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#CIPDACE21: Opening the door and closing the skills gap with the help of your HR platform.

Looking at the news, you would have seen the skill shortages within the HGV industry and their impact on the United Kingdom. But outside that industry, it sets a worrying view on the impact of a skills shortage.

Why? Because for countless other industries, this shortage could be just on the horizon if findings by McKinsey are to be believed. Their report suggests that the current skills gap with the UK will only get bigger and that in 2021, they discovered that 44% of their respondents say their organisations will face skill gaps within the next five years, up to 2025, while another 43% report existing skill gaps.

In other words, 87% of those polled say they either are experiencing gaps now or expect them within the middle of this decade. But why does an HR platform play an important role here, and how could it support companies in preparing for the upcoming skills gap?

Why an HR platform is needed…

In that same survey undertaken by McKinsey, closing the potential skill gap was seen as a priority, and around 30% said it is among the top three priorities currently facing their HR teams. However, what may shock you is that relatively few respondents indicated that their organisations are ready to respond to the changes needed to close the gap.

It found that fewer than half of respondents say their organisations have a clear sense of their employee’s current skill set. In contrast, just over one in four reports that their organisations clearly understand the roles that are likely to be disrupted soon.

But what may interest you is that in the same report, they say a reason for this unpreparedness is that there’s “a lack of visibility into the skills of the existing workforce and the effects that the disruptions will have on workers’ roles.”

So, how can an HR platform provide HR teams with the visibility of their team’s skills while providing them with insight into the gaps within their organisation and preparing them for the future? Exploring that is the goal of this article.

The four ways you can use your HR platform to close the skills gap…

For HR departments, the main advantage your HR platform provides you is allowing you to find out which skills and knowledge are lacking among the employees in the organisation. Then once identified, closing the gap can be achieved through upskilling, reskilling, L&D investment decisions, succession planning, and much more.

Your HR platform will be able to, again, help you with this in any number of ways. For instance, your talent management module can act as a single, searchable database that gathers all the information from your employees’ performance evaluations and competency assessments. So that it becomes much easier to keep track of each employee and their competencies and skill levels

Other ways that your HR platform can support you include:

1: It gives you insights into your entire workforce:

With access to an HR platform, you’ll get access to data that showcases your workforce’s makeup. From there, you’ll be able to identify which employees have the most knowledge of particular aspects of the business and employees with critical skill gaps.

Even more, with integration with training, development and recruitment, you’ll be able to better target training resources on those skills that require the most attention. This, in turn, will lead to optimal use of resources in terms of improving the overall performance of the team and while also reducing the silos of data you have to access.

2: It boosts individual learning and development:

Through a training management system that’s built into your HR system, you’ll be able to give employees access to find out what improvements they’ll have to make to acquire or improve their skills and competencies from 365-degree feedback to performance reviews and skills assessments.

Eventually, this will also positively impact your employees’ productivity as they will have the skills to complete their job to the best of their ability. Not to mention the boost to morale and culture, knowing that their employee actively supports learning and development.

3: It will help you with your strategic workforce planning:

Strategic workforce planning is primarily about making sure you’ve got the correct number of people with the right skills in the right place within your company. Think about it; it’s going to be challenging to start planning for the future if you don’t know precisely what skills you’ll need in the future.

The ideal HR platform will provide you with the technology to plan and research the skills gaps you’re going to have in the future, identify the planning you’ll need and with recruitment, it will even support you to ensure you can plan your recruitment around your companies need.

4: It can improve your recruitment efforts:

If you can identify candidates whose skills better match those needed to function effectively in a particular role, you’ll find that it’s a lot easier to recruit good people with the skills you need.

Four ways to get started when you want to close the skills gap…

So, once you’ve established your HR platform, the first step will be to access the data within it to take a closer look at employee performance to identify skill gaps within your company. This step involves gathering data to determine competency and performance gaps and find root causes that need addressing.

But what are the four steps you should take with your HR platform to ensure it best supports you and your team in closing the skills gap?

Step 1 – Establish a baseline within your company:

With your HR platform in place, your organisation will have, through reports and data, a baseline understanding of the skills in their workforce today. This data will be the baseline of developing your upskilling and reskilling plans.

Step 2 – Critical skills identification:

Using your data and planning, you’ll then be able to work out the skills that the organisation will need in the next few months and years. HR professionals can develop these skills by working with line managers to identify the most critical skills.

Identifying these critical skills will become a vital part of the workforce planning process and help you understand if you need the skills to meet the goals.

Step 3 – Complete a skill gap analysis:

After identifying critical skills, your next step will be to use the performance management module within your platform to conduct a skills gap analysis. Using a mixture of 360-degree feedback, skills tests, and performance meetings, this data can then be used to evaluate the overall skill level and help determine gaps in the organisation.

Step 4 – Develop a plan to fill the gaps:

The final step is to develop your plan to fill the identified gaps. This plan will look different for every organisation, but opportunities for filling gaps may include upskilling, reskilling, recruitment, employee retention, internal mobility, career planning, or continued strategic workforce planning. At this stage, you can ensure that gaps are filled for the current and future needs of the business as they create a plan.

Natural HR will be at CIPD ACE 2021, Plan ahead and book a demo today!

Our friendly team of HR experts will be located online and will be on hand to give you a warm welcome and a personalised tour of our HR and Payroll software.

Natural HR is the natural choice for growing businesses with 100+ employees. Our cloud-based platform automates and streamlines your HR processes – providing one single view of your data, a comprehensive toolkit of HR management features and intelligent analytics to equip you with key insights into how your people operate.

Natural HR also includes a fully integrated payroll processing engine which puts an end to duplicate data entry and batch processing by running HR and payroll seamlessly through one system.

If you want to stay ahead of the game and pre-plan your software show schedule, click here to book a personalised demo in advance.

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About Natural HR

Natural HR is a cloud-based HR software company for growing businesses with 100+ employees. Since launching in 2010, we’ve been building a comprehensive suite of HR functionality that equips the small to medium-sized enterprise with everything needed to build an effective and efficient HR operation.