Good companies have skill gaps. One default response is to see this as a recruiting problem that HR can solve with more and better recruiting.
But this is wrong. A skills gap is in essence an operations problem, one that can only be solved in the context of operations. This is especially true for professional services companies doing project-based work.
You need to start by looking at why you have the skills gap. There are a number of possibilities.
You can often discover skill gaps by studying your company, team, or your own skill map. The following patterns suggest risk:
Once you understand the nature of your skill gaps, you need to ask what skills are hidden inside your company or can be found in your extended talent network.
Internal Talent Pools Almost every company has untapped pools of talent that it is not aware of. These hidden assets are generally wider and deeper than are realized. Why is this the case? We see three common reasons:
Companies will be able to make better use of the latent skills in their organization once they recognize – celebrate even – the autonomy of their employees and encourage them to share and develop their skills outside of any one organization.
Extended Talent Networks You will never be able to find all of the talent you need inside your own organization. And all the recruiting in the world is not going to change this. Over the next decade the best companies will excel at leveraging their extended talent networks. Key relationships to leverage include
Partners and customers are also part of your extended talent network, as you are part of theirs (relationships flow both ways). Sharing skills information across your talent network is critical to activating that network.
TeamFit makes it easy to search across talent networks and to manage how skills information is shared. This is the real way to close talent gaps.
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