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4 Ways to Identify Employee Skills Gaps

Jul 29, 2022| Reading time: 8min

BY Rich Rudzinski

CEO of Drivey, Tragic Media, and Oversight

How can you drive employee engagement, help your people hit their goals, and increase retention rates? By addressing your employee skills gaps.

Unfortunately, every company has some form of skills gaps within their organization. These gaps are often caused by:

When organizations don’t address skills gaps, employees become less productive, efficient, and engaged, leading to a poor employee experience and low morale. Alternatively, identifying and addressing skills gaps can help strengthen your workforce and retain your top talent. 

Ways to Identify Skills Gaps 

Many businesses find it difficult to recruit the right people. In fact, Forbes reports that “cultural shifts and economic upheaval have fundamentally changed the way that employees want to work, and the success of companies in key industries hinges on an employer’s ability to navigate the new demands of the job market.”

Therefore, to hire and retain the best people, businesses need to identify skills gaps and create a strategy to help their employees succeed. Below are four ways to identify skills gaps in your company. 

1. Conduct a Skills Gap Analysis

The best way to identify a skills gap is to conduct an analysis. An analysis can help you determine the gaps you have and which skills your teams are missing so you can confidently hire for specific roles or provide your current workforce with training or on-site education. 

To conduct a gap analysis, you must first identify your company goals and choose skills accordingly. For example, if your marketing team doesn’t have a social media marketer and you plan to start building your online presence, you’ll know that you need to find someone with that experience or help current employees obtain those skills. 

After identifying the skills needed for different roles throughout your organization, you’ll need to inventory the skills your employees already have to determine where and what the gaps are. You can inventory your employees’ skills by looking at past performance reviews or working directly with managers. When identifying skills, always collect data from employees, including any certificates, proven competencies, or education they already have.

ChartHop Performance Review example

Using a modern people analytics platform helps you layer your data to determine strengths and weaknesses across your organization.

Once you have all the data you need, including a list of the skills your employees need versus the skills they already have, it’s time to perform the analysis to find out what skills your teams are lacking. From there, you can start to close the skills gap by outsourcing work or providing learning opportunities for current employees.

2. Talk to Current Managers

Employees that manage departments typically know the skills they need to make their teams more efficient and productive. They should also collect data on their employees, including performance and skills data, to ensure their teams are reaching their professional goals.

As a result, talking to managers is an important step when identifying skills gaps if you’re unsure where to start. Ask department heads what skills they believe their teams are lacking and what types of roles need to be filled. Working with managers in this way can help you determine where the team has bottlenecks and how to improve them. 

3. Collect Data

Many small businesses fail to collect data on their employees, making it difficult to determine where and what their skills gaps are. If you believe your company has skills gaps (it probably does, but don’t worry – you’re normal!), the best thing you can do is to collect and analyze your people data. You can review all types of analytics – including previous work experience and work performance – to start setting goals for the future. 

4. Meet with Employees

Spending time with employees can help you learn a lot about your workforce and your business, since talking to your people can help you understand overall team dynamics, goals, and skills gaps. What’s more, you may discover the underlying cause for skill gaps: unengaged employees.

Many employees want to improve their skills to receive promotions, earn a higher salary, and grow as a professional. However, many companies make the mistake of not providing their employees with learning opportunities to help them get there, leading to lagging motivation or increased turnover

By scheduling regular 1:1s as a part of your continuous performance management strategy, you’ll better learn about your employees’ individual goals, strengths, and weaknesses. Once you learn more about your employees, you can start to find ways to reduce any skills gaps by helping them determine the skills they need for certain roles. 

standardized 1:1 template

When you track your 1:1s within a people analytics platform, you’re able to monitor your people’s professional growth and pinpoint areas to address.

Final Thoughts

Many businesses don’t take the time to help their employees succeed. Instead of finding ways to increase employee engagement through learning and growth opportunities, they hire individuals who already have the skills they’re looking for. Unfortunately, the hiring process is costly and time consuming. Luckily, businesses can save money and increase loyalty and engagement by investing in their current employees. 

A skills gap analysis can therefore not only help your business succeed and grow, but it can also prove helpful in determining how you can help current employees succeed. Of course, after identifying your skills gaps, you have to take action, which means finding learning opportunities for your current employees to upskill or adjusting your headcount planning strategy. Ultimately, identifying your skills gaps and filling them benefits everyone, not just your business, by creating a more proactive, invested culture. 

You’ve identified your employee skills gaps. Now what?

Learn how to address skills gaps here


About the Author: Rich Rudzinski is the CEO of, Tragic Media & Rich has been infatuated with computers from the time he first locked eyes on the sweet 486 Windows machine his uncle gave his family in the early 90s. Rich brings over 15+ years of enterprise software development and consulting, a focus on solving problems and streamlining processes with software, and the unique ability to translate very technical concepts to non-technical leads. Clients Rich has worked with include Under Armor, Pixar, WD-40, FIS, Benihana, Iron Man, Intel, The Baltimore Ravens, The Atlanta Falcons,  Lego, Burger King, and Qualcomm.

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