Using a talent gap analysis to address staffing issues

If you’re responsible for hiring in your business, it’s vital for you to anticipate your upcoming staffing needs. Obviously, you don’t have a magic ball to let you know for sure what will happen, but a talent gap analysis can enable you to predict upcoming requirements and determine how best to address them. 

Here’s what you need to know about talent gap analysis. 

What a talent gap analysis is

Also known as a skills gap analysis, a talent gap analysis is a tool to identify current and projected skills (or talent) issues in your business. An effective analysis will show you what skills to hire for and can identify where offering training and professional development for current staff will fit your needs. 

Your analysis examines what your current competencies are compared with your preferred competencies, identifies the gap between them, and enables you to build a plan to fill that gap. 

Why you need a talent gap analysis

A talent gap analysis can help you identify:

  • How to allocate your training/professional development budget
  • When you need to hire new people
  • What your long-term recruiting strategy should be
  • Which skills your business will need in the future

What you need to know

To conduct an effective gap analysis, you need to understand two levels of data: the company’s needs and each staff member’s abilities. 

For example, you need to know what the business needs from its staff members so it can thrive. This requires you to understand the entire team as a whole, identify their skills, and review what competencies can be enhanced through training compared with which require you to hire someone new. 

Additionally, it helps to know where you want your business to be in the future. If you want to open new locations, you’ll likely need to hire new employees. Have a timeline in place of how (or if) you want to expand 

Do you want to offer new services? For example, if you offer individual counselling, do you want to offer relationship counselling? You may need to hire new employees or you may be able to train the staff you currently have to offer new services. Perhaps relationship counselling is an area one of your team members is interested in offering, for example. 

Individually, you need to understand the various roles within your business, who sits in each role and how competent they are to carry out their duties. You also need to know if they have any interest in building their skills. If you’re looking for certain skills that your staff are willing and interested in learning, this can be a great opportunity to retain and promote from within. 

Addressing the talent gap

Typically, there are two main ways to address a talent gap: hire new staff or train existing staff. However, there is an additional option that can free up staff time: implementing technology. There are many apps and software solutions that enable seamless workflow processes and may mean you don’t need to focus as much on administrative skills when hiring. 

AI can also enhance training programs, introducing an element of gamification into your practice and engaging your staff more. Meanwhile, implementing new technology can also take some of the strain off your staff. 

Final thoughts

There are many strategies you can take to address talent gaps in your business. Hiring someone, training, or implementing new technology could all work well, depending on your company’s needs.