June 2013
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TD Magazine

Three Questions to Ask to Bridge the Skills Gap

Saturday, June 8, 2013

These days it is not enough to hire smart people, work with schools and workforce development programs, or capture the knowledge of departing workers to address critical skills shortages. Today's learning professionals should prepare themselves to determine what skills the organization needs, fully understand current employees' capabilities, and lead the way in closing any gaps.

Here are three questions to ask as you develop a plan to address potential gaps in your own organization.

  • What business functions have the most impact on the success of the organization? One of the first steps is to understand key strategies, goals, and performance metrics in your organization.
  • What core competencies for the organization's workforce and business unit are most critical to the organization's success? Identifying the competencies that align with those key strategies is critical.
  • Which paths will the organization take to fill particular gaps: outsourcing, hiring, training and development, coaching and mentoring, or others? It's important to make a plan for which skills to develop as well as the kind of training options you'll use to narrow the skills gap.

These tips were adapted from the June 2013 Infoline, "Strategies for Narrowing the Skills Gap," by the ASTD Public Policy Council. For more information, go to www.astd.org/infoline.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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