What is Skill Gap – Part 1

In earlier blog post  we talked about Skill Gap Finder in Accounting and Finance – ArthaKaushalya .

Today one hears a lot about skill gap and students seems to learn and corporates say that there is skill gap with the students. Let us identify what is skill gap. Is there skill gap only in colleges or there is skill gap also in organizations? How  organizations identify skill gap in particular area of a student or employee?

The skills that are defined as basic minimal requirement  required for a job profile are termed as  critical skill. A critical skill is skill that is needed to complete a task with desired results. The lack of a critical skill causes problems and the possession of skill allows work to continue.

Organizations develop job profiles that enumerates critical skills needed for the job role and to help in the interview process.   Organizations are engaged in continuous process of evaluating and identifying employee competencies and skill levels to enable them to grow in their career. Here comes Skill Gaps. Skill gaps are weak spots in a person’s ability to perform the task required from him.  It belongs to the knowledge area of the employee or the candidate “what you do not know that you do not know”.

It is essential for a person to identify skill gaps to determine the areas where he is strong and competent and areas where he needs to improve in.

Today we talk about skill gap with respect to employment. Teams want to achieve some results. Now the team manager has a need  to perform regular and ongoing skills gap analysis benchmarking the existing staff to  assign the tasks based on the competency of the person.  For this the manager wants  to assess the exact skills required for each job in your team, and tries to get an accurate competency profile on every one in the team.

The employer at the organization level works with couple of managers to define the existing skill levels across organization. This enables individual managers to come with the necessary skill levels in your team; any differences comprise the gap or gaps.  To come with the difference, the manager tries to answer the below questions to identify what skills your team needs.

  • What skills do you need and want?
  • What skills do you already have?
  • How serious are the differences between those two levels?
  • What exactly do you need to perform to close the gap or gaps?

Data across different teams in organizations is  collated and analysed and this process is termed as skill gap analysis. A skills gap analysis is undertaken at organization level to identify the skills that an employee needs to carry out his or her job or to perform tasks effectively. The analysis is done by creating a series of questions over a number of topics/tasks. The questions are then administered to the candidates and all results recorded.  The results are then analysed to determine where the gaps are within the individual across the topics/tasks. A skill analysis report is generated and provided to the candidate.

At the end of skill gap analysis of employee, the manager needs to determine what is the desired skill level that you need to do to move your team from the current level. Once the gaps are identified, the manager needs to come with  a plan for training to be implemented.

Let us see understand in Part 2 how the skill gap done in organization gets applied also to college students.