as an investment that will yield rich dividends. Hiring new talent to bridge the talent gap shouldn’t be the only answer to your problems. If you want to strengthen your startup, hiring might seem like a good idea, but with an organization that existed before the digital age, it’s important to focus on reskilling and upskilling your existing workforce.
You create loyalty within your team when you invest in their professional development. You increase job satisfaction when you train your employees to remain relevant and important to the company. Training programs can make the mundane, monotonous workday more exciting and your team happier in their roles.
You can use business communication tools like video conferencing to conduct training sessions and online courses to reskill or upskill your teams. There are a myriad of options available to suit your budget and company size, including sending employees back to school.
4. Offer Support
Hiring recruits to make up for the talent gap is the easy way out; to make your existing employees a valuable part of the workforce is more tricky. However, while upskilling your current talent is difficult, its benefits are innumerable.
To set your employees on a journey of self-improvement can be challenging for them, but if there is a support system in place, it will also be welcome. Have a mentor in every training program and offer incentives to your employees to motivate them.
Acknowledgment and company-wide recognition for their efforts will keep them focused on improving their skills. Make sure your employees know the talent gap isn’t something to be embarrassed about but rather an opportunity to improve oneself.
You have to be strategic and aggressive in your approach to bridging the talent gap. Whether recruiting new employees or reskilling and upskilling existing ones, this is a challenge you too can rise to.
Periodically analyze the talent gap to figure out if your strategy to make it smaller is working or not. A combined approach of training and development programs, along with support and motivation, is crucial to help employees achieve developmental milestones and crush the talent gap.