Small business owners planning for growth and new business opportunities examine their capabilities in terms of equipment, facilities, finances and suppliers. Another critical piece of their planning puzzle involves people. In order to achieve its goals, a business needs a workforce with the right skills. Conducting a gap analysis for human resources gives leaders a reading on future employment requirements by identifying the competencies their vision requires and comparing them to those available from current employees.
It allows organizations of all sizes to make informed staffing decisions and budget accordingly. Gap analyses guide hiring, training and in-sourcing and outsourcing choices by pinpointing what skills and how many employees with those skills the organization needs to meet its service and productivity objectives.
That new contract, new product line or new technology on your horizon presents several key workforce questions whose answers have an impact on your success. For example, what, if any, new jobs does the new venture demand and what skills, experience and competencies do these jobs require? How many positions must be filled and over what timeframe? Forecasting staffing levels represents the first step in an HR gap analysis.
The next step in a gap analysis for HR involves profiling existing positions and their skill requirements. This step defines your talent inventory both in terms of quality and quantity, or your current labor supply. Your staffing review also covers factors that influence short-term employment levels such as pending retirements and historic turnover rates.
The difference between projected labor needs and your current labor supply represents the “gap” that must be addressed to arm your organization with an adequate workforce. Your “gap” may indicate a need to adjust headcount, establish a career development program, restructure the business or do a combination of all three.
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