4 Steps to Address the Skills Gap

narrow the skills gap with Comprara

The pandemic was a torture test for the procurement industry, applying immense pressure and exposing considerable fault lines. 86% of respondents to a McKinsey survey believe they are currently facing significant gaps in procurement capability directly as a result of COVID-19. More broadly, 87% of companies say they are facing skill gaps now or will in the next few years.

This is obviously an issue that needs to be addressed, and here are 4 steps that do just that:

  1. Uncover the gaps
  2. Close the gaps with blended learning
  3. Redeploy to maximise skills
  4. Use skills gap analysis to hire with greater accuracy.

Let’s take a deeper look at each step.

Uncover the skills gaps

The first step is obvious. If you want to address the skill gaps in your procurement team, you have to know where they lie. This is not always a straightforward process. Determining an employee’s or a team’s strengths and weaknesses is a specialised field that requires both knowledge of the industry and knowledge of meaningful and efficient assessment methods.

Organisations like Skills Gap Analysis have honed this process to a fine art over years of experience and countless skills gap analyses across numerous procurement teams. If you know your team is underperforming, or suspect that it is, Skills Gap Analysis can map its abilities – and lack thereof – and give you a clear and unambiguous path towards greater capability.

Address the skills gap with Blended Learning

Blended learning is the best method of upskilling employees in the work environment. By themselves, most training methods don’t get the job done. For instance, ‘eLearning’ can be very flexible and transformative but many versions of this style of education fail. However when combined with another form of training, such as face-to-face coaching, the impact of eLearning sky rockets.

The problem most online courses face is waning motivation and engagement. The key is accountability and variation. When a period of eLearning is followed by a face-to-face coaching session, the participant remains engaged not only because there’s something new and interesting on the horizon, but also because that new-and-interesting thing will hold them to account: no one wants to turn up to a live session under-prepared.

Academy of Procurement offers a sophisticated blended learning approach to upskilling that combines the best aspects of eLearning, f2f training and on-the-job coaching. It’s designed to engage, motivate and – above all – effectively deliver the required training. We have an extensive range of modules that allow participants to hone their skills in a relevant area; no wasting time on things they know or things they don’t need to know.

Shuffle the Deck

Sometimes a skills gap indicates a need for further training. Sometimes the solution is redeployment. The benefit of a thorough skills gap analysis is that it uncovers weaknesses and strengths. An employee who is found to be lacking in their current role might be revealed as the ideal candidate for a different role. No matter how long an employee has been with you, no matter how well you think you know them, it often takes an objective, experienced eye to truly see where their talents lie.

Hire the right staff from the beginning

The traditional job interview is an incredibly inaccurate method of filling vacancies with appropriate personnel. It’s not until a person has been working the role for a period of time that their real capability can be gauged. This is a problem considering the cost of a bad hire can be between 30% and 150%of the position’s salary.

One method of improving your hiring success is to use a skills gap assessment as part of the recruitment process. Instead of relying on a candidate to have the insight to accurately outline their strengths and weaknesses, put them through a skills gap assessment and get an objective map of their capabilities. If they turn out not to have the abilities the role demands, the cost of the assessment would be far less than the bad hire you’ve just avoided.

You may also find that they’re suitable for a role they weren’t initially auditioning for. Many times, the results of a skills gap assessment are as surprising to the participant as they are to the employer.

Close the Skills Gap with Comprara

The skills gap dilemma is a real and present danger to many organisations actively involved in procurement. Fortunately, there are several solutions that can be used separately or in tandem to quickly and effectively close the gap and increase your capability.

The first step – always – is to map the capability of your team so you know where the gaps lie. Talk to the experienced team at Skills Gap Analysis today.