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June 6th, 2022 · 5 min read

Skills gap analysis: A modern framework

Written by: Izabelle Hundrev

skills gap analysis blog header

Understanding skills gaps

  • Leadership and management
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving
  • Writing proficiency
  • Data literacy

What is a skills gap analysis?

When to conduct a skills gap analysis

  • A shift in business strategy
    Before you roll out a change to the structure of your organization and/or make a shift in business priorities, it’s important to make sure that your workforce is prepared for it. Think about the skills your employees will need to accommodate these changes and have a preemptive plan in place to help them upskill or reskill to meet those needs.
  • Introduction of new technology
    Similarly, you should conduct an anticipatory skills gap analysis before any technology is standardized across a team, business unit or the entire organization.
  • When business objectives are unmet
    Although there are many factors that may cause a dip in business performance, it may indicate that your employees aren’t equipped with the learning and education resources that need to meet the demands of their roles. 

How to conduct a skills gap analysis

Determine the project scope

Align with organizational goals

Know the difference between critical vs. “nice to have” employee skills

Measure skills

  • Historic performance review data
  • Employee surveys
  • Skills assessments 
  • 1:1 conversations
  • Completion of goals and/or progress on key performance indicators

skills gap analysis template cta

Get granular with internal skills data

Examine industry trends

Combine company data and industry trends to run a true skills gap analysis

  • Which skills does the organization define as needs that are unfilled? 
  • What roles are being inadequately performed? 
  • Which skills and competencies do employees feel the least confident in?

Outline an action plan

How to address skills gaps

  • Prioritize sourcing from within
    Look among your current employee base for high-potential workers with the right soft skill sets, especially for leadership roles.
  • Keep reskilling in mind
    Upskilling is not the only way to address skills gaps. There are situations when an employee can fill an entirely different job role within an organization through reskilling and setting the course for a new career path.
  • Conduct skills assessments
    Stay on top of skills slippage by integrating skills assessments as a standard process. It’s common for skills assessments to be administered during the hiring process, but they can also be conducted post-hire as well. There are a variety of software tools available on the market that make administering these assessments smooth and easy, both for you and the employee.
  • Offer workforce education opportunities
    Think beyond training and implement a workforce education program that provides your people with access to degrees, credentials and certifications to support skill-building needs and long-term career progression.
  • Connect career paths to skills needs and learning options
    Many companies create career paths, but they fall short when it comes to going the extra mile to dig into the skills and competencies that employees require to progress along these paths. To adequately address skills gaps, people leaders need to invest the time and effort into figuring out what learning is needed to fuel skill-building.For this reason, many organizations seek to partner with workforce education experts that can do the heavy lifting and work directly with your team to carefully curate learning options that fill the highly specific skills needs of your people and organization.

Closing the skills gap

You can address talent development challenges