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The growing scarcity of skills isn't just a distant future prediction; it's a reality today. According to a a recent report, by McKinsey, 44% of companies grapple with this challenge daily. So, where do we begin to address this 21st-century challenge?

The first consists of analyzing the gaps between current skills and skills needs. Let's illustrate the several steps in this article.

‍As the pace of change in the business environment continues to accelerate, we recommend that individuals and organizations adopt an introspective approach. We are convinced of the value of a skills approach as a strategic compass charting the course to a promising future. 

What is a skills gap analysis?

Skills 's Gap Analysis is a career development framework that enables professionals to compare skills in real time with targeted skills . Based on this comparison, the various Business Units can accurately identify the gaps between the two, and formulate strategies to improve the company's know-how management.

For instance, who would have anticipated the profound impact of AI on various tasks and skills in just a few months? The Forrester 2023 report is among the most moderate in its examination of the impact of AI. Nevertheless, its findings point to a replacement of 2.4 million jobs in the US by 2030, and a significant influence on 11 million. Understanding the implications between the current level of the portfolio of faculties and those that must rapidly diffuse is crucial for career progression and the productivity gains to be sought.

Read our full article on the subject: Generative AI and productivity gains.

What are the conclusions and recommendations from Skills Gap Assessment ?

The findings of the skills gap analysis enable us to distinguish 4 skills scenarios according to their degree of importance and availability:

deviations from skills : 4 scenarios
Evaluation of the differences in skills : 4 scenarios
  • Skills at Risk of Redundancy:

Definition :These are skills that are no longer contributing significantly to the company's goals and may be due to phase out due to evolving industry requirements or technological advancements.

Action: Identify these skills in advance to avoid further investment in areas that are becoming obsolete.Plan for re-skilling opportunities where these skills overlap with emerging domains.

  • Critical Skills at Risk :

Definition: These skills are essential to the company's current operations, but are threatened by factors such as staff turnover, retirement or market changes.

Action: Prioritize retention strategies and targeted recruitment to maintain these crucial skills . Implement succession planning and knowledge transfer initiatives, especially when experienced employees retire.

  • Non-Essential Skills in Abundance :

Definition: These proficiencies are present in surplus within the company, but do not significantly drive strategic goals or competitive advantage.

Action: Re-evaluate resource allocation to ensure it aligns with strategic objectives. Consider reorientation programs to shift workforce expertise towards areas of emerging importance or high growth.

  • Resilient or Future-Proof Skills :

Definition:   Competencies that are of high value now and expected to remain relevant and critical in the future, given market forecasts and industry trends.

Action: Invest in continuous development and training programs in these areas to maintain a competitive edge. Encourage a culture of lifelong learning and adaptability. Identify pathways for career progression leveraging these skills.

A catalyst for HR development

Imagine a tool so thoughtful that it reflects not only where skills currently stand, but where they might best be put to use in an ever-expanding professional arena. Analyzing gaps with desired levels represents this introspective journey, challenging professionals to juxtapose their immediate skills sets against envisioned goals.

Talent management is like predicting moves in chess: it's not just about playing the piece, but anticipating the whole game. Evolving towards anticipatory planning is one of the promises of workforce planning, the method of which we detail in a popular article: Definition and use cases of SWP.

How might this clarity of vision reshape the way companies build their internal talent markets?

What are the benefits of skills gap analysis?

Overall, skills management reports offer many long-term benefits to employees and employers in various labor markets. Essentially, they enable HR teams to :

  • Cut costs
  • Improve engagement
  • Enhance productivity
  • Leverage innovation
  • Achieve strategic workforce planning

Cost savings

The development of skills can cut costs by reducing employee turnover. Hiring managers often use assessment tests to reformulate the design of organizational jobs, aligning them with substantive objectives. The approach also enables professionals to implement skills mapping initiatives that prioritize future requirements for sustainability when formulating talent acquisition strategies. As a result, the analysis helps companies to reduce recruitment and training costs while ensuring long-term HR reliability.

Improve engagement 

Career development initiatives show employees that their personal and professional growth is valuable. Companies frequently use skills -based reviews to gain insight into current capabilities and identify areas requiring improvement. HR managers then use the results to formulate performance-enhancing cross-training, retraining and development plans. Ultimately, adopting a culture of recognizing and proactively addressing gaps at skills enables entities to boost employee morale, production and retention.

Increased productivity

Ensuring compliance with internal know-how levels complements other analysis solutions for resolving operational disparities and improving efficiency. The technique can help HR teams identify productivity bottlenecks by comparing current output with desirable targets. As a result, the results enable companies to assess their position based on reliable HR data, offering an accurate diagnosis of talent. Managers can then use the results to design and implement flexible goal-setting strategies that ensure progressive and sustainable growth.

