John DealDecember 16, 2019
Topics: Employee Experience

Skills Gap Analysis: The Missing Piece to Your Internal Mobility Puzzle

Among talent departments, there’s an increasing focus on internal mobility. Growing skills gaps and heated competition for limited resources in the marketplace are forcing companies to look inside for best-fit candidates instead of hiring externally.

In a previous post, we explored ways to enhance the employee experience to increase retention. As you address attrition challenges, consider what next steps will help you kick internal mobility into high gear so you can maximize the impact of your internal talent.

Identifying Skills Gaps

Maybe you don’t know where you’re going, but you sure know where you’ve been (yes, I just paraphrased Whitesnake’s Here I Go Again). The first step is to look at the people in your organization and their collective experience to construct an accurate skills inventory. Data from your HCM combined with background information and behavior data from employees within your internal mobility platform will help outline the current state of talent.

Next, you need to identify where there are skills gaps. Gaps can occur in type, age, and proficiency of skills:

Type. The types of skills your organization needs are driven by your departmental plans to achieve business goals.

Age. Age of skills is an important factor to explore. You may have a lot of experience in the organization in certain competencies, but the average shelf life of skills is less than five years, so make sure to factor recency into your analysis.

Proficiency. Proficiency can be gauged through industry or larger market comparison. Look at technology trends and overlay your roadmap to understand not only where your gaps are today, but the outlook for the next few years.

The next step is prioritizing your upskilling or reskilling efforts. The availability of certain skills in the marketplace is at a record low due to competition and lack of education. This means it’s taking longer to fill certain roles. Starting with an analysis of your time to hire will enable you to identify hard-to-fill roles and the necessary skills to target.

Also consider jobs that are moving toward automation. By being proactive with employees in these roles, you’ll not only achieve your upskilling goals, but also motivate the less skilled areas of the organization.

Driving Skills Development

After you outline your focus areas, it’s time to put development plans into action to upskill and reskill your present workforce to meet future needs. Unfortunately, engaging employees in learning efforts isn’t as easy as it may seem.

Some employees are motivated by the simple act of learning, but many need additional triggers to drive skills development. The best learning initiatives are augmented by the ability to apply skills in real-world situations.

Coursework should be tied to the acquisition of skills, but acquired skills should be shown in the context of future job opportunities to help employees envision where they can move as they engage with development plans.

A full-featured career pathing tool can serve as the administrator of this future. Employees can choose their own adventure, with guidance from company and market data to show them:

  • possible next roles

  • the skills needed for those roles

  • how others in the company and industry have moved into and out of those roles

  • what long-term options exist

By identifying these aspirations, personalized learning recommendations can be made, and people can see how they’re progressing toward their career goals.

Leveraging Gigs

An even better way to motivate employees and verify their skills is to let them put their learning to the test. A gig platform serves up practical short-term projects for employees to apply their newly-learned skills.

Gigs can range from tasks as simple as completing spreadsheets or presentations to more complicated endeavors like product launches or leading development teams. From a management perspective, gigs provide the ultimate leverage of internal talent by maximizing employee engagement at all levels of work.

Focusing on the Future

Hopefully, the case has been made to prioritize internal mobility. By taking a comprehensive skills inventory and identifying what the future of work holds for your company and employees, you can start making the strategic changes necessary to ensure long-term success.

The best part is you don’t have to do the heavy lifting on your own. Phenom can help. We’ve got the tools and talent to help with everything from the initial skills assessment to launching a career pathing tool and gig platform. Request a demo to see it for yourself!

​​​​​​Don’t miss our SHRM-approved webinar Bridging the Skills Gap for the Future of Work!

John Deal

John is a product manager whose goal is to package Phenom's employee-centric culture into a solution that can be used by other organizations. He enjoys horror novels and running—mostly from age.

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