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How to Identify What Skills You Need in Your Team

Thinking of hiring but not sure what skills your team is lacking? Read our top tips on establishing exactly what skill sets to look out for. 

A skills-based approach to hiring is on the rise - and for good reason. While a candidate’s work experience gives you an insight into their skill set and abilities, it’s not the whole picture. 

Including skill sets in your assessment is a fairer and more objective way of choosing the right candidates. But what if you’re not sure exactly what skills your team needs from your next hire? In this article, we’ll walk you through the 5 steps to identifying your skill set gaps - and how to plug them. Read on to find out more. 

1. Establish your objectives

To determine what skills can best support your team, you first need to establish your team’s goals. Making your goals as specific as possible will give you a clearer idea of the skill set needed to carry them out. 

If you want your team to carry out more analysis to inform future strategies, for example, you’ll need somebody with analytical skills and a history of working with analytics software. 

2. Learn from previous projects

An easy way to determine what skills are missing from your team in its current iteration is to assess how previous projects could have been improved. 

Look at stages throughout the process that felt particularly time-consuming or difficult and think about which skills could have made it easier. 

If there are any stages of your project where efficiency seems to take a dip, this could signal that a key skill is missing from your team. You can then use this knowledge to determine what skills to look for in new hires. 

3. Audit your existing team

It’s worth taking a look at your current team members and establishing what skill set each of them has. You might find that your team is heavy on the creative side but less experienced at analytical tasks. 

Consider how each role works with and supports other roles in the team, and establish if any team member, in particular, is missing a role to complement theirs. 

Look out for an uneven workload split, too, which could indicate that some staff members are taking on tasks that need to be better divided. 

4. Don’t underestimate soft skills

While significant emphasis is put on technical skills, soft skills should also be considered as part of your hiring process.

If you’re working with contractors, for example, you’ll need somebody who can integrate seamlessly into the workplace and work well with other colleagues from the outset. 

Consider which soft skills would help somebody be more productive within your team. If it’s a fast-paced environment, you’ll need a versatile candidate who is able to think on their feet. Once you’ve established which soft skills you need, assess candidates using example-based questions.

5. Work with a recruiter

The right recruiter will be an expert in the world of talent acquisition and resource planning, and their expertise can be useful in determining exactly what to look for in potential candidates. 

If you choose to work with a recruiter to find your next hire, have an initial meeting to discuss exactly what goals your team is trying to achieve in the short and long-term future. 

Your recruiter will be able to advise on the type of candidates currently on the market that could successfully fill the gaps in your team.


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