Skills gap is not solved by money but by commitment


So you got into another bidding war for a welder, machinist, truck driver, operating room technician or the skills gap position in your organization. Chances are you did not win the bidding war. The numbers are almost always going to be stacked against you. If you did win the bidding war, how long do you think they will stay? You are back to hiring temporaries or subcontractors which are simply too expensive. Instead of looking outside the organization, you have also tried to “grow your own”. You have had some success but you have also had some spectacular failures. You spent a lot of money and time training someone and soon after - they left. You have heard of people who have been successful in-house but you don’t know how they did it.

My experience in bidding wars is they never work and I don’t get into them. I have solved organizations skills gaps and it has always been from the inside. Right up front I need to say - you have to be very careful and know exactly what you are doing. If you don’t know how to do it then you will fail. You will have lost all the time, money and effort invested when the person leaves. Retaining that person must be the one and only measurement for success.

This is where the commitment comes into play. There must be a mutual commitment between the employee you invest in and the organization. There must be a clear understanding of what both parties are going to do and how each benefits. Both parties must live strictly to the agreement. The agreement is fundamental and is very important. I usually suggest a written agreement but not one that looks like a contract.

However, there is an even more important factor. The employee you choose for this project is absolutely paramount. I have seen organizations train a person who I would have never invested in. The employee was predisposed to leave after they were trained. Many things go into who you choose:

  • The employees relationship with the management of the organization
  • The personal goals of the employee
  • The ability of the employee to successfully complete the training.
  • The willingness of both parties to strive for a mutually beneficial relationship

Do you need help building a program within your organization to reduce or eliminate your skills gap?