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Why and How to Bridge the Skills Gap?

Feb 13, 2023
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Suresh Kumar D N
Why and How to Bridge the Skills Gap?

Introduction Summary

Recently, a food delivery company had to close its new grocery delivery initiative due to a shortage of delivery partners. In another example, a city-based pick-and-drop service company has expanded their services to pan India. Expansion and contraction across industries are levered to the availability of human resources. Skills gap can be a major spoke of the wheel of business success. In this article, we will see how to address the skills gap.

Introduction

What is a Skills Gap?

The variance between the required skill set and the available capability within the organization is referred to as a skills gap.

Skills Gap = Skills Required minus Available Skill Set

Let’s look at the recruitment scenario, which is landscaped in duality. On the one hand, there are layoffs, and on the other hand, companies are finding it challenging to source qualified candidates. Some skills are becoming obsolete, while others are gaining traction. Most HR & L&D professionals feel the need for skilling, but many employees express concern over the lack of support for skill development.

These oxymorons deepen the skills chasm. What is the result of this?

The consequence of Skills Gap

Life is all about growth and movement. The continuous evolution of technology has created new opportunities and rendered some skill sets redundant. Digitalization has changed the way people connect with things around them.

The fluid nature of living has had an impact on the job market. The rapidly changing skill requirements and the aforesaid dualism has created skill shortages and deviation from expectation. This skills gap has a negative impact on the country’s economy and the company’s revenues. The increasing unemployment rate is a cause of concern for everyone.

Failing to upskill the population has tremendous implications, which are not so positive. These include:

  • Rise in the percentage of youths who are unemployed or trained
  • Increase of demotivated job-seeking population
  • Wastage of funds due to wrong or inadequate training
  • Surge of unemployment insurance
  • Loss of revenues, GDP, and tax

As per the Korn Ferry study, there will be a shortage of more than 85 million people globally by 2030. This could lead to about $8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenues. The USA alone is expected to burn its pockets by $162 billion. Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm.

One might wonder if the skills abyss affects them. They need to find out.

Skills Gap Analysis

Organizations that identify the skills gap are better positioned to address it. Skills analysis helps strategize workforce planning, boost individual learning of the employees, and provide a competitive edge to the organization.

Here are the main steps to conducting a skills gap analysis.

Company Goals

Etch out the company’s goals. In addition to the vision and the mission, the research on the market, competition, consumer, and industry would serve as great pointers to design the business strategy.

Identify The Roles

Once the business plan is in place, companies must identify the defined goal’s roles. For example, if a food delivery business intends to venture into courier and grocery delivery, some of the roles required would be the management of the warehouse, delivery partners, logistics support etc., to name a few.

Skill Inventory

Create a skill inventory for the roles defined.

Skill Set Available

Identify the skill sets available in the organization. This can be done through continuous reviews, observations, tests, and data collected from curricular vitae about their certificates and competencies. Assess the potential of each employee beyond the current role and skill sets.

Skill Set Required

Derive the skill sets required after matching the required and the available skill inventory.

Addressing the Skills Gap

Once the analysis is done, the company must close or narrow the skill chasm. There must be more job openings and qualified candidates, whether in manufacturing, media, finance, technology, etc. Organizations need to look beyond career fairs, hiring events, and other traditional hiring processes to survive the skill shortage.

Talent Hunt

The question arises whether the company has dug deep enough to identify the talent. Here are some avenues that may have skipped attention.

Employees with long careers may have varied skill sets which equip them to take up additional tasks. Employees might be pursuing education to upgrade their skill sets. Veterans and former service members can be hired, onboarded, and retained.

In addition, organizations should be open to incorporating people with diversity. Diversity refers to differences based on race, socio-economic, gender, experience, disability, geographic location, and more. Diverse populations help to fill the skills gulf.

Nontraditional Source of Candidates

Several government learning centers and nonprofit organizations are training people in industry-based skills, such as driving, coding, website creation etc. Build synergies with these organizations.

Stay Connected with Educational Institutions

Communicate to the educational institutes what skill and proficiency they need to teach as a part of their curriculum so that it is relevant to the industry requirement. Collaborate with academic institutions, technical centers, and certificate programs to allow for a steady influx of talent.

Adopt Policy Changes

Create policies to support learning opportunities. It could be learning camps, academies, in-house training, digital learning or incentivizing of education of the employees.

Train the Recruitment Team

Train the hiring teams to make them adept at identifying the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) of applicants so that every qualified skill set is noticed. It is also essential that the management and the recruitment teams shed their biases so that they can reach out to a broader population. This amplifies the chances of finding the required qualification.

“Governments and organizations must make talent strategy a key priority and take steps now to educate, train, and upskill their existing workforces,” ~ Yannick Binvel, president of Korn Ferry’s Global Industrial Markets practice.

Upskill and Reskill

Prioritize an effective and robust training program to empower the employees. The learning path could be a combination of face-to-face classes, self-guided eLearning courses, webinars, and resources comprising textbooks, pdfs, videos and more.

The digital learning component may differ based on the skill set. Customized eLearning solutions and online learning management system helps to punctuate the learning in the flow of work without disturbing the work schedule.

Addressing the skills gap will help to:

  • Make effective training programs
  • Improve employee productivity
  • Retain talent pool and reduce turnover
  • Build strong and diverse teams
  • Make the company future-ready

Conclusion

Investment in training your employees is an investment in the company’s future. Make your training program engaging and efficient by incorporating digital learning. We help you to analyze the skills required to make your organization competitive. This is in line with the ADDIE design model.

Leverage the services of the SmartChoice Preferred Solution Provider by Brandon Hall Group the second year in a row. Give an edge to your corporate training, and achieve your L&D goals and objectives, write to us at suresh@tesseractlearning.com

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