Talent Gap analysis – Saving you time and money

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15/05/2015

What is Talent Gap analysis?

A Talent Gap analysis allows leaders to gain an insight on future employment requirements through the identification of competencies of the organisation’s vision and comparing them to those available from current employees (Brunot, 2015). The TG[1] acts as the architectural structure of the TM[2] as it offers a system level, strategic perspective that adds value and opens new research possibilities for the business (Lewis and Heckman, 2006, p.143). Without performing a TG analysis, the organisation and the HR department (particularly), runs the risk of ‘Putting People, Not Strategy, First’ and this means HR and the overall Talent strategy do not align with the business strategy – Causing the business to fail in its operationalisation processes (Becker at al. 2009, p.1 as cited in McDonnell, 2011 p.170).

 Why is performing a Talent Gap analysis necessary?

Perhaps the best course of action would be firstly to understand which roles in the organisation are making the greatest strategic contribution (3). From here HR departments can be encouraged to become more strategic by understanding the strategy of the business and restructuring both the HR organisation and practices to support these roles (2). By collaborating with an external consultancy in deploying a TG, the business and the HR department can gain a better understanding of which roles make the greatest strategic impact. This is an imperative action as it will allow management to distribute resources accordingly (3). Without this performance of a TG there may be consequences that we will consider in the next part of this article.

Consequences of not performing a TG analysis using an external consultancy or other Talent informant

Without a TG analysis the TM strategy becomes lost and this has a knock on effect upon the organisation. Simply not responding quickly enough to all of these Talented needs means that the actions of HR become lost and non-identifiable, talent focused perspective no longer exist in regards to improving decisions and implementing decisions become difficult.  As well as this, if a clear TG is not performed misidentification can occur and this means that “individuals are not placed in roles for which they are ill equipped - This can lead to fatal events as demonstrated in the fall of Enron” (3).

It is essential that through deploying a TG strategy and tactic, everything that encompasses Talent, is about getting the right balance between individual characteristics and the requirements of particular tasks. It is critical that a TG analysis is used sooner rather than later because the importance of identifying high-value added skills that are difficult to get and replace are phenomenal. If organisations really and truly wish to have a solid source of competitive advantage they must use Talent as a resource. They must understand that Talent is a “valuable, rare, and hard-to-imitate” substance and that TM is not enough alone as a strategic activity - TG analysis must occur to add value to the bottom line of the Talent pipeline in the organisation.    



[1] Talent Gap

[2] Talent Management 

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References:

  • Talent Management a Critical Review: Robert E Lewis, Robert J. Heckman
  • Still Fighting the "War For Talent"? Bridging the Science Versus Practice Gap: Anthony McDonnell
  • What is a gap analysis for Human Resources?: Trudy Bruno

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Authors:

Nigel Job (CEO of Remtec Search and Selection Ltd.)

Aaron Stiff (Business Development Consultant)

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