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Talent-Skill Mismatch Gap: How Can HRs Help Bridge the Divide?

June 6, 2017

Finding the right talents to fill current job openings is a challenging task for most HR professionals. According to Hays Global Skill Index 2015, businesses find it difficult to fill job vacancies due to low participation rates in the labour market. Paradoxically, long-term unemployment is actually increasing for the past few years. This apparent situation with unfilled jobs and high unemployment indicates talent-skill mismatch gap. The study further reveals that there is gap between the skills employers are looking for, and the skills possessed by job seekers.

Talent-skill mismatch gap is the reason for low productivity experienced by most organisations. While unemployment rate is high, there remains difficulties for employers to find the right people who possess the skills needed by the company to achieve its business goals. According to Hays Study, the global mismatch average index score is 6.2, which means employers find difficulty in filling more than half of their job openings.

Among the regions surveyed, North America is experiencing the most severe talent mismatch gap (7.2), followed by Europe (6.4) and Asia Pacific (5.8). Given that human resource is the lifeblood for successful business, talent mismatch is a serious issue for every organisation. When an organisation is unable to fill critical positions with individuals who possess the right skills, knowledge, and competencies to perform the job, they can no longer stay competitive.

When critical jobs are filled with incompetent people, organisation will be at the risk of staying stagnant and failing to achieve its business goals. Additionally, talent mismatch also affects business bottom line. Based on PwC study, global economy might miss out on $150billion due to lost productivity and rising recruitment cost caused by talent gap.

As the organisation battle it out to fetch the best talents, here’s how HR can help bridge the divide. Below are 5 steps to overcome the problem:

See: Talent Shortage: Growing Cybersecurity Skills Gap in Singapore

  1.    Define urgently-needed competencies and skills

To find out what skills are urgently-needed by the company, HR professionals should first understand organisation’s key goals and its performance metrics. It is crucial to define what competencies employees should possess to carry out their job responsibilities and meet the performance metrics. HRs should also identify core competencies for the organisation, such that they can map out both current and future needs for talent.

  1.    Measure the current talent-skill mismatch gap

Which department is experiencing talent gap? To measure the current mismatch-skill gap, HRs should define the scope of how they will address the issue. You can start from smaller functions, before moving onto bigger business units. Take advantage of new HR tech such as analytical tools to identify performance behaviours required to achieve specific business goals.

  1.    Sketch out strategies to fill the talent gap

Create a strategy on how the organisation should fill the existing gap between current skillsets and those needed to support future goals. HRs should determine the methods to close the gap, such as outsourcing, training and development, coaching, and mentoring. Additionally, you should also determine how the results of these programs will be measured.

  1.    Implement the strategies

For successful execution of strategy to fill the talent mismatch-skill gap, HRs should make sure that there is senior leadership buy-in as well as active engagement during the process. You should encourage leaders on executive levels to actively participate as teachers and mentors for junior employees.

  1.    Monitor and gauge the results

In order to measure if progress is made, you can use assessment tools to compare before and after strategies that are implemented. Monitor and communicate the results with all stakeholders on a regular basis, such that the organisation can prepare for the follow-ups accordingly.

Read also: Talent with AWS Skills and Certifications on Demand in Singapore

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