Innovation and development 

Engaging employees requires not only strong managerial transparency, but also a contribution to individual and collective development. A profiling tool from skills helps professionals assess the effectiveness of their existing skills matrix. Giving a fair and honest assessment is sought after by employees who also realize the extent to which their skills must adapt. Some of them think that their skills are not being used properly (55%), and 40% think that they are not sustainable. It is therefore the responsibility of companies concerned with their employees' employability to regularly assess their skills and give them the means to develop.

Strategic workforce planning

This subject is a central element of the planning policy. It drives the alignment of recruitment plans with corporate development objectives, ensuring that the right talent is available when needed. Organizations can use assessment results to inform decisions about hiring and retraining initiatives. In such cases, most companies prioritize opportunities to acquire cross-functional skills to achieve a hybrid skills matrix that optimizes internal mobility. Overall, the practice helps entities create a lean yet versatile skills portfolio that can enable better adaptation to changing employment trends.

Download the Ebook on the mapping of skills

Method for analyzing skills 

Profiling assessments from skills are essential for human resources management and career development. Professionals and organizations use them to identify, assess and manage skills, improving knowledge of their assets for the former, highlighting their talent matrix, for the latter. Most assessment methods fall into three broad categories: qualitative, quantitative and team assessments.

Qualitative methods

They are best applied when professionals and companies seek to examine non-quantifiable aspects of their staff's abilities. These assessments are often subjective, aiming primarily to uncover and explain descriptive data concerning personal attributes, experiences and values. As a result, behavioral assessments, which 360 feedback in particular can help to enrich, provide an in-depth understanding of an individual's innate potential, strengths and weaknesses, in situ. Like all assessments, they need to be repeated regularly to provide a reliable picture.

Quantitative methods

These methods often use statistical models, standardized tests and rating scales to understand employee behavior. They also emphasize the collection and analysis of objective performance indicators, which are easier to compare and rank. What's more, it offers a consistent and reliable approach to evaluating skills , reducing bias. 

Neobrain recommends a systematic approach in which employees assess their own skills, which are then validated by their manager, additional tests and discussion. Each new training session triggers a review of the skill level, so as to obtain a reliable benchmark.

Collective methods

Finally, companies can evaluate skills on a company-wide basis, using group performance tests. This approach involves conducting collective, standardized assessments of a group of employees. In general, this helps to identify mastery levels, differences and gaps in skills within a team to inform optimization strategies. In short, assessment can boost collective output in team-based operations by maximizing resource allocation and optimizing talent diversification.

Continuous Skills levels Update

Continuous Assessment: A Stepping Stone for Growth

In fast-moving business environments, continuous assessment is more than just a periodic check-up - it's an integral part of the work culture. Fostering real-time learning is a key element in maintaining a competent, agile workforce. Unlike traditional reviews, this approach offers immediate insight into an individual's work habits, adaptability and ongoing development of skills , creating an atmosphere conducive to ongoing development.

However, for this to happen, a shift towards a performance-driven culture is crucial. It requires building an ecosystem where employees are eager to improve and are supported by a variety of learning opportunities. 

How can we ensure the reliability of skills assessments? 

To guarantee a diagnosis that is faithful to reality, various HR training materials and strategies are available, from mentoring to collaborative learning:

  • Mentoring programs that enable knowledge transfer and personalized growth paths.
  • Microlearning modules for improving skills, accessible and flexible to meet immediate learning needs.
  • Collaborative learning approaches that leverage the collective knowledge and experience within the organization, promoting a sense of unity and shared growth.

By integrating these elements into the corporate culture, organizations empower employees to take charge of their own growth. This creates a dynamic where improvement is not imposed from the top down, but is an organic, self-motivated pursuit, dramatically improving overall performance and adaptability to change.

The Power of Continuous Feedback in Skill Development

Feedback, when given constructively and consistently, is a catalyst for professional growth and innovation. Continuous feedback mechanisms replace outdated annual appraisal systems by providing regular, relevant and constructive criticism. This model fosters a culture of open communication and continuous improvement, where employees are actively engaged in their development journey, aware of their strengths and recognize areas for improvement. This real-time feedback is essential for adjusting objectives, aligning with business needs and, above all, contributing to a transparent and trusting corporate culture.

Bridging the Soft Skills Gap: The Key to Sustainable Success

Among the various categories of skills, soft skills remain the most enduring for any successful organization. Our study on the impact of AI reveals a substantial change in a significant number of tasks requiring skills technical skills at risk of obsolescence. Also, skills such as emotional intelligence, adaptability and teamwork foster a resilient workforce, capable of navigating the uncertainties of modern competitive landscapes.

Emphasizing skills within a company goes beyond individual prowess; it reflects the values and culture of the organization itself. These skills are the cross-cutting gears that keep the company's engine running, ensuring that it keeps pace with business demands and maintains performance. When an organization prioritizes skills soft, it invests in its very foundation of success, promoting a working environment rooted in understanding, collaboration and shared goals. It is here, in these interactions, that companies find their impetus for innovation and prosperity.

Comparateur Gesion des skills