SHRM 2015 Professionals Rate Skills Gaps Factors, See How You Compare

SkillsGapsSHRM87358338BlogFiguring out that Taylor Swift is a bankable artist is easy. The signs are everywhere. But, trying to figure out where your human resources peers stand on a hot topic like skills gaps is harder to decipher.

Until now.

At this year’s Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) annual conference our Global Knowledge team conducted a survey to benchmark attendees on how they approach skills gaps, the primary causes for skill deficiencies and their progress towards closing the gaps.

What we found is that workforce changes such as retiring baby boomers and new millennial employees are the main disruptors causing skills gaps, according to respondents. Skills gaps continue to be an issue for organizations, and HR professionals report splitting their time between identifying training needs, researching solutions and leading learning development activities.

If you are curious where you and your organization stand on the road to organizational transformation, read on for the results of the SHRM 2015 Attendee Benchmarking Study.

Skills Gaps are an Issue

When asked if workforce skills gaps are a concern for your organization, 60 percent of respondents said that skills gaps were a real and present concern. Nearly one-third reported they were a developing issue for their firms.


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HR’s Role is Behind the Scenes

Our benchmarking study found that human resources departments are mostly tasked with researching training options based on needs assessments and providing leadership in support of skills gaps remediation.

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Generational Shifts Drive the Gaps

Workforce changes driven by demographic shifts are the key disruptor according to those who responded. If the “all three” category is included then three out of four respondents see a changing workforce as a key issue to be resolved.

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Remediation is Ongoing

More than half of the organizations who reported skills gaps as a current concern were at the “making progress” stage of remediation. Conversely, two-thirds of those who reported skills gaps as a “developing concern” see themselves at the beginning stage.

More than 40 percent of respondents were either just getting started or had made some progress toward stated goals. Less than 10 percent indicated they were close to achieving their goals with an equal percentage reporting they were not sure.


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HR Professionals Rely on Industry Sources for Trends

Those in the human resource field stay current through conference attendance and peer groups. They will also leverage Internet searches, publications and webinars to answer current questions and keep abreast of the changing landscape.

Other Report Highlights:

Remediation leadership: Either the executive team or department-level leadership have mostly taken on the task to close the gaps. But, there is a void. One-fourth of respondents reported that no one has yet been tasked with leading the skills gap remediation process.

Budgets for remediating skills gaps: Of those who are in the know regarding budgets, the majority see skills gap remediation as part of a larger ongoing process. If those lacking budget knowledge are factored out of the results, then 85 percent see their efforts as part of an ongoing program.

What This Means for You

Human resources, learning and development professionals and decision makers should begin planning for change. This includes identifying and quantifying your workforce’s skills gaps; pinpointing who, can lead the charge and leverage tools around you to stay current on new developments.

Need some help? Global Knowledge’s Business Transformation Services offer expert consultants who can analyze your needs and develop a customized solution to help your organization adapt to the challenges of today’s market.


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