Rise Performance Group

How to Fill the Gaps with Effective Management

By Christina Krenek

Is there a skills gap in your organization? Do you have vacant positions, which require high-level skills that are hard to find? According to a recent study from CareerBuilder, 38 percent of employers cannot find qualified candidates to fill a position. The study found that the top five areas most difficult to recruit for are:

  • Engineering
  • C-level positions
  • Information Technology
  • Research and Development
  • Production

In addition, candidates are also having a hard time finding jobs which they are qualified for. Nearly two-thirds of candidates claim to knowingly apply for positions even when they don’t possess the required skills.

Skills gaps in today’s industries can hurt organizations. In the study, CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson said, “Prolonged vacancies can result in lower quality work, lower sales and morale, and can cause a delay in creating other related positions within the organization.”

Even if you don’t have any vacant positions now, you could in the future and need to be prepared to fill them as quickly as possible. So how should companies deal with this? The answer is simple: effective management and development.

A recent article from Forbes titled, “The Case for Hiring Under-Qualified Employees,” sparked up hundreds of Internet comments and discussions. The article says that many companies, especially smaller start-ups, may not be able to afford hiring superstars, so they are better off focusing on discovering potential stars and effectively coaching them.

The act of coaching can be a powerful one! When hiring and developing employees, effective managers need to consider these four things to help maximize potential and in turn, maximize productivity.

  • Be honest. Another shocking finding from CareerBuilder’s study is that only 12 percent of candidates were told they do not have the requisite skills for a job they applied for. It’s important to provide productive feedback to candidates, whether you hire them or not. Taking an interest in an individual’s personal growth and showing you care is what true coaches (and effective managers) do. When you do hire a candidate, be up front with them about your expectations and what skills they may need to focus on strengthening and developing.
  • Set goals. Let’s say you end up hiring an individual who may not possess all the job-specific skills but certainly has the potential. It’s absolutely crucial to outline goals and objectives for the employee’s training and development. Work together with your employee to set goals that are specifically for the job position as well as personal goals. Don’t forget to ask for the employee’s input. Are there any additional skills they would like to develop or learn? It may even be helpful to create a timeline for any certification programs or projects to be completed.
  • Know your employee’s learning style. To be an effective manager, you need to know how to coach your employee. Do they need step-by-step guidance or are they more independent? Are they comfortable making decisions? How do they solve problems? To objectively answer these questions, you can use assessments. Total-employee assessments, like the ProfileXT®, can be used to find out an employee’s thinking and reasoning style, behavioral tendencies and interests.
  • Have regular meetings. A popular quote from a Profiles International research report says “Coach early and coach often.” Check in with your employees regularly to review their performance. Whether it’s a meeting once a week or frequent conversations, communicate with your employees! Know if they have any concerns or questions. Ask them about their workload: Is it too much? Do they need more challenging assignments?

Coaching makes a difference! Not only will your employees develop the skills they need to succeed, but you will also grow as a leader.

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