How to Develop a Skill Gap Analysis

by Seeta Shah Roath, Ed.D.; Updated September 26, 2017
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Developing a skill gap analysis involves determining the required skill levels and the current levels of the skills in the desired areas. The difference between the current levels and the desired levels is the gap. An analyst determines the necessary requirements for moving from the current skill levels to the desired levels. Basically, a skills gap analysis asks and finds answers to the following questions: What are the skills you wish to have? What are the skills you already have? What are the differences between the two levels? What do you have to do to reduce the differences and close the gap?

Determine the Required Levels

Step 1

Identify and list all the required skills in at least three categories. Categories can include responsibilities, duties, tasks, functions and knowledge. Skills can be the particular responsibilities required, the particular duties necessary, the individual tasks, functions and knowledge needed.

Step 2

Under each skill, write a description of the required levels. The description can be simply low level, moderate level and expert level. The description also can be a rating scale from 1 (low) to 10 (expert) or more complex with specific descriptions for each item.

Step 3

Create a document detailing answers from steps 1 and 2. Record the information regarding each skill identified including the required levels for each skill under the appropriate category.

Determine the Current Levels

Step 1

Create a questionnaire or a test covering all relevant skill areas listed under the appropriate categories using the rating scale selected. The test may be a practical exercise, a series of tasks, an interview or a paper/online multiple choice quiz.

Step 2

Administer the questionnaire/test to the person or persons involved. Ensure that responses are the persons’ original efforts.

Step 3

Score resulting attempts and record scores in the different skill areas under the appropriate categories.

Determine the Gap

Step 1

Compare findings of section 2 with section 1 for each skill under the appropriate headings. Create a word table with headings of categories, skills and levels. Show findings of Section 1 in top rows and Section 2 in lower rows. Show the differences in skill levels in the third rows.

Step 2

Write a verbal explanation of findings. If possible present a simple graph with one curve representing the desired skill levels and another curve representing the current skill levels. Highlight the differences using arrows, shading and short explanatory phrases/terms.

Step 3

Identify possible strategies and tactics for closing the gap. Include a timeline and a budget if possible.

Step 4

Prepare a complete documentation of all steps in all three sections. Include skill lists, copies of sample questionnaires/tests, results, findings and strategies. Include a recommendation of how the gap between the current skill levels and the required skill levels may be closed.

About the Author

A travel writer for over 10 years, Seeta Shah Roath features economic reviews, investment opportunities, history, culture and tourism in different countries. She has a Doctoral degree in education from the University of Phoenix and a passion for e-learning. Her articles appear in Washington Times Global and Examiner.com.

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