Skills Gaps? What’s the Problem?

Andy Andrews

Skills Gaps? What’s the Problem?

At Lexonis we help organizations to build skills-based job roles profiles that model successful performance in the job. If the skills that an employee has do not match those required for their job role profile skills gaps result. It follows that if you aggregate the number of gaps that exist for all the employees in the organization, you have a picture of the organization’s critical skills gaps. This picture is only possible if you have properly defined the organization’s skill requirements in the first place, because without those requirements captured you won’t necessarily know what you’re missing.

Why is this a problem? In early 2020 McKinsey reported that 87% of companies globally are either currently facing skills gaps or expect gaps to emerge in the next five years. The financial impact of the global skills gap is estimated to reach $8.5tr by 2030, with 85 million unfulfilled vacancies worldwide.

To illustrate the skills gap issue with a real scenario in mind, consider the data security risks that we have all become increasingly aware of and are particularly acute during our current ‘work from home’ regime. We are told that two in five businesses in the UK report having cyber security breaches or attacks in the last 12 months with an average cost of £8,460. Low level skills leading to a poor understanding of the risks involved and the lack of highly skilled cybersecurity professionals is a significant factor in the rise of data breaches.

How do we solve the skills gap problem? Many organizations answer the question by hiring talent in, but recruiting the right skills is expensive and a bad hire even more expensive. That’s if you can even find and attract a candidate with the skills you are looking for, particularly where those skills are in high demand. If you hire in, there may also be an impact on existing employees who feel undervalued as they are not being given opportunities to develop and they may leave the organization, further exacerbating the problem. On the other hand, spending time and money on development and taking employees off their job to build their skills isn’t cheap either. How do we even know which skills we need to develop and which ones are the most critical?

In our webinar on 10th February 2022, Donald H Taylor and I will be discussing the subject ‘Why Buy vs. Build is the Wrong Question’. Join us as we explore where skills gaps come from, why they will always be with us, and how a nuanced approach to them enables organizations to deal with skills issues faster, more cost-effectively, and with greater impact.

Register here

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