Skills Gap

Meta description: Explore what makes it so imperative for businesses to be able to meet skill gaps and how they can start working towards acquiring them sustainably.

Businesses are built on vision and dedication. However, they survive on the skills of their workforces. If there is one thing economic history has shown us, it is that economies cycle through booms and depressions. To weather these changing conditions, businesses have to identify and close skill gaps that are key to their survival. We also understand that the business world is no longer characterized by the smooth going of the 20th Century.

Changing technology means businesses need to adapt and evolve much faster. Choosing the wrong technological path could be catastrophic. Waiting too long will allow your competition a significant head start to adopt it. Moreover, the tech component has grown more and more volatile over the years.

As the modern business landscape stands, most businesses that conducted a skill gap analysis would find the largest gaps in technical talent and cyber skills. However, many now believe this skill gap has shrunk since 2020. But is this really an accurate assessment? Read on to find out more.

There is no denying that most workforces are beginning to work in cross-functional roles. The value of an employee with the ability to work in various roles, even as a contract to hire candidate, is obvious. Employees that can work outside conventional job descriptions are valuable talent. What is a skill gap when you have a single worker with the skills conventionally acquired with a team? The “full-stack” phenomenon is a great example of how this shift is impacting workplaces.

Full-Stack Talent Helps Shrinking Wage Gaps

These days you have a “full-stack” developer that can handle any and all coding, developing, and testing tasks. From app development to website development to software coding. A “full-stack” marketer can work in SEO, SEM, content marketing, performance marketing, digital media buying, social media marketing, branding, and much more. Just a few years ago, you would have needed a separate worker or workers for each of those roles within the Development or Digital Marketing function.

However, with a single worker that can work fluidly in cross-functional capacities, it is much more cost-effective as well as an efficient use of your hiring spend. Many businesses enhance this by offering skill enrichment or expansion programs, such as offering conventional security personnel the chance to bridge their cybersecurity skills gap.

While this does help with bringing down your immediate skill gap, it does not immediately solve the problem. You can work closely with your Human Resources function and related stakeholders like your staffing agency and see great success. But for the gap to truly vanish, there needs to be a concerted focus on the following:

Creating a Data Framework to Communicate Skill Gaps

Among the many reasons for a stagnating job market, one of the biggest ones is that the schools and colleges are still stuck in the old world. Many keep churning out students with skills that often have very little real-world application. A college degree does not always guarantee the quality or extent of a candidate’s skill set.

Before anything else, governments, industries, and businesses need to bridge the gap between the classroom and the office. Educators need to understand how the modern business world works and revamp learning methods accordingly. A data framework that can help educators see what skills and talent are the most needed is a great idea to examine. This will help create a supply for the skills that businesses need the most, and sustainably bridge the gaps therein.

Create Better Platforms to Match Skills with Opportunities

It’s not just about schools teaching skills that students can monetize in the business world. There still needs to be a pathway once the students graduate with those skills. In a large candidate pool like the United States, there is really no shortage of talent that looks good on paper.

How will an applicant processing system or a recruiter know what to look for? The answer lies in devising a better way to match people with roles. In other words, the focus needs to be on the skills a business needs, rather than the qualifications the role conventions require.

Structuring Your Workforce Plans Strategically

A structured talent acquisition strategy always improves the chances of hiring success. However, it should not just focus on more refined and targeted sourcing. Rather, it should expand to acquiring and onboarding the right talent with the right skills. Bringing them on board is half the challenge, but an appealing value proposition, even if it contains only small business employee benefits, can help.

The idea is to highlight the value of a skill or the talent that has them. This will usually snowball, adding to the supply for the skills you need. As more people see how well an accountant is paid, for example, more will study to become accountants.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to complete a skills gap analysis?

This depends on your business and the skills you need. But the analysis uses data gathered by HR and overall operations.

Is the skills gap real?

Yes, the gap is real, but it is more a lack of talent volume than specific skills.

How to address skill gap?

Offer enrichment programs, communicate with university placement offices and reward certain skills with the right benefits.

How to close the skills gap?

Identify the most important gaps, and start strategically enhancing your workforce skills for cross-functional roles. This will only be temporary, however.

How to bridge the skills gap?

Bridging the gap is not just about acquiring the right talent, but creating a reliable and sustainable supply of the skills you need.

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