When an organization advertises for any particular position for potential candidates to apply for, the organization will be looking for some particular skills in the candidates. (Ward J, 2007). The candidates applying for the jobs do not or may not necessarily have the particular skills needed by the organization. This gives rise to skills gap. This is the disparity that exists between the particular skill that an organization may be in need of when and the skills that the candidates applying for the job may have. (Alabama Cooperative Extension System, 2001). The organization would then do skills gapping to maximize the output from all the employees in the organization. Skills gapping is an exercise by evaluating the supply of skills the company has from the employees and the demand of skills it has for the completion of its jobs. When the company has noted the gap that exists between the skills possessed by the workers and the skills they need, the workers themselves, their managers or the administrators who are concerned with training will look for the specific courses of training that will equip the employees with those skills in order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the employees in their current job areas and also make them ready for the future possibilities and requirements of their jobs. (My Knowledge Map, 2008)
Skills gapping process is therefore central to the human resource management of any organization and fundamental for the smooth performance of its activities. (Ward J, 2007) Just like any other organization, a healthcare organization has diverse duties, responsibilities and activities which have to be met and performed by workers with the right skills. If the skills gapping process is to be applied in a healthcare setting, say in a healthcare organization, the human resource department in the organization would evaluate the organization to see in which areas more employees are needed, for example nurses to work in the intensive care units or the high dependency units. They would make the necessary adverts for the positions. When the job candidates make their applications, from the pool of potential candidates, the recruitment team would select the good applicants from the select group. The organization would know the specific skills critically needed for the jobs (demand) and also determine the skills the employees have (supply). (Jones M, 2000)The recruiters will perform a skills matching exercise whereby the applicants whose skills greatly match the required skills are put in a “keeper” lot. (BNet, 2009). The training managers will then see if the skill inventory of the candidates is totally or not matched with the required skills, in which case the lessons are grouped in accordance to the skills which are to be addressed in the training course.
The organizations training managers will go through the courses that can offer the employees the required skills and then see how they can be customized precisely for the employee. With technology, this process can be done with software applications which can automatically do skills matching by doing a filter of the candidates’ resumes. The software used for this skills matching can be customized to specific job areas.(Brown L, 2006) For example it can be made to assess the skills requirements of health care workers like communication skills, interpersonal skills, ability to make judgments and decision making. (Ward J, 2007)
Skills gapping is not only done for fresh job applicants, but in a healthcare organization can be applied even to the already existing staff by doing an audit of the skills which they have and giving them the trainings to match the dynamic nature of their jobs.
Skills gapping is not an exercise done in futility as it has great advantages some of which are that: when it done for employees who are already employed, the organization will be able to equip its workers with new skills which are necessary in the complex business environment. The organization will be able to get the most output from its human capital this way. When the organization assesses the skills the employees already have before giving them blanket training, it will be able to save on time and training costs by not retraining them only skills already acquired. It also viewed as cost effective in terms of training time as it is better to train employees before they start work or give them on job training which may take longer.
On the flip side however, it may not be very efficient for an organization which is in fast need of workers due to the time taken for the assessment and training. In this case it may be better to recruit employees who are already experienced in the particular fields which will also help the organization save time and money for training.
Alabama Cooperative Extension System, 2001. Newsline. Skills Gap Is Big Concern of Employers Today.
Brown L. 2006. Laura Brown Training and Development. Web.
Jones M. 2000. BNet. Business Services Industry. Use Your Head When Identifying Skills Gaps – Statistical Data Included. Web.
My Knowledge Map.2008. Skills Gap. Shape Up your Hidden Asset. Web.
Ward J. 2007. Leadership and Management Development. Skills Gap Identification Maximise your Capability through Managing the Skills Gap. Web.