The UK is in the middle of a skills gap crisis. It’s difficult for companies to grow and succeed if they lack the engine of skills and knowledge to get them there, so with this in mind, how can organizations bridge the skills gap?
Analyse the nature and extent of your skills gap
Every business is different, so a one-size-fits-all approach simply won’t cut it. Instead, you need to undertake analysis into your specific skills gap – the skills and competencies you need to fulfil your objectives, versus the current abilities of your employees.
Once you have this information, you can compare to see which skills you should prioritise pursuing. It’s also a good idea to compare this to recent hiring activity, as you will find out whether you were able to get the talent you need. According to the Centre for Economic Performance, in 2021, half of all firms surveyed were finding it difficult to hire new staff – your business may be affected too.
Create a powerful talent attraction strategy
With talent in such high demand, attracting the right applicants is no longer as simple as writing a basic job ad and waiting for the applications to roll in.
Instead, you need to ensure your job descriptions fully reflect the skills your business needs. Your offering – perks, compensation, opportunities, and culture – should also be befitting of the type of candidate you want to attract. It’s also important to advertise your roles in the right places. That might be a certain careers site, professional society, or even targeted headhunting via sites like LinkedIn.
Hire an interim manager
The government’s 2021 policy paper, Quantifying the UK Data Skills Gap, found that data skills were some of the most sought-after across the entire economy.
These incredibly competitive roles can be particularly difficult to hire for, so if you’re really finding it difficult, hiring an interim manager using an interim management service can be beneficial. Typically over-qualified for the job, they are a safe pair of hands that can be trusted to help with successfully completing any time-sensitive or business-critical tasks while you search for someone to fill the role.
Train your existing staff
If your current staff lack the education or the training for the skills you require, one of the simplest ways of bridging the skills gap is through providing training to improve and broaden their skillsets. This step has an additional benefit, in that if you are struggling with retention, offering development is often seen a great benefit for staff, offering in-role career development opportunities.
Are you struggling with the skills gap? Tell us your experiences, plus what you’ve done to improve your situation, in the comments section below.