How to conduct a skills gap and training needs analysis

A new financial year is looming, and that means new budgets and targets to work towards. Don’t forget to also spend some time working out what training you and your team may need, so you have the right skills to meet your targets.

13 Jun 2016

Complete a basic skills gap and training needs anaylsis following the guide below or contact us today for a free consultation.

Step 1: External factors

What are the current external factors that are affecting your business? What factors are affecting your industry? What factors are affecting your geographical region?

Understanding the external factors that affect your business is the first step to figuring out how to best operate your organisation in the current business climate. This doesn’t have to be detailed, it can be dot points or even a basic SWOT analysis. The important thing is that you’re thinking about them.

Step 2: Competition

Who are your biggest competitors? What are the biggest competitive issues facing your business?

Again, this doesn’t have to be detailed at this stage.

certificateStep 3: Business goals and targets

What are your business goals and targets? What is required to meet these targets? What activities do you need to complete to get there?

This is vital. It’s important you understand what your goals and targets are so you can figure how to reach them and what skills you’ll need to meet them.

Step 4: Key and supporting roles within your business

Start by listing all of the key and supporting roles within your organisation. But, you don’t want to replicate your organisational chart. You need to simplify the process and group together similar roles based on skill sets.

For example, you might have a “Customer Service Officer” and a “Customer Service Representative” in different sections. Group similar roles like these together under “Customer Service” as they almost definitely require a similar skill set.

Step 5: Map roles to key business targets and activities

Next, map each role to their key functions and activities which help meet your business goals and targets. It’s important to understand who and how different roles contribute to the success of your business.

SimpleStep 6: Listed required skills for each role

Once you’ve got a list of all of your key and supporting roles and their functions, the next step is to list the skills required to perform each of these roles.

What are the required skills? What are the desired skills? What do the skills look like?

For example, your “Customer Service” roles might be behavioural like “listens carefully to each customer and responds thoughtfully” or perhaps they’re more technical like a list of computer skills including “Microsoft Office, CRM, Myob”.

Step 7: Create a survey

Why survey your workforce? It’s ideal if you can find out all of the skills a person has, not just those they use for their current role. You might have all the skills you need already part of your workforce, but you’ll never know unless you ask.

Create a survey that makes it easy for people to respond. Keep it short. Don’t ask the same question twice. Try grouping together each of your major role types and their associated required skills (use the list you created earlier to do this).

peopleStep 8: Survey your workforce

When your survey is ready you can ask your workforce to respond to it. There are a number of ways to do this depending on the size of your organisation. Maybe it’s email based, maybe you need to use online survey software.

Don’t forget to preface the survey with a quick explanation. Tell your participants why you are asking for their response, and tell them what you’re going to do with the information.

Step 9: Compile the results

If you can avoid doing this manually, avoid it. You can use various technology and programs available in free and paid forms if required.

When compiling your results, don’t forget to do it in two ways: for each person you need to know what skills they have, and for each skill you need to know who has them.

TimeStep 10: Analyse the data

Now that you’ve got your data, it’s time to do something with it.

You can looks for details, trends and patterns, as well as using it to answer some very basic questions.

  • What are your skill gaps in key and supporting roles?
  • What are your skill gaps within groups?
  • Who might have the skills needed to fill the gaps?
  • Who has critical or needed skills?
  • What might be some of the skills you need to develop?


Once you’ve analysed the data, consider if you have the right people in critical roles. Do you have potential successors for current and retiring roles? Do you need to train your staff? Contact us today for a free consultation and advice on how to fund your business training.

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