Staffing Skills Gap Challenges

Skills gap is a real issue that both staffing agencies and businesses of all sizes face. In an article from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, it references a report from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) which states that 45 percent of small businesses were not able to find qualified applicants to fill job openings in the first quarter of 2017.

Whether you are a staffing agency trying to place qualified candidates or a company that is facing a skills gap challenge, there are things you can do to help fix the gap once it’s identified.

staffing skills gap challengesWhat Causes Skills Gap?

Many people attribute skills gap to the current education systems. The reality is that this is not always the primary cause. There are times when an employee is overqualified for a specific position, but still, a skills gap becomes evident. Aside from education, skills gap can be brought about by other factors like prolonged unemployment. At other times, the dynamic state of technology in many fields may prove hard to keep up with for many employees, which can cause a skills gap.

Identifying the Skills Gap

A skills gap reveals itself in many ways. To be able to solve it effectively, it is important that you determine what causes it. For instance, is the skill gap created by emerging trends or changes, or is it brought about by the loss of a skill that was once present in your company?

Create an inventory that takes note of the employee’s skills and strengths so you’re able to effectively tell what skills are present or missing. If you are in charge of a big company, running a survey can help collect this information much easier.

Once you have taken note of the skills your company has, it makes it easier to identify that important skills needed that the current employees cannot provide. Note down the particular skills you need to bring along.

Fixing a Skills Gap

It is imperative that employers address a skills gap as soon as it is evident. Any delays could end up affecting a company’s productivity. Here are ways you can fix the skills gap challenges.

  • If a skills gap is brought about by emerging skills that are entirely new, then the best thing is to arrange for a formal learning session where your team can be taught and equipped with the new skills.
  • If the gap is caused by the lack of proficiency in some skills among your employees, then you can fix it by introducing some skill-based training and seminars. To make sure the training is effective, follow up on them by asking for their feedback.
  • If some employees have important skills that others do not (skills which are still needed), then you may organize for cross-training sessions where the employees can enlighten each other by sharing the essential skills in an internal seminar or team building event.
  • Employees who seem best suited for a new position should also be offered the relevant skills as they get prepared for it. This will help avoid the issue of skills gap when they finally assume the new position.
  • After offering training to the employees, it is important to repeat the skills test. This second test will help you identify the employees that are learning quickly.
  • Another way to ensure that your company does not fall victim to the skills gap is to invest in appropriate training materials. For instance, if you have hired employees of different ages, then it will help you to know that what works for generation ‘A’ may not be effective when used on generation ‘B.’
  • The final way of fixing the skills gap in your company is by rewarding employees who are excellent in their areas. Rewarding will not only motivate your team, but it will also energize them to learn more.

Once a skills gap is identified and the reason for it, it makes it much easier to fix it. Fixing or filling a skills gap can help improve overall company productivity allowing your business to thrive.

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