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Skill gap analysis: how to assess skills with eLearning

What's the difference between training needs analysis and the skills gap required for a job? Here's how to perform skill gap analysis in eLearning.

The digitization of work, which is still not fully realized, leads to a growing demand for new skills by employees in Italy and the rest of the world. To prepare for change, you can leverage a company's internal resources through continuing education. To make it effective, however, it is not enough to identify training needs. The company must also analyze in detail the difference between the required and actual skills. This analysis of the skills gap, in English is the skill gap analysis. Let's take a look at what it is and what may be the most suitable solution. 

Why do skill gap analysis?

According to an article published on LinkedIn, in 2018 in the United States, 60% of job openings struggled to find the ideal candidate within 12 weeks, due to a lack of skills. According to the same article, by 2030, the situation is only going to get worse: the shortage of people with the right skills will leave 85.2 million jobs unfilled. Corporate training aimed at mobilizing and preparing the human resources that are already in the company can help prevent shortages by providing courses that develop the skills and knowledge required for certain jobs.

The skill gap analysis is used to understand how much difference there is between the skills you need to have and the skills that are actually available.

Training Needs Analysis and Skill Gap Analysis: What's the Difference?

Training needs analysis generally aims to identify the needs of employees in order to design training offerings in line with company objectives. It is the first step that every instructional designer must take in order to be able to prepare training courses that respond exactly to the needs of the beneficiaries. 

The skills gap analysis is part of this process but is more focused. It serves precisely to calculate the difference between the skills required in the company and the actual skills possessed by employees. To do the skills analysis, it is necessary to: 

  • Identify the skills a company needs and the corresponding tasks
  • Assign a priority (with 1 indicating the highest priority) to each skill/knowledge for a given task
  • Establish the level required to perform the task (e.g., someone who is in charge of online communication for foreign clients must have a language level of 5)
  • Map employee skills to know where they rank (e.g., the current communications person has a 3 in English).
  • Design targeted training plans to promote individual or group talent development (in this case, the salesperson needs to take an advanced language course to get to 5).

What are the benefits of skills gap analysis?

By mapping out the skills of each employee, it is possible to accurately determine the training paths that need to be followed in order to prepare that employee for a certain role. The benefit is visible to both companies and employees:

  • Greater efficiency in assigning roles - by knowing exactly who can do what, it's easier to assign a role to the right employee.
  • Better performance - employees find it easier to perform tasks for which they are trained.
  • Increased engagement - with a targeted training plan, an employee can achieve the skill level needed to move into a new role. This opportunity for internal mobility, is definitely a source of motivation that increases employee engagement, and therefore, productivity.

What tools can be used for skill gap analysis?

The best way to analyze the gap between expected and actual skills is to use an LMS. With DynDevice LMS, for example, you can perform a step-by-step skills gap analysis: from mapping everyone's skills, to planning targeted plans, to using detailed reports that indicate the progress made by each employee based on a previously established minimum score for each skill. With this LMS, it is possible to assign optional courses and mandatory courses useful for performing certain roles, including those related to mandatory training.

The best way to avoid making it to 2030 with a skills shortage and losing business opportunities is to start preparing your employees by doing a skills analysis and offering an individual training plan, suitable for both mandatory and optional training. The benefit? More productivity, more internal mobility, more engagement. The most suitable solution? DynDevice LMS.

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