Skills Gap Analysis Checklist and Timeline

You’re getting towards the end of the year, planning performance reviews, finalizing investment and strategizing, but there’s one critical piece missing.

You know you have to hire a bunch of new staff next year, you know that your team is eager to upskill and progress their careers. You know that you need to provide better support for new hires, but you’re missing that key snippet of information.

A clear, accessible view of employee, team and organization-wide skill gaps (and strengths!).

Luckily for you, we’re here with a 7 point checklist to kickstart your skills gap analysis.

And one of the biggest takeaways? Get started now, so you’re ready to act with confidence in the new year.

The Skills Gap Analysis Process

The following process is meant to support your team and organization in how to perform a skills gap analysis.

An image showing the 7 different aspects of an effective Skills Gap Analysis process
  1. Define an organization-authored assessment methodology 

    An organization-authored assessment is a common framework that helps ensure that all employees are assessed equally and consistently. This improves both fairness and accuracy, and facilitates the ability to effectively compare entities such as employees, teams, roles and locations.

    💡We suggest using a structured-subjective™ approach which brings together the best of objective, and subjective assessment methodologies to create a scalable, and truly effective model to perform assessments and capture high quality data.

  2. Create a fit-for-purpose skills inventory

    A skills inventory is a centralized and structured database of skills data, qualifications and employee attributes that helps to create a unified understanding of skills within an organization.

    💡It’s best to keep your skills inventory in a structured way so that the needs of your organization are met and that subjective overlap or ambiguity in defining skills is managed and determined by the organization itself.

  3. Add context and groupings to skills data

    Skills shouldn’t sit in isolation, but rather should be mapped to all the necessary entities within your organization. It’s all about being as relevant as possible, and putting in the effort early to get the desired, longer term results.

    💡By grouping skills by job function or organizational structure, the organization can achieve a suitable level of specificity without generating surplus amounts of data which can also overwhelm employees and result in a degraded level of accuracy.

  4. Provide a fixed, universal numeric rating scheme

    A fixed universal numeric rating scheme declares an organization-wide, standardized methodology for measuring ability that will apply to all employees, and all skills, creating a level playing field and ensuring all data is compatible. This allows data to be combined, compared, and “slice and diced” in any direction.

    💡Standardising a rating scheme that can be applied universally ensures that the structure will always be able to adapt to the changing needs and skills of the organization into the future.

  5. Specify the criteria for each rating via a detailed description

    Defining a detailed criteria for each rating within the organizational rating scheme guides employees in their assessments by providing a set of rules and references.

    💡Some criteria that Skills Base have used include Level of knowledge (eg: Self trained, real-world experience, formal training), Ability to train others, Ability to explain subjects, Ability to sell, install, configure or maintain products, Years of experience.

  6. Conduct an employee self-assessment

    An employee-conducted self-assessment provides first-hand data of the employee’s perceived abilities. This method not only provides an accurate “first-cut” of information, it also significantly reduces the effort, time and administration required in establishing a skills management repository by distributing the data entry load amongst all employees. This results in rapid results that are both current and accurate.

    💡Communicate the value of self assessments to your employees. It’s not about micromanaging or a waste of their time. The results from their skills assessment provides a data baseline to give them more power in conversations with managers and the organization as a whole — on training, L&D, projects and much more

  7. Perform an additional, supervisor-conducted assessment

    A second supervisor-conducted skills assessment of the employee serves to review, verify and validate the employee responses. The supervisor responses should not generally be used to override the employee’s, but rather combine to achieve a weighted assessment. This serves to further increase the accuracy of the data.

    💡Make sure supervisors and managers take the time to provide commentary on any differences in scores given. Additional relevance can add to more constructive feedback and experiences for each employee.

Skills Gap Analysis Checklist and Timeline

Becoming a skills based team or organization can be a daunting task. When starting from scratch we suggest beginning smaller– focusing on a team, or a department within your organization. From there you can prove the ROI and outcomes, manage change and then expand broader across your organization.

As we head into the end of 2021, here is a quick high level timeline that you can think about working to. It’s worth noting that each and every business and team will be at different stages.

Week 1 to 2 - Creating a skills inventory

The first two weeks of your timeline should be dedicated to getting your skills data right. Make sure that your skills inventory is relevant, has the right naming structures, descriptions and that your workforce will understand.

Week 3 to 4 - Create data relationships and rhythms

The next two weeks should be about ensuring that any data relationships are correct. Skills should be correctly linked to the right people, teams, roles, and office locations to ensure that you can properly perform skills gap analysis at a later date.

In this time, you also want to begin communicating the value to your team. Letting them know what is coming, what to expect and the outcomes of the assessment process. Take them along for the journey!

Week 4 to 6 - Invite and perform initial assessments

After your setup and configuration is complete, now is the time to sit back and invite your selected teams to begin their assessments. The goal here is to continue communicating value to ensure a very high completion rate.

Week 7 - Analyze results of first assessment

When the assessment data is in, now you’re ready to start analyzing the results and understand your skills gaps. If you’re lucky enough to be using Skills Base, these insights can be automatically displayed at an individual, team, location, role or organization-wide level.

Week 8 and beyond - Keep it going!

After building the cadence for your first assessment process, it’s important that you keep it going to the rhythms of your business. The more assessment data points you get, the more detailed insights you can get on changes in an individual’s skill levels, gaps across teams, or across your business

Whether you’re starting from scratch or you’ve already got an established skills inventory, it can seem like a lot to do. Don’t worry, we’re here to help. If you need to get started on your skills gap analysis, schedule a demo with the team today.


Ready to start benefiting from skills management? Book your free 30-minute meeting with a skills expert today. 

A Skills Base Whitepaper

The Skills Base Methodology
A Framework for Skills-Based Organizations and Teams