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Your Guide to Closing Skills Gaps with Skills-Based Hiring & Talent Management

Corporate leaders report a critical divide of 70% between the competencies they need in their workforce and the ones their employees currently possess. This disparity, often termed a skills gap, constitutes a major challenge in the corporate landscape as it can have far-reaching negative effects on operations and performance. When employees grapple with tasks they lack the necessary skills for, it can lead to poor quality, late delivery, and a general reduction in productivity. 

This inefficiency can drive up costs and trigger losses for organizations as they rectify errors and suffer strained customer relationships. Additionally, businesses with poorly equipped team members will have a hard time adapting to new realities in their industry. As a result, they won’t compete favorably with other companies. 

Factors responsible for the current skills gaps include:

  • Advancements in technology
  • A disconnect between the educational and industry sectors
  • An aging and retiring workforce 
  • Shifting market dynamics and a growing demand for specialized skills 
  • Changing job requirements  

For organizations to thrive in their respective industries, closing skills gaps is a necessity. Below are skills-based hiring and talent management strategies that HR leaders can implement to guarantee that their teams have the skills necessary for their organizations to achieve their goals.  

4 Strategies HR leaders can leverage to close skills gaps in their organizations

These pre-hire and post-hire tactics can equip HR leaders and their teams with the necessary skills for growth. 

1. Tailored job descriptions

Your journey to closing skills gaps with skills-based hiring begins with implementing tailored job descriptions. Custom-made job descriptions form a highly effective pre-hire strategy because they’re clear about the skills and experiences needed for a particular position. By zoning in on the skills crucial for the success of the organization, they serve as a preliminary filter to weed out candidates who don’t possess the right qualifications. 

To close skills gaps with tailored job descriptions, conduct a job analysis for insight into the skills required for the role. Outline the job responsibilities, deliverables, as well as the skills required to perform the job well. Detail any skills, experiences, or relevant certifications necessary to excel at the role.             

Ultimately, only high-quality candidates with the required skills apply and are eventually hired.  Hiring candidates with skills that may be slightly lacking yet vital to the organization’s success will help bridge the skills gaps in the organization.

2. Skill-based talent assessments 

Another potential method for closing skills gaps is to implement skills-based talent assessments. This approach easily doubles as a skill-based hiring technique and a talent management strategy because it can be applied pre-hire and post-hire. Skills-based talent assessments determine whether candidates or current employees possess the required skills for various roles. 

The objective assessment determines whether the candidates have the required skills for the relevant position; only those who demonstrate capability will be hired. In the case of current employees, it uncovers areas where additional training is needed to get employees to the required skill level. 

To effectively execute your skills-based talent assessment strategy, identify the competencies you want to assess in each role—they should be critical to your company’s growth. Conduct both hard skills assessments and soft skills assessments using different structured assessment methods. 

Analyze the test results and hire candidates who demonstrate the required proficiencies. Provide constructive feedback to your employees based on their results and offer personalized training opportunities to help build their skills. With Cangrade, you can simplify your skill assessment for candidates and employees.    

3. Learning and development programs 

Learning and development opportunities are beneficial to closing skills gaps in your organization. They give your employees access to an array of learning resources and guidance from mentors. By providing hands-on experience and skills that were previously lacking, this strategy bridges skills gaps and fosters a continuous learning culture in your organization. The newly acquired skills can be immediately applied by employees to achieve the company’s goals.

To nail this strategy, kick off with an assessment of learning needs within the association to identify skills gaps. Set learning objectives that align with your organization’s goals and design suitable programs that address the skills gaps. Structure the programs by creating a schedule and timeline, as well as clear instructions on how to access the lessons.  

It’s important to factor in your team members’ various preferences, learning styles, and developmental needs at this stage. Leverage different formats to enhance accessibility and engagement. 

Use Cangrade to upskill your old team members and new hires seamlessly.        

4. Succession planning and internal mobility  

Succession planning and internal mobility can help HR leaders deal with skills gaps. Succession planning forecasts the future talent needs of organizations, identifies key roles necessary for the advancement of the organization, and spots high-potential employees in need of training for such vital positions. On the other hand, employee mobility exposes employees to different roles in the organization, giving them a diverse and comprehensive skill set. 

Both succession planning and internal mobility strategies prepare the organization for vacancies and foster the development of employees to adequately address any potential skills gaps.

To win at succession planning and internal mobility, analyze your organization’s current talent landscape to identify key leadership and technical roles. Then evaluate your workforce to find potential candidates.

Once you have identified your potential candidates, you must encourage their mobility, set milestones and timelines for your succession planning, and provide targeted development opportunities to upskill the promising employees. To make this all manageable, you can explore ways to improve your internal mobility with Cangrade

Skills gaps are detrimental to every organization and will surface from time to time. Thankfully, HR leaders and team managers can win at closing skills gaps by implementing these different strategies. Skills-based hiring and talent management practices will ensure that your team members have the requisite competencies for your organization’s success.