For every job, there is a particular skill set required to successfully complete it. These competencies need to be identified prior to the recruiting process to ensure new employees fit the desired role, to both maintain and develop the business. A skills gap within a company can lead to unhappiness among other staff and jobs not being fulfilled as well as required, halting the future growth of the company. So how does a business identify skills gaps and remedy it?
Forcing a square peg into a round hole might work a little but after a while, that peg sticks and the whole process will stop. This concept illustrates the issues when you have someone do a job that isn’t within their skill set or capability. They might be able to sustain the job for a while but there will come a time when either they can’t manage an aspect of the role or their unhappiness interferes with their ability to do it: no one likes to feel they are doing something they aren’t successful at.
A study in the US found that skills gaps can lead to a number of problems in the business including:
41% said lower staff morale due to having to take on extra duties
40% said work wasn’t being done
34% reported delays in delivery times
30% reported lower quality customer service
29% said staff were demotivated
25% said the skills gap had affected their revenue
25% reported more errors and lower quality work
Sometimes, employers don’t even realise that they have a skills gap and therefore can be suffering from these and other problems without knowing what the root cause is. Carrying out an assessment of the skills needed within the business is a great way to identify gaps ahead of recruiting the right people.
Start with a plan that covers two levels – the individual and the team or company. This can highlight some skills gaps that may be able to be fulfilled with the appropriate training as well as showing others that require new staff with particular abilities to be brought into the business.
You can look at the skills that you need for people in each role within the company. Then separately, look at the skills that the people within the company already have or could have the training to build upon and fill those gaps. If the gap between what you need and what your people can do is significant, then you might want to consider hiring someone new to deal with the issue.
While there’s no software that can simply find your skills gaps and fill them, there are ways to look at your current workforce and highlight issues and shortfalls. Scheduling and rostering software offers a whole host of optimisation features that can help analyse your current staffing levels and identify areas with a lack of the required skills.
Optimised and automated scheduling creates shift schedules that are based on a combination of the business needs and the requirements of staff. It does this by containing an employee file for each member of staff that includes any training and skills, their work pattern preferences and other important information.
By looking at who can work when and what they do, you can highlight skills gaps. It can indicate when staff are needed and what tasks they will be required to do, showing areas of overstaffing and where there is a demand for more staff based on calculated data. The use of skills and availability information ensures that staff aren’t pushed into work that they aren’t equipped for, improving morale and ensuring maximum productivity.
Recruiting the right people
By carrying out this assessment, you can build a picture of the people your business needs. You can then begin recruiting with a clear list of skills and attributes you require from a candidate. The more specific you are about what you need, the easier it is to find people that fill the job. And most importantly, the people that do the job well and remain with the company for a length of time.
Such skills and fact based recruitment means that new starters are much less likely to find themselves disillusioned with a job that isn’t what was advertised. This is a common problem across many industries – businesses are unclear on what they want and therefore take on the wrong staff without thorough consideration. In turn, these new employees then find themselves unhappy with their new role resulting in high turnover of staff.
By using software to help define what skills you need and a clear assessment of the requirements of a role, companies are in a stronger place to recruit the right people. Misfires on the recruiting front can cost businesses a lot of money in wasted resources and broken contracts as well as damaging reputation when those unhappy new starters tell their tale of displeasure to others. Getting the right people for the job first time around can save money, ensure the business gets the right people and ensures profitability and staff morale stay at their highest levels.
RITEQ’s Workforce Analytics and Demand Planner modules use historical data to optimise shift schedules using required skills, forecast sales, labour budgets and even the weather to accurately forecast workforce demand. Using labour forecasting and schedule optimisation instantly highlights skills gaps in the workforce, enabling you to recruit for the right role.
For more information on our workforce management modules and how to effectively fill skill gaps with minimal manager’s time, fill in our contact form or call us on 020 3846 0600 and speak to a member of our team.