25 August 2021

Times ticking on your skill gap

Woman watching video on her laptop

Increasing your employee's skills is essential for reducing shortages, improving retention, and lowering costs.

The number of skills required for a single job increases by 10% year on year and the skills that were once present in the average 2017 job posting are no longer necessary. Ensure you keep your employees skill set up to date and be proactive with change. 


Cost of new hires 

Skills shortages are common in most industries. A report by The Open University found that 91% of organisations admitted they struggled to find workers with the right skills over the past 12 months, costing the UK £6.3 billion. That’s not the only costly expense organisations are facing; recruiting employees to fill skills gaps is becoming a longer process than normal - by 1 month and 22 days with costs increasing by 49%.

Hiring new employees isn’t always the best answer to your skills shortage problems. Employing skilled employees is costing employers more and more and within the last year, 67% of employers had to increase their salary offer by an average of £3,400. With the increase in salary expectations, some organisations are looking at other options to fill the skills shortage, and some simply can’t afford to employ highly skilled individuals. So, what can they do to fill their skill shortage?


Train and retain

Upskilling is a topic that has dominated HR leaders’ priority lists for the last three years, but some companies aren’t getting it quite right. Rather than having a proactive approach to training and developing their employees, they have a reactive approach, meaning employees train and develop their skills after the change has already happened. This often leaves a skills shortage for a period of time before someone is trained to fill it, costing organisations productivity, time and money.

HR leaders need to have a proactive, dynamic approach to training and development. In fact, 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in helping them learn. Employees have the best sense of changing needs within their job role, whether that be a new qualification, competency or even a completely new skill that they haven’t needed before. Managers need to work with their employees when a new need arises and take the necessary action to provide the training at the point it’s needed. By using this approach, Gartner found employees applied 75% of the new skills they learned, and skill needs are identified faster, allowing your organisation to prevent skill shortages or gaps to stay competitive.


A hub for learning

Don’t let training and development become a burden. Using a learning management system ensures all your learning is in one place, meaning you can view and track all training from a single dashboard allowing you to manage your employees progress and competencies training.

Having a learning management system that integrates with your HR solution allows you to access everything you need to develop your people while saving you time on admin tasks. Rather than manually processing completed training courses into your HR system - meaning a lot of repetitive data entry - an integrated LMS will seamlessly transfer data to show what courses employees have completed in your HR system and offers employees training that links directly with their current role and future aspirations.

Put learning at the heart of your organisation and personalise training programmes to improve your culture, retention, engagement, and organisations competitive position.


These statistics were taken from reports by The Open University, Gartner, and LinkedIn.

Ellena Frost

Ellena Frost

Ellena is a Field Marketing Manager at MHR.

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