A skills gap analysis can help determine which skills and knowledge are lacking among employees on an individual level or within a team, a department or the overall organization. This analysis can even go one step further and look at the industry as a whole. Once equipped with this information, employers can address the skills gap in the organization through hiring, upskilling, reskilling and other learning and development initiatives. This exercise can also help inform and shape recruitment efforts and strategic workforce planning.

Employers can review this checklist as they conduct a skills gap analysis. The need for such analysis could be triggered by various workplace processes, including before a big project, during hiring planning or when launching learning and development initiatives. Alternatively, a skills gap analysis could simply be done periodically or annually.

Research

1. Identify or categorize the types of employee skills. Here are the examples:

  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving
  • Soft skills (e.g., communication, behavioral and emotional intelligence)
  • Technical skills
  • Technology

2. Measure employees’ existing skills. Some examples of measurement methods include:

  • Performance reviews
  • 360-degree reviews
  • Conversations with key managers
  • Employees’ past work experience
  • Employee degrees, certifications and education
  • Self-assessments
  • Employee interviews
  • Technology (e.g., skills management software and learning management systems)

3. Consider how evolving and future trends might impact future skills in your company/organization or industry.

  • What required skills will change due to technology?
  • How does the economy impact skills?
  • How would potential company or industry growth (or consolidation) impact skills?

4. Identify future skills needed in your company/organization or industry. Answering these questions can help:

  • What skills do we value as a company?
  • What skills do our employees need to do their jobs well now?
  • What skills do our employees need to do their job well in the future?

5. Rate current and future skills based on their importance.

6. Set goals and develop a plan to use the analysis data.

  • Train to fill skills gaps (e.g., upskilling, reskilling, mentoring, attending events and pursuing outside educational opportunities).
  • Hire to fill skills gaps (e.g., sourcing passive candidates, using structured interviews to reduce bias and modifying the hiring process).

7. Determine programs and define learning pathways that best support the development of the desired skills, if applicable. It may be helpful to start small with one department or team.

Implementation and Management

1. Modify processes or strategies, if applicable. For example:

  • Update a recruitment strategy.
  • Modify a hiring process.
  • Update a screening process to account for skills the company needs.
  • Recreate a learning and development strategy.
  • Train employees on a deficient skill for a current or future need.
  • Develop specific training programs.

2. Communicate your findings, goals and learning opportunities to employees.

3. Execute the plan developed from the analysis.

4. Encourage companywide conversations about skills—instead of just jobs or roles.

5. Perform ongoing skills gap analyses to measure progress and identify new or changing skills.

This checklist is merely a guideline. It is neither meant to be exhaustive nor meant to be construed as legal advice. It does not address all potential compliance issues with federal, state or local standards. Consult your licensed representative at The Complete Manager Makeover Membership or legal counsel to address possible compliance requirements